From Petrolia, Ontario, Garrett Rutledge is in his second season as the Head Coach. Rutledge signed joined the Thunderbirds in the summer of 2021. He comes to Carolina after more than four years in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).
In the 2016-17 season, Rutledge broke into the OHL as a scout for the Flint Firebirds. Just two years later, he found himself on the bench as an assistant coach for the 2018-19 campaign.
The following year, Rutledge moved up I-75 to Saginaw, where he joined the Spirit for a 41-16-3-2 season that was cut short due to the pandemic. He served as the team's video coach that year and the next, though the league did not operate in 2020-21.