Rocky Thompson Head Coach
Rocky Thompson directed the Chicago Wolves to the 2018 Central Division title during his first season as head coach.
The 2017-18 campaign marked Thompson’s 11th season as a coach, which included two seasons as the head coach for the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires. His tenure with the Spitfires culminated with a Memorial Cup on May 28, 2017, and he was hired as the Wolves head coach on June 7.
The 40-year-old spent five years as a coach in the Edmonton organization prior to joining Windsor. Under the same ownership as the Oilers, Thompson began his career during the 2007-08 season as an assistant coach for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League.
After three seasons (2007-10) with the Oil Kings, Thompson joined the American Hockey League’s Oklahoma City Barons for four seasons (2010-14). Prior to the 2014-15 season he was elevated to an assistant for the NHL parent club, where he was behind the bench with former Wolves Dallas Eakins and Todd Nelson.
Prior to coaching, Thompson played professional hockey – split between the NHL and AHL – for parts of 11 seasons from 1995 to 2007. Selected in the third round of the 1995 NHL Entry Draft by the Calgary Flames, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound right wing made his NHL debut on Jan. 28, 1998, and went on to appear in 25 games between the Flames and the Florida Panthers and racked up 117 penalty minutes.
In AHL competition, Thompson appeared in 566 regular-season games and compiled 69 points (17G, 52A). His 1,919 penalty minutes rank 10th on the AHL’s all-time penalty-minute list. The Calgary, Alberta, native skated for the Edmonton Road Runners, Hershey Bears, Louisville Panthers, Peoria Rivermen, Saint John Flames, San Antonio Rampage and Toronto Roadrunners.
Thompson and his wife, Elizabeth, have four children: sons Tyr and Tyme and daughters Taze and True.
Chris Dennis Assistant Coach
In his first year as a Chicago Wolves assistant coach, Chris Dennis helped to guide the Wolves to the 2018 Central Division title.
Dennis, who focuses on the team’s blue liners, was named a Wolves assistant coach on June 30, 2017.
The 38-year-old spent the previous two seasons as the head coach for York University in Toronto, where he took over a last-place program and transformed it into the champions of the 20-team Ontario University Athletics conference. The Lions captured the 2017 Queen’s Cup with a dramatic 4-3 victory on March 11.
Prior to taking the job at York, Dennis spent 10 years in the Maple Leafs organization in a variety of roles spanning the head-coaching tenures of Hall of Famer Pat Quinn, Paul Maurice, Ron Wilson and Randy Carlyle. Dennis served as a Maple Leafs assistant coach from 2013-15 and worked as an assistant for the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies when they reached the Calder Cup Finals in 2012.
Thompson and Dennis built a relationship while coaching one of Hockey Canada’s under–17 teams at the 2017 World U17 Hockey Challenge.
Dennis and his wife, Melissa, have two sons, Luke and Ryan.
Bob Nardella Assistant Coach
One of the most accomplished players in Chicago Wolves history, Bob Nardella was promoted to assistant coach on July 12, 2017, after serving for two seasons as skills development coach and three seasons as a part-time assistant for the franchise. During his first year as a full-time assistant, Nardella helped lead the Wolves to the 2018 Central Division crown.
Nardella ranks second on the team’s all-time regular-season list for games (476), fifth in assists (239) and sixth in points (298) after spending six full and three partial seasons with the Wolves. He was a key player when Chicago captured the 1998 and 2000 Turner Cups as well as the 2002 Calder Cup.
The 50-year-old Melrose Park native made his Wolves debut during the team’s inaugural season in 1994-95. After spending one season in Italy and another in Germany – punctuated by his first of two appearances in the Winter Olympics with Italy’s national team – Nardella returned to the Wolves from 1997 to 2002.
The defenseman posted 48 points in 65 regular-season games and 18 points in 22 playoff games during the run to the 1998 Turner Cup. Nardella provided 46 points in 77 regular-season games and 13 points in 16 postseason games in 2000 while earning Second All-Star Team recognition in the International Hockey League. He added 26 points in 52 regular-season games and 14 points in 24 games during the 2002 Calder Cup playoffs.
Nardella ranks second on the Wolves’ all-time postseason list in games (101), fourth in points (61), fourth in assists (44), and seventh in goals (17).
