Bowling Green State Names Dennis Williams Next Head Ice Hockey Coach

Apr 1, 2024

BOWLING GREEN, OH – Dennis Williams, a gold medal-winning head coach for Canada at the 2023 World Junior Championships and current head coach of the WHL’s Everett Silvertips, has been named ice hockey coach at BGSU, Director of Athletics Derek van der Merwe announced

CSA is grateful to have assisted BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers, van der Merwe, and the Search Committee with this search.

“Dennis Williams is a gold medal-winning coach for Team Canada, one of those most respected coaches in the Canadian hockey system, and one of the top head coaches in the WHL,” said van der Merwe. “In the two weeks, I have learned that he is highly respected by his peers across this country. He embodies the essence of educational leadership, with a mentorship style that blends discipline, character, persistence, and a commitment to excellence. Wherever he has gone, winning has followed. His true success lies in the development of his players on and off the ice. We have a storied hockey tradition at Bowling Green State University and Dennis has values, knowledge and respect in the industry to position the Falcons for CCHA and NCAA success.”

Williams comes to BGSU after spending seven years as the head coach of the Everett Silvertips of the WHL (Western Hockey League), including the last three as general manager. Under Williams, Everett earned four U.S. Division titles, three conference regular season titles and one Western Conference championship. Williams and the Silvertips commence the first round of the WHL Playoffs on Friday against Vancouver. He will coach the Silvertips through the conclusion of the playoffs. Williams will officially join Bowling Green State University following the end of the Everett Silvertips season.

“Bowling Green State University is excited to welcome Dennis Williams as our head coach of men’s ice hockey,” said BGSU President Rodney K. Rogers. “He is an accomplished, gold medal-winning coach with extensive experience and success in developing the talent of athletes. I want to thank Derek van der Merwe, director of athletics, for his leadership of this national search. We will continue to elevate the rich history and legacy of BGSU hockey at our University and across the region, and I look forward to joining our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community in supporting BGSU hockey in the Slater Family Ice Arena.”

The native of Stratford, Ontario has served as a coach for Hockey Canada, including as head coach for the 2023 World Junior Championship (Gold Medal), an assistant coach for the 2022 World Junior Championship (Gold Medal), an assistant at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup, and as head coach for Team Canada Black at the 2018 U17 World Hockey Challenge.

Williams carries 17 years of head coaching experience across junior and college levels, boasting an overall career head coaching record of 544-267-14. His junior hockey career head coaching winning percentage stands at .700 with a career record of 505-217, while with the Silvertips he is currently 283-120 (.702). During his time with Everett Williams was named Western Conference Coach of the Year twice (2018, 2020) and U.S. Division Coach of the Year (2022). He has boasted 11 NHL draftees since 2018 (second-most in the WHL) and 16 of his players have signed pro contracts at the NHL or AFL levels.

A former right winger for the Falcons, Williams received his bachelor of science degree in sport management from Bowling Green State University in 2001, graduating cum laude. He later earned a master’s degree in education from BGSU in 2003. During his BGSU career he appeared in 117 career games, notched 20 points (12 goals, 8 assists), and 198 penalty minutes for the Falcons, while also notching two-game winning goals. 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. He joined BGSU’s coaching staff as an assistant in 2008 and was named interim head coach for the 2009-10 season.

After his BGSU playing career, he spent the 2001-02 hockey season with the Odessa Jackalopes, a New York Islanders affiliate in the Central Hockey League, and the Cambridge Hornets of OHA’s Major League Hockey, now Allan Cup Hockey.

Dennis and his wife, Hollie, have two daughters, Emerson and Elyse.

Hometown: Stratford, Ontario
College: Bowling Green, 2001 & 2003
Family: Wife Hollie, daughters, Emerson and Elyse

Playing Career:
Stratford Cullitons, 1994-97
Bowling Green, 1997-2001
Odessa Jackalopes (CHL), 2001-02
Cambridge Hornets (OHA), 2001-02

Coaching History:
Bowling Green, graduate assistant, 2002-03
Utica College, assistant coach, 2003-04
Neumann University, head coach, 2004-07
Bowling Green, assistant coach, 2008-09
Bowling Green, interim head coach, 2009-10
Amarillo Bulls (NAHL), head coach 2010-14
Bloomington Thunder (USHL), head coach, 2014-17
Everett Silvertips (WHL), head coach, 2017-21
Everett Silvertips (WHL), head coach/general manager, 2021-24

For the full release from Bowling Green State Athletics, click HERE.

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