Create a program…
That’s what Dennis Williams has done with the Amarillo Bulls since his arrival in the Texas Panhandle three years ago. A team that has become one of the best in the North American Hockey League in a short period of time
The Bulls have posted 128 regular season victories, captured two NAHL overall regular season and South Division Regular Season Titles, three South Division post-season championships, and will participate in their third straight NAHL Robertson Cup beginning Friday.
Williams, a native of Stratford Ontario Canada, was rewarded for his second straight season mark of 46-7-7 and equaling the NAHL Record-total of 99 points by being named NAHL Coach Of The Year.
Williams said that he looks at the Coach of the Year Award as a team award because it encompasses all of the hard work everyone has put in.
“It’s a nice award to be looked upon by your peers,” said Bulls Head Coach Dennis Williams. “I was always told to surround yourself by good people and I have been able to do that with our staff. We wouldn’t be where we are today without Rocky (Russo) and Harry Mahood this season, as well as our support staff Bernie McDonnell and Denise Burke. It makes it enjoyable to come to the rink when you have a group of young men that you like to coach, excited to be there, want to learn and move on to play college hockey.
“The players have bought in what we have been try to sell and that is systems and work ethic.”
One of the areas that Williams is most proud of is moving 30 players, including 25 in two years, on to Division I and Division III schools.
“We tell our guys it’s a two-way street, if you put in the good, hard work, we as a staff will get the word out to the colleges and make them aware of who you are,” he said. “We have to continue to promote our guys and I tell our staff that don’t be afraid to pick up a phone and call the colleges and encourage them to come down. You don’t want to oversell players because that is not what we are here to do and it hurts our reputation as a coach.”
Consolidated Sports Holdings President Gary Gelinas said the coach of the year award is well deserved.
“We are very happy for Dennis and the coach of the year award is well deserved,” said Gelinas. “In three short years Dennis has delivered on the core objectives we have set. He has focused on moving players on to college hockey while winning hockey games.
“Dennis has proven his work ethic, commitment to the ownership, players, community and his value to the league though this recognition. We are proud to have Dennis working with us and for what he has delivered in Amarillo. This is a credit to the support people Dennis has around him and the quality of players he recruits.”
There is one goal remaining for the Amarillo Bulls and Head Coach Dennis Williams and it’s a Robertson Cup National Championship. That quest will start on Friday night when the Bulls battle the North Division Champion Jamestown Ironmen in their first game at Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco, TX at 7:30 pm. Fans can tune into the game live on CBS Sports Radio 1440, www.amarillobulls.com and on PPV courtesy of Fast Hockey. Pre-game coverage with Prelude To The Robertson Cup faces off at 7:10 pm with Denis J. Puska. The puck drop follows at 7:30 pm.
There will be a watch party available for this game at Seven Grill and Bar located on Soncy Road in Amarillo. Limited viewing in certain areas of the restaurant will be available. Fans that are not heading down to Frisco are invited to come down and watch the game.