Nardella lives in Rosemont with his wife, Alicia, and their sons, Bobby and Nicholas.
Kevin Kacer, ATC Athletic Trainer
Kevin Kacer, ATC, became the Wolves head athletic trainer in 1995 after being an assistant athletic trainer with the Detroit Pistons from 1993-95. Before that, he served as the head athletic trainer for the Continental Basketball Association’s Fort Wayne Fury (1991-93); the International Hockey League’s Fort Wayne Komets (1990-91); and the National Professional Soccer League’s Fort Wayne Flames (1988-90).
Kacer earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Indianapolis, where he served as the head student trainer from 1983-87. He gained experience as a volunteer trainer at Carroll High School in Fort Wayne from 1983-87 and at the 1986 Pan American Games in Indianapolis.
The 53-year-old is a member of the Professional Hockey Athletic Trainers Society, National Athletic Trainers’ Association and American College of Sports Medicine.
Kacer and his wife, Jill, have a daughter, Madison, and two sons, Cameron and Nolan, and reside in the western suburbs.
Ryan Shoufer Head Equipment Manager
Ryan Shoufer enters his fifth season with the Chicago Wolves and his first as head equipment manager. In his first four seasons, the 28-year-old served as the team’s assistant equipment manager.
Prior to joining the Wolves, the Schiller Park native spent three seasons as an assistant equipment manager for the United States Hockey League’s Chicago Steel.
Stan Dubicki Goaltending Coach
Stan Dubicki has served as the Wolves goaltending coach for the last nine seasons. Prior to joining the organization, he worked for five years at Wendell Young’s Goaltending Academy.
In addition to his duties with the Wolves, the 54-year-old is general manager of ice operations at Triphahn Center – the Wolves’ practice facility in Hoffman Estates. In that role, he oversees the hockey and skating programs and fulfills other duties throughout the building.
Dubicki has also been a head or goaltending coach for several Chicago-area high schools. Currently, he is the goalie coach for Leyden High School.
Dubicki and his wife, Carla, and daughter, Nicole, live in Schiller Park.
Jeff Conkle has completed one season as the Wolves strength and conditioning coach.
Prior to arriving in Chicago, Conkle spent four seasons serving as the strength and conditioning coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets’ primary American Hockey League affiliate. His tenure was split evenly between the Springfield Falcons (2013-15) and the Cleveland Monsters (2015-17).
The 29-year-old Columbus, Ohio, native earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Ohio State University.
Eric Rivard Assistant Equipment Manager
Eric Rivard enters his third season with the Wolves and his first as the assistant equipment manager. During the 2017-18 season, Rivard transitioned from the front office — where he served as ticket coordinator since September 2016 — to the Wolves equipment staff.
The Traverse City, Michigan, native moved to Chicago following his graduation from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s of science in Geography.
During his time at ASU, Rivard played two full seasons and part of a third with ASU’s men’s ice hockey team. As a freshman, he helped the Sun Devils capture the 2014 American Collegiate Hockey Association Division I Men’s National Championship.
Growing up on the east side of Lake Michigan and now residing on the west side, Rivard enjoys sailing. He has been both a sailing instructor and lifeguard.
Rivard is also a foodie who enjoys spending time with family and friends.
David Rogowski Statistical Analyst
The 2018-19 season is David Rogowski’s first with the Wolves.
Rogowski served as director of hockey operations for the Chicago Steel (USHL) in 2017-18. In his role with the Steel, he managed all aspects of team video — ranging from pre-scouting to analysis — and performed administrative duties ranging from travel logistics to coordinating camps and community appearances.
Prior to the USHL, Rogowski was the volunteer video coordinator and assistant on Jim Montgomery’s staff at the University of Denver. During Rogowski’s tenure the Pioneers were crowned the 2017 NCHC regular season and national champions. They also competed in the 2016 Frozen Four. He assisted the DU staff and players with video breakdown and analysis, pre- and in-game decisions as well as administrative duties.
While at DU, Rogowski earned a master’s degree in Public Policy. He earned his undergraduate degree in Secondary Education and Teaching from Saint Louis University. Rogowski played Div. I club baseball and hockey for SLU.