From the teamís founding in 1989 through the move to the American Hockey League in 2000, there was only one Admirals head coach: John Brophy.
During an 18-season playing career, Brophy skated in over 1,200 games and accumulated more than 4,000 penalty minutes. After retiring as a player, Brophy coached for 20 seasons with jobs in the SHL, WHA, CHL, AHL and with the NHLís Toronto Maple Leafs. One of Brophyís first head coaching jobs was with the SHLís Hampton Gulls, who played at the Hampton Coliseum from 1975-77.
Brophy joined the Admirals for their first season in 1989-90. In 11 seasons, he led Hampton Roads to a regular season record of 416-250-72. However, he is best known for leading the Admirals to three ECHL championships. In the teamís second season, the Brophy-led Admirals won the 1991 Riley Cup in front of the Scope crowd. The Admirals repeated as Riley Cup champions in 1992. The 1998 Kelly Cup Championship holds special significance, as Brophyís Admirals were the last team to qualify for the playoffs but went 14-4 in the postseason to capture their third ECHL title.
Brophy remains the ECHLís all-time leader in regular season (480) and postseason (55) coaching wins. His 1,027 coaching wins are the second most in professional hockey history, trailing only Scotty Bowman. While these numbers speak for themselves in making Brophy a legend, it was his never-ending drive to win and fiery personality that make him one of the most recognizable sports personalities in Hampton Roads history.