Thunderbolts name Bob McNamara as new GM

The Evansville Thunderbolts of the Southern Professional Hockey League announced today the hiring of Bob McNamara as the new General Manager. McNamara will head up the business operations of the Thunderbolts as the team looks to hit the ice again at the Ford Center this fall.

“Bob’s experience will lead the Thunderbolts quickly to the level we were heading before the shut down due to COVID”, said Thunderbolts President Scott Schoenike. “His excitement and understanding of running minor league hockey set him apart when looking for a General Manager and I am sure it will set the tone for the upcoming season.”

McNamara brings a wealth of hockey and business knowledge to the Thunderbolts front office after spending the previous 20 plus years running teams at the IHL, AHL, CHL and ECHL levels. He served as the GM of the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins for 15 years, the President of the Hamilton Bulldogs for one season and the President of the Quad City Mallards for 7 seasons.

A native of Toronto, Ontario, McNamara earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Notre Dame as well as serving as the Fighting Irish starting goaltender for four years. Post-graduation he played 5 years of professional hockey in the AHL and IHL prior to moving on to the front office side of the business.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Thunderbolts and am excited to get started as we all move back towards a sense of normalcy following the pandemic.” said McNamara. “I know the team had a great start to the season prior to the pause and with the leadership of Jeff Bes behind the bench we will look to build on that strong foundation. I believe in the SPHL and know the Evansville area is a strong hockey market and a tremendous community.”