Chuck Weber famously took the Coventry Blaze to two play off Championship finals in his one and half year tenure with the club. Known for his extensive knowledge of the game, and exact attention to detail, the 44 year old left a lasting impression with not just Coventry Blaze fans but the Elite League in general.
After leaving the Blaze, Weber accepted the role of Assistant Coach with the Rochester Americans of the American Hockey League a team he was the Head Coach with back in 2010-11.
However it wasn’t to be a fairy tale reunion, the ‘Amerk’s’ failing to make the play offs for the third consecutive term finishing with a disappointing 0.441 PCT after struggling with a bitter run of injuries throughout the season.
On June 30th it was announced that former player and assistant coach Chris Taylor would be taking over from Dan Lambert as Head Coach of the Americans. This in turn led to assistant coach Weber seeking ‘new opportunities’.
Today, the new opportunity is confirmed with Chuck Weber back as a Head Coach with the Atlanta Gladiators. The Gladiators, formed only in 2003, announced back in 2015 a two year affiliation with the Boston Bruins of the NHL and the Providence Bruins of the AHL. A deal that was extended in February this year for a further two seasons.
The Gladiators will prove to be a formidable challenge to the American coach. They last qualified for the play offs way back in 2012-13, and with just 27 wins in 72 regulation season games last season, the only way is up for the new Head Coach born a just few miles from the Niagara Falls.
Of interest to Elite League fans maybe, and certainly to ones in Glasgow is that Weber immediately inherits a former EIHL player in 26 year old Cody Carlson, the ex Braehead Clan D man who scored 15 points last season, signed with the Gladiators in mid July.
Former Gladiators players also include Sheffield forward Colton Fretter who sits second in the all time points per game for the franchise with 1.321, and also former Steeler favorite Guillaume Desbiens who notably scored 33 goals for the Gladiators in season 2005-2006. Other notable former Gladiator players with EIHL links include Jeff Mason, Michael Forney and Matt Francis.
So, the next challenge for this two time Kelly Cup winning Coach is laid down in front of him. It is one he will relish. Weber is hugely ambitious but also a modest, humble man and after working his way up from being a ticket seller in the back office, to coaching in both the AHL and KHL, this may just be exactly what he needs to set him on his way to the bright lights of the show.
Good luck, Coach.