By Silvertips staff
EVERETT, Wash – With the wait finally over, the Everett Silvertips announced on Monday that Dennis Williams has been named the franchise’s fifth head coach. Williams comes to Everett as a 37-year old bench boss, formerly with the Bloomington Thunder (USHL) of three seasons.
Here are five things everyone from Silvertip Country should know on Williams:
1. A WINNING EXPERIENCE
Willliams holds an astounding points percentage of .673 over the last seven seasons in his two coaching stops – both with Bloomington and in the North American Hockey League with the Amarillo Bulls.
His name and resume exploded when he shook the NAHL for back-to-back 99-point seasons and posted 46-win campaigns in both of those years. Keep in mind, the points racked up in the NAHL were within a 60-game schedule during his time with the Bulls (as opposed to 72 games for the Silvertips). He moved onto Bloomington, an expansion franchise for the USHL (which features more year-to-year ballistic player movement than the NAHL) and guided the Thunder to a winning record in their first season, at 29-24-7 and fifth in their conference. Upon the following season: they nearly tasted Clark Cup Final glory by reaching the Conference Finals and one win shy of advancing.
2. HE’S GOT BANNERS ON HIS RESUME, AND A RING ON HIS FINGER
He’s married with a family of four, so of course he has a ring. But we’re talking a championship with a “ring” to it. He delivered a Robertson Cup title to Amarillo in 2012-13 and was named NAHL Coach of the Year shortly before capturing the title. It was Amarillo’s third straight South Division championship, and appearance in the Robertson Cup tourney.
In short order, Williams created an identity that functioned as a two-way street. “The players have bought in what we have been try to sell and that is systems and work ethic,” said Williams, when receiving his Coach of the Year award.
3. GOALS, GOALS AND MORE GOALS
On the resume, Williams coached the top offense in Amarillo from 2011-13, and had the second best offense in the entire NAHL with 207 goals in 2013-14, posting a +87 goal differential shortly before moving up to the USHL level.
During his time in Amarillo, he had a hand in 11 players reaching the 20-goal plateau or higher (keeping in mind, the NAHL plays a 60-game schedule rather than a 72-game package). When the second-year Thunder advanced to the USHL’s Conference Finals in 2015-16, they had a trio of players surpass the 20-goal plateau in 60 games or less.
4. WELCOME TO THE NEXT LEVEL
It’s been documented that Williams took extreme pride in player development. Coming off Amarillo’s championship in 2013, he coordinated the balance of capturing championships (calling the latter a “special feeling”) while continuously helping open doors for players to advance. “I think the development, the commitments and winning all go hand in hand,” Williams told NAHL.com shortly before the 2013-14 season. “I think the players come here first and foremost to develop and move onto the next level.”
One of Williams’ former pupils, Robert Morris forward Brady Ferguson, was a nominee for the 2017 Hobey Baker award.
That leads us to this statistic: functioning primarily as a feeder for the NCAA ranks, Williams helped promote 74 players up to NCAA programs during his seven seasons in Bloomington and Amarillo.
5. WELCOME TO THE SHOW
If you get into an NHL opportunity, you know what you’re doing. Williams forged his opportunities into another with the Chicago Blackhawks, carrying experience as a coach in the organization’s development camp. “He came into our development camp two years ago and we threw him into the deep end,” said Mike Doneghey, Blackhawks head United States scout. “With NHL and AHL coaches, he was right there.”
Doneghey, who has forged a relationship with Williams over the last few years, spoke highly on his core values and traits.
“He gets his points across as a very positive person with good communication skills,” said Doneghey. “He’s up to date on intricacies of the game with systems and drills. He gets the kids to weave in their own individual abilities and as a whole, gets kids to buy in. He gets the ‘new wave’ puck possession style without giving up defensively.”
Williams will be formally introduced to the media and public (free of charge) at a news conference at XFINITY Arena, on Monday, May 22. More details will be coming later this week.