Fairbanks announces coaching change
The Fairbanks Ice Dogs, proud members of the North American Hockey League, announce the resignation of Head Coach Trevor Stewart, as he pursues an associate head coach opportunity with an NCAA Division I hockey program.
“The Ice Dogs and Fairbanks community have been a major part of my family for the last decade, and it will truly be different to be elsewhere,” Stewart said. “We love Alaska and have come to call it home, but when this opportunity came along, it seemed like the appropriate time to go.”
“I wish Coach Stewart nothing but the best as he moves into the next phase of his coaching career,” said Ice Dogs’ General Manager Rob Proffitt. “The mark he leaves on this program is unmeasurable. Coach Stewart’s dedication and positive impact on his players, both on and off the ice, is second to none, and I cannot thank him enough for that. Above all, I consider Trevor and his family friends for life, and I will miss them tremendously.”
Stewart won 412 regular season games, with 52 post season wins, during his ten and a half seasons as the Ice Dogs’ head coach. He led the Ice Dogs to Robertson Cup titles in 2014 and 2016. He also guided teams to the Robertson Cup championship game in 2019, and to semi-final appearances in 2012 and 2018. Stewart was named the NAHL Coach of the Year following the 2013-14 and 2017-18 seasons.
"I thank the Ice Dogs’ Board of Directors and GM Rob Proffitt for trusting me to guide this team for the past decade," Stewart said. "Most importantly, I want to thank the players whom I’ve had the privilege of coaching here in Fairbanks, and their parents for the trust they put in me to help develop their sons into better hockey players, and hopefully better men.”
With the departure of Coach Stewart, Proffitt named Dave Allison as the fourth head coach of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs. Aaron McPheters will stay on as assistant coach. The Ice Dogs introduced coach Allison during a press conference held at the Big Dipper Ice Arena on Monday.
“Making a coaching change mid-season is not ideal by any means, but the stars aligned to have Coach Allison come out of retirement to lead our team,” Proffitt said. “His resume speaks for itself, but his knowledge of the game and ability to connect with players set him apart from other candidates.”
Allison played professional hockey for 10 years (1979-89), including time with the Montreal Canadiens during the 1983-84 NHL season. Allison boasts an impressive coaching resume, including 25 games as the head coach of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators during the 1995-96 season. He has also coached at the AHL, IHL, ECHL, OHL, SIJHL levels, and most recently served as the head coach of the USHL’s Des Moines Buccaneers from 2014-2018.
“It is with excitement and gratitude that I join the Fairbanks Ice Dogs organization,” Allison said. “Trevor and the staff have created a high standard that will continue with the quality, ability and character of the players we have in our locker room.”
Coach Allison makes his debut on the Ice Dogs bench Friday night when the Dogs host the Kenai River Brown Bears in Club 49 Cup play at the Big Dipper Ice Arena.