newjerseydevils.com – The Devils have set their ECHL coaching staff for the 2008-09 season, with Head Coach Rick Kowalsky and Assistant Coach Vince Williams returning for their third season together. The announcement was made by Trenton Devils General Manager Chris Lamoriello. As per club policy, no further terms were disclosed.
“Rick Kowalsky and Vince Williams have worked together the past two years, and also played together for a couple of seasons,” said Lamoriello. “We look forward to continuing that relationship, bringing a winning tradition to Trenton, and developing our players for both Lowell and New Jersey.”
Kowalsky, 36, was named head coach of the ECHL’s Trenton franchise on May 8, 2006. He returned to New Jersey’s capital city after spending one year as an assistant coach to former Titans’ Head Coach Mike Haviland with Norfolk (AHL).
As a right wing, Kowalsky’s pro playing career spanned 12 seasons, and included six teams/two leagues in North America. He captained the Titans to the 2005 Kelly Cup Championship in his final season as a player. Kowalsky participated in the 1995 and 2003 ECHL All-Star Games, serving the North team as captain in 2003. He totaled 221 goals and 329 assists for 550 points and 979 penalty minutes in 516 career regular-season ECHL games with Hampton Roads, Trenton, and Roanoke.
Kowalsky served the Roanoke Express as a player/assistant coach, while compiling a career-high 83 points in 2001-02. He was Buffalo’s tenth choice, 227th overall in the 1992 NHL Entry Draft after leading Sault Ste. Marie to back-to-back OHL Championships in 1991 and 1992, while serving as Greyhounds’ captain during its 1993 Memorial Cup Championship run.
Kowalsky was born March 20, 1972, in Simcoe, Ont.
Williams, 32, began his coaching career in 2006-07 with Trenton, following an eight-season playing career. A defenseman, he made his pro debut with Columbus (ECHL) and Indianapolis (IHL) in 1998-99. Williams was a member of Trenton’s 1999-00 inaugural year, while also seeing action in one game with the Lowell Lock Monsters (AHL) that season. His career regular-season games played total with Trenton (336) is the second most in franchise history, trailing only Scott Bertoli (507).
Williams’ ECHL totals show 23 goals and 70 assists for 93 points and 585 penalty minutes in 461 career games played overall. He spent time in the Sunshine State, including parts of two seasons with Florida (ECHL) in 2001-03. Williams returned to the IHL in 2000-01 during Orlando’s Turner Cup Championship season. He played two seasons (1996-98) at Montreal’s Concordia University (CIAU) prior to his ECHL career.
Williams was born November 27, 1975 in Ottawa, Ont.