PrairieThunder Name Jason Christie Head Coach


Jason Christie Named Bloomington PrairieThunder Head Coach & Director of Hockey Operations


The Bloomington PrairieThunder of the Central Hockey League today announced that Jason Christie has been named the team’s new Head Coach & Director of Hockey Operations. Christie, 41, is a native of Gibbons, Alberta, Canada and takes over as the team’s third head coach as the franchise heads into its fifth anniversary season in October.

Jason Christie brings a successful coaching resume to the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. As head coach for the ECHL Peoria Rivermen from 2000-01 through 2004-05 and the ECHL Utah Grizzlies from 2005-06 through 2008-09, Christie posted seven winning seasons in eight years and qualified for the ECHL playoffs in six of those eight seasons. His overall coaching record in the ECHL was 307 wins-203 losses-66 overtime losses, making him the sixth winningest coach in the history of the ECHL (dating back to 1988).

Among Jason’s other coaching accomplishments include coaching in the ECHL All-Star game in 2001 and again in 2004. He also coached in the AHL All-Star game in 2008. His 217 victories in five seasons in Peoria are the most in Peoria Rivermen history in the IHL-AHL-and ECHL. During his tenure in Peoria, the Rivermen never finished lower than third place during the regular season. And with the Utah Grizzlies during the 2007-08 season, Jason led Utah to the conference finals. Most recently, the past two seasons he served as an Assistant Coach for the Chicago Wolves in the American Hockey League.

As a player, Christie was a hard working right wing who played for nine seasons in the ECHL, AHL, and IHL in Columbus, Ohio; Hamilton, Ontario; Charlotte, North Carolina; Portland, Maine; Winnipeg, Manitoba; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and in Peoria. A highlight of his playing career came in Peoria during the 1999-00 season where he helped the Rivermen win the ECHL Championship as a player / assistant coach. Jason scored 21 goals-35 assists-56 points and was named the Co-MVP of the ECHL Playoffs that year.
Another side to Jason Christie is his strong commitment to community involvement. During his 2007-08 season in Utah, the Grizzlies set franchise records in several community areas. The team made 220 appearances in the community, including over 80 elementary school visits. The Grizzlies also were involved with over 400 non-profit groups during Jason’s time with the organization.

“Bloomington PrairieThunder Hockey welcomes Jason Christie as our new coach.  He is a proven recruiter, a proven trainer, a proven motivator, and a proven winner,” said Team President Tim Leighton.  “Jason played winning hockey in four professional leagues.  He has coached in the ECHL and the American Hockey League.  His references emphasized that he loves to win and inspires his players to pursue excellence.  A coach who leads teams to seven winning seasons in eight years does a lot right, and now he's going to bring those talents to the PrairieThunder.  Bloomington fans are ready for "Smurf" to show his stuff here and set us on track for championship level hockey right here at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum. Jason Christie has shown he has built and managed winning teams and hoisted championship cups.”

Jason Christie comes to Bloomington along with his wife, Kelley, and their two sons Jaxon and J.D.




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