Everett Silvertips coach Dennis Williams was named the WHL’s Western Conference Coach of the Year. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Everett Silvertips coach Dennis Williams was named the WHL’s Western Conference Coach of the Year. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)

Tips coach named Western Conference Coach of the Year

Dennis Williams in the running for the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as WHL Coach of the Year.

For the second time in his three years in charge of the Everett Silvertips, Dennis Williams has been named the best coach in the WHL’s Western Conference.

Williams was honored by the league Monday when he was named the Western Conference Coach of the Year. The award also means Williams is nominated for the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy as the WHL Coach of the Year. He’ll be up against the Edmonton Oil Kings’ Brad Lauer, who is the Eastern Conference nominee.

Williams, a 40-year-old from Stratford, Ontario, guided an Everett team that was not expected to be a contender this season to a 46-13-3-1 record before the league’s season was canceled as part of the measures to slow the spread of coronavirus. The Tips had the second-best record in the league and were just one point behind the Portland Winterhawks, with both teams having five games remaining in the regular season.

This is the second time Williams, who was hired by Everett in 2017, was named the Western Conference Coach of the Year. He was also honored in 2018 when, in his first season in charge, he led the Tips to a 47-20-2-3 record, both the U.S. Division and Western Conference titles, and just the second trip to the WHL championship series in the franchise’s 17-year history. He lost out on the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy to Swift Current’s Manny Viveiros, who coached the Broncos to a six-game victory over the Tips in the WHL finals.

In February Williams signed a contract extension with Everett that runs through the 2022-23 season. His career record with the Tips is 140-49-7-7, and his career WHL winning percentage of .724 is second only to Tom Renney’s .731 among coaches with at least 68 games.

The only Everett coach to win the Dunc McCallum Memorial Trophy is Kevin Constantine, who was awarded the trophy in 2004 after he shocked the league by taking the expansion Tips to the WHL finals.

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