Sports stats

 Everett Silvertips

Dennis Williams to Depart Silvertips for Bowling Green State University Following 2024 Playoffs

March 27, 2024 - Western Hockey League (WHL)
Everett Silvertips News Release

EVERETT, Wash. - Everett Silvertips general manager/head coach Dennis Williams has accepted a head coaching position with the Bowling Green State University Falcons and will depart the Silvertips organization following the conclusion of the 2024 WHL Playoffs.

Williams attended Bowling Green State University as an undergraduate student from 1997 through 2001, accumulating 117 games played over four seasons. He later returned to the school as a graduate assistant coach during the 2002-03 season earning his master's degree in the process, then again as an assistant coach in 2008-09. He was named interim head coach for the 2009-10 season.

"I'm extremely excited to have the opportunity to go back and be a part of the Bowling Green hockey team and community," Williams commented. "It was a tough decision. When it came down to it from a family standpoint, it's a place that's still very dear to us. My oldest daughter Emerson was born there. I've spent seven years there. We felt it was time to embark on a different challenge and opportunity, and it has nothing to do with my feelings towards the Everett Silvertips, [owner] Mr. Bill Yuill and COO Zoran Rajcic."

Williams departs the Silvertips with a career 270-104-15-15 record while behind the bench since taking over in 2017-18, a .705 career points-percentage. No other franchise in the Canadian Hockey League (including WHL, OHL and QMJHL teams) has a better win total or points percentage since 2017-18. He has logged five 40-win campaigns in six eligible seasons, captured four U.S. Division titles, three regular season Western Conference titles and a 2018 Western Conference Championship. He has twice been named Western Conference Coach of the Year in 2017-18 and 2019-20 and once named for U.S. Division Coach of the Year in 2021-22.

Thirteen players under Williams' coaching have been drafted to the NHL, tied for the second-most of any WHL team. Eighteen players have signed a professional contract at either the NHL or AHL level.

"I can't say enough about all the great players and coaches we've had," Williams added, "the great front office staff, trainers, equipment managers. This has been a very special part of our lives."

Previous coaching stops for Williams include the Amarillo Bulls of the NAHL, where he won the 2013 Robertson Cup, and the Bloomington Thunder of the USHL, where he led the team to the 2016 Eastern Conference Final. Both Amarillo and Bloomington were under the ownership and operation of Silvertips owner, Mr. Bill Yuill.

"I'm deeply indebted to Mr. Yuill for his continued faith and trust in me," he noted. "It's been a tremendous honor to spend these 14 years working for him, from starting an expansion team in Amarillo to the expansion team in Bloomington and to here. I can't say enough about the treatment my family and I have received from him and the staff."

On the international level, Williams has earned two IIHF World Junior Championship gold medals with Hockey Canada, both as an assistant coach in 2022 and a head coach in 2023.

Other collegiate coaching stops for Williams include Division-III Utica College (assistant coach, '03-04); Division-III Neumann College (head coach, '04-07); and Division-I University of Alabama-Huntsville (assistant coach, '07-08).

With Williams having helmed the Silvertips since 2017-18, he has enjoyed some of the largest crowds in junior hockey at Angel of the Winds Arena. Everett led the WHL in average attendance in 2021-22 and finished second in average attendance in 2023-24 at 6,069- the largest in Everett since 2007-08.

"This rink is next to none," he praised. "In all my places even on the road, there's no place like a Friday night in Everett. In fact, there's no place even like Sunday last game in Everett [the regular season finale with 7,993 fans]. It's a Sunday afternoon game and this place was out of control. My family and I have lived in Lake Stevens for seven years now, and for us, Friday night was hockey night with cowbells and cheers and excitement. I hear from NHL scouts all the time this environment is unbelievable. They talk about that sometimes more than the game.

"It's a true testament to the community coming out to support, the front office doing a great job marketing, and it's the players delivering the product. The way a team like this experiences the success it has it by everyone rowing in the same direction. It's been an unbelievable time."

The 2023-24 Silvertips enter the postseason with a 45-18-2-3 record, having broken the franchise record for goals in a season (296; previously 280 in 2021-22). They match up with the sixth-seed Vancouver Giants in the Western Conference Quarterfinal, with Game One scheduled for Friday at 7 p.m. and Game Two Saturday at 6 p.m. at Angel of the Winds Arena.

"The run's not done," he noted. "I'm here to coach this team right through the playoffs, and everyone who knows me knows we're gonna put our best foot forward to making a long playoff run. My focus is 110% on the present moment, these guys, this locker room, and giving these fans in Everett something to cheer for in the postseason."

• Discuss this story on the Western Hockey League message board...

Western Hockey League Stories from March 27, 2024

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

OurSports Central