Tri-City Americans Introduce New Head Coach Mike Williamson
KENNEWICK, WA - The Tri-City Americans introduced Mike Williamson as new head coach Tuesday afternoon. Williamson has an extensive history in the WHL, more specifically the U.S. Division. See the news release from the Americans below.
AMERICANS TAG WILLIAMSON AS HEAD COACH
KENNEWICK, WA – Tri-CityAmericans 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.”