The Tri-City Americans name Mike Williamson as their new head coach today. Below is the official release from the team:
Tri-City Americans Governor/General Manager Bob Tory announced today at a press conference that the team has signed Mike Williamson to a multi-year contract to serve as the club’s new head coach. Williamson replaces Jim Hiller on the Tri-City bench, becoming the 14th full-time coach in the franchise’s history.
After spending 13 seasons with the Calgary Hitmen and Portland Winter Hawks, Williamson brings a wealth of Western Hockey League experience to Tri-City. Williamson’s 427 wins and 888 WHL games coached both rank 3rd among active coaches in the WHL. Williamson’s stats also rank 9th all-time in WHL games coached and 11th all-time in games won.
“I have known (Mike), personally, since he was a 17-year-old player who I recruited to Portland from Red Deer College,” Tory explained. “He has had tremendous success at the WHL level and is known as a player’s coach who is demanding yet firm and calm. Mike brings a great deal of experience and passion to our hockey club and I look forward to working with Mike moving forward.”
After playing with Portland from 1991-94, Williamson began his coaching career with the Winter Hawks in 1995-96, serving as an assistant coach under Brent Peterson. After spending five seasons as an assistant, including winning a Memorial Cup in 1998-99, Williamson was promoted to Head Coach midway through the 1999-00 season. Williamson then served an additional 7 seasons as Portland’s bench boss before being let go following the 2006-07 season.
After a two-year hiatus, Williamson returned to the coaching ranks in 2009-10, taking over the reins of the Calgary Hitmen, where he would spend the next five seasons. In Williamson’s first season, his Hitmen faced-off against the Americans in the WHL Finals, eventually earning the franchise’s second WHL Championship. In all, over his 12+ seasons as a head coach in the WHL, Williamson has coached 888 games, compiling an overall record of 427-374-36-20 with 31 ties. Williamson also has 105 WHL Playoff games to his credit, along with a 54-51 post-season record and 9 playoff series victories.
“My family and I are extremely excited for this opportunity,” stated Williamson. “The familiarity I have with Bob and Innes, as well as returning to the Pacific Northwest, will help the transition. I look forward to getting settled in the Tri-Cities and getting to work.”
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