Spokane's Nachbaur one victory away from 500 win milestone

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by Spokane Chiefs / KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on January 9, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Updated Monday, Jan 9 at 9:11 PM

SPOKANE -- Don Nachbaur is on the verge of making history. 

With the Chiefs' next win the reigning WHL Coach of the Year will earn the 500th victory of his WHL coaching career, becoming just the sixth coach in the history of the league to hit that milestone.  He will become the third coach in two seasons to accomplish the feat as both Don Hay of the Vancouver Giants and Lorne Molleken of the Saskatoon Blades made it to 500 last season.

Nachbaur will also join Ken Hodge (742), Ernie McClean (548) and Pat Ginnell (518) on the list of coaches who have broken the 500 win barrier.

After a 15-year professional playing career Nachbaur enjoyed his first season on the bench with the Seattle Thunderbirds in 1994-95 winning his first of three Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophies as the league's top coach.  The Thunderbirds won 42 games that season.  In total, he would tally 202 wins on the Seattle bench.

He spent two seasons with the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League as an assistant coach before returning the WHL with the Tri-City Americans in 2003-04.  In six seasons, he won a total of 229 games.  His 2007-08 club won a career high 52 games and he was feted once again as the league's top coach.

Nachbaur spent one season in the AHL as the head coach of the Binghampton Senators before returning to the WHL with the Chiefs in 2010-11.  The Chiefs won 48 games last year and advanced to the Western Conference Finals.  In his 13th season as a head coach, he won his third WHL Coach of the Year award.

This year, Spokane has won 20 games, including the last three, and has Nachbaur just one win away from history.

Spokane plays three games in four nights this week, including two at home.  The Chiefs host Everett on Wednesday night before traveling to their building on Friday. Tri-City will visit the Arena on Saturday night.

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