Published March 25, 2013
| Sports Network
Tampa, FL – The Tampa Bay Lightning named Jon Cooper the eighth head coach in franchise history on Monday.
Cooper takes over for Guy Boucher, who was fired on Sunday morning. Assistants Martin Raymond and Dan Lacroix ran the team Sunday night in a 3-2 loss on the road to the Winnipeg Jets.
The 45-year-old Cooper joins the Lightning after spending the previous three seasons behind the bench of Tampa Bay's top minor league affiliate, the Norfolk Admirals from 2010-12 and this season with the Syracuse Crunch, compiling a 133-62-26 record in 221 AHL games.
"We are very pleased to introduce Jon as our head coach today," vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman said. "He has had success at every level he has coached and is extremely familiar with our organization, as well as our players. He has a tremendous record at all levels and we feel he is ready to make the move to the NHL."
Before joining the AHL ranks, Cooper coached the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL for two seasons, posting an 84-27-9 record. He guided the Gamblers to the 2010 Clark Cup.
"There is no other team in hockey that I would rather be coaching than the Tampa Bay Lightning," Cooper said. "It's quite a tribute to Steve Yzerman and Jeff Vinik and the organization they are building that are proud to promote from within. I look forward to getting to know the players and getting to work right away."
The Lightning are 13-18-1 this season and are currently six points out of a playoff spot. Cooper will coach his first game for the Lightning on Friday night versus the New Jersey Devils.
Tampa Bay experienced instant success in Boucher's first year behind the bench, going 46-25-11 in 2010-11 and reaching the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Boston Bruins by a 1-0 score in Game 7.
The Lightning regressed last season and missed the playoffs after compiling a 38-36-8 record.