Silvertips Announce Dennis Williams Promoted to General Manager and Head Coach Role with a Multi-Year Extension
EVERETT, Wash. – The Everett Silvertips, eight-time U.S. Division champions and two-time Western Conference champions of the Western Hockey League, and Consolidated Sports Holdings chief executive officer Zoran Rajcic announced today that Dennis Williams has been promoted to the role of general manager and head coach of the Silvertips, agreeing to a multi-year contract extension.
Williams will enter his fifth season as Silvertips head coach, removing the interim general manager title that was originally named on June 1 while adding to his duties, after helping guide the Silvertips to their fourth U.S. Division title in five seasons. He also returns to Hockey Canada’s coaching staff for the third straight year in a role associated with the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, the National Men’s Under-18 Team summer developments camp, July 25-Aug. 4 in Alberta. Team Canada, who has declined to participate in this year’s tournament due to COVID-19 restrictions, will feature 45 invited players for an 11-day camp which includes combined practices and intrasquad games with Canada’s National Junior Team.
“As time progressed, Dennis’ abilities with leading our team on the ice illustrated a strong connection with core values that help us address our immediate and long-term goals with building our program, all year round,” said Rajcic. “He understands, embraces, and applies the standards of excellence that have continued our winning tradition and helped our players achieve their dreams of reaching the NHL. He is connected, reliable, passionate, and committed, all important elements to make an impact as we continue to pursue a reputation as a flagship franchise in the WHL and an example of success for our game in the Puget Sound.”
“First and foremost, my thank you goes to our owner, Mr. Bill Yuill, and Zoran Rajcic for this opportunity and having the confidence in me to handle such a great and prestigious organization,” said Williams. “I am looking forward to working closely with Director of Player Personnel Mike Fraser and an exceptional scouting staff we already have in place to continue building a franchise that is renowned for development and long-term success. I believe in this team, organization, our fans, and the Pacific Northwest. My family and I very proud to be a part of it.”
Williams continued, “We’re a proud WHL franchise, and every player who walks through our doors deserves our commitment to help make their dreams come true. It’s a great day to continue moving forward in that direction.”
As a two-time recipient of the WHL Western Conference Coach of the Year award, Williams has led the Silvertips to three U.S. Division titles and the 2018 Western Conference championship in his four seasons behind the bench, carrying a record of 154-52-7-7 (.733 percentage) in his WHL career since being named Silvertips head coach on May 15, 2017. After preparing for the pandemic shortened 2021 regular season, he guided the Silvertips to their eighth U.S. Division title, a 19-4 (38 points) record, and the second highest points percentage (.826) in the league.
Under his guidance, Silvertips players have earned the following achievements:
Drafted by NHL teams: 8 players in 3 years
Signed to 3-year, NHL entry level contracts or AHL contracts: 11 players in 3 years
Earned gold medals in IIHF competition: 3 players (Carter Hart and Olen Zellweger, Canada; Dustin Wolf, United States)
Under his guidance during the shortened 2021 WHL season, the Silvertips had players earn the following league awards and achievements:
Del Wilson Memorial Trophy (WHL Goaltender of the Year): G Dustin Wolf
U.S. Division Top Scorer Award (co-recipient): LW Cole Fonstad, C Gage Goncalves
U.S. Division Player of the Year: G Dustin Wolf
U.S. Division Goaltender of the Year: G Dustin Wolf
WHL U.S. Division All-Star Team: G Dustin Wolf, D Ronan Seeley, LW Cole Fonstad, C Gage Goncalves
The native of Stratford, Ontario, in addition to his coaching duties Hockey Canada in association with the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, also served as head coach for Team Canada Black at the 2018 U17 World Hockey Challenge.
Williams was named the fifth head coach in Silvertips history on May 15, 2017 and previously with the Amarillo Bulls (NAHL) as head coach and director of hockey operations, he led the franchise to a Robertson Cup title in 2012-13 and three national tournament appearances while going 168-44-2-24 and a points percentage of .756 across four years in the NAHL. With the Bloomington Thunder (USHL) as head coach and general manager, he guided the franchise to a trip to the Conference Finals in 2015-16. During his time in Amarillo and Bloomington, he helped 74 players advance to play in the NCAA ranks, and with the Bulls coached seven division All-Conference selections, two All-NAHL First Team members, and one division All-Rookie honoree. He has served Utica College and University of Alabama-Huntsville as assistant coach and started his head coaching career at the NCAA level with four seasons serving Neumann College and Bowling Green State University, both in head coach and assistant coach positions. The former right winger received his bachelors and masters degrees from Bowling Green, finishing with 117 career games, 20 points (12 goals, 8 assists), and 198 penalty minutes for the Falcons.
Williams, 41 (8/14/79), will continue to reside in Lake Stevens with wife, Hollie and their two daughters, Emerson and Elyse.
ABOUT THE SILVERTIPS AND THE NHL
A total of 20 players have suited up in an Everett Silvertips jersey and advanced to play in the National Hockey League, since the Silvertips joined the WHL in 2003-04. Entering this season, the Silvertips have elevated 27 players to be selected by teams in the NHL Entry Draft, including eight over the previous three seasons, while 11 Silvertips have signed three-year, NHL entry level or AHL contracts since 2018. The Seattle Kraken, an expansion franchise scheduled to play 30 miles away from Everett at Climate Pledge Arena, will make their NHL debut in the 2021-22 season.