Dave Tippett has won more games than any other head coach in the history of the Phoenix Coyotes franchise, which began as the Winnipeg Jets in 1979-80.
That statement became fact after Phoenix’s dramatic 3-2 shootout victory over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night at the SAP Center at San Jose.
Tippett entered the game tied with Bob Francis with 165 regular-season wins behind the Coyotes bench, but he earned his 166th and passed Francis when Antoine Vermette scored the game-winning shootout goal.
“It’s been a great situation to get to work with the people I do here … and it’s been very enjoyable for me and a very good experience,” Tippett said before Saturday’s game. “…I’ve been very fortunate to have some very good leadership in the dressing room and some real good players along the way here. We’ve been very competitive.”
Tippett has coached 309 regular-season games for the Coyotes from 2009-present. He’s also won 12 postseason games behind the Phoenix bench.
Keith Yandle, one of just a few Coyotes players to have played for Tippett during his entire tenure as head coach in Phoenix, said Tippett’s accomplishment is impressive.
|Photo by Norm Hall |
“He came in and he put his winning ways into our system, and we’ve tried to jump on board and we take pride in it,” Yandle said before Saturday’s game.
He added, “He’s a guy you want to play for and you want to win for. You go out every night and you battle for him. He knows what it takes to get the guys ready and get the guys prepared for what team you’re playing … He’s a great man to play for and a great guy off the ice as well.”
Center Kyle Chipchura agrees.
“The whole group of guys in here really enjoy playing for him,” Chipchura said after Friday’s practice. “He kind of gives everybody an established role and there’s no gray area as to what he expects out of you. He treats everybody like professionals and everybody is willing to play hard for him.”
Captain Shane Doan also is impressed by Tippett's accomplishment.
"His record, not just here but everywhere, speaks for itself," Doan said. "It's exciting going forward that we have him here for at least another four or five years. I think the stability of having him here is big for our team."