Amarillo, TX- The Amarillo Hockey team is proud to announce the hiring of Dennis Williams as the teams first Head Coach. Dennis joins the Amarillo entry in the NAHL from NCAA Division One hockey program Bowling Green State University (BGSU) where he served as the teams Head Coach. "I have known Dennis for a few years and he comes highly recommended by former alumni and by his previous employers and players. For us to secure the services of a former NCAA division one player and Head Coach was very important for the program and this gives us instant credibility in the league and for recruiting. Dennis will be an integral part of building this program for years to come and we welcome him to the organization and to Amarillo", stated Gary Gelinas, EVP Consolidated Sports, owners of the Amarillo franchise.
"I am extremely excited about the opportunity to join Amarillo and the North American Hockey League. I would like to thank Gary Gelinas for this opportunity and I look forward to building a great championship hockey program. I look forward to meeting the players and the community of Amarillo. Our team will play with high energy, tempo and will compete for every puck. We will be physically and mentally tough and will play hard for 60 minutes. The hockey players will be involved in the community and my expectations are to not only succeed on the ice, but off the ice. I am going to do my best preparing the players not only to win hockey games, but for their future opportunities to advance and play college hockey", stated Coach Williams.
Williams returned to his alma mater, Bowling Green, as an assistant coach for the 2008-09 season after a very successful start to his coaching career. In just six years as a coach, Williams proved himself as a solid teacher of the game of hockey and as someone capable of changing the direction of a program.
Prior to serving as an assistant coach for Danton Cole at Alabama-Huntsville in 2007-08, Williams was the head coach at Neumann College from 2003 to 2006. In just three short years, he built the Knights into a Division III hockey powerhouse, taking a team with a 3-21-1 overall record a year before he arrived to 17-5-5 mark and a top-five national ranking in his final season behind the bench, which included the school's two best seasons in program history. "Having had the opportunity to coach college hockey for the past eight years (Division 1 and Division 3) I feel I can an assist in placing players onto the collegiate level. Having an understanding of what it takes to play at the collegiate level and the academic expectations I feel I can help guide our players onto playing collegiate hockey," said Williams.
Williams played for the Falcons from 1997 to 2001. He was the Howard Brown Coaches' Award recipient following the 2000-01 season, recognizing him as the person who best exemplified professional qualities both on and off the ice en route to leading the Falcons to a CCHA semifinal appearance that season. Following his graduation in 2001, Williams served as the first graduate assistant at BG in 2002, before moving on to serve as an assistant coach for one season at Utica College during the 2003-04 season.
A native of Stratford, Ontario, Williams earned his master's degree in marketing education from BGSU in 2003 and his bachelors degree in sport management in the summer of 2001, graduating cum laude. He and his wife Hollie will be moving to Amarillo in the next few months with their daughter, Emerson.