California product David garners USHL Coach of the Year honors
After coaching the Dubuque Fighting Saints to their second highest winning percentage in the Tier I era, Oliver David has been named the USHL Coach of the Year for the 2019-20 season.
David led the Fighting Saints to a 33-13-2 record and the team was just a few games away from clinching a third playoff berth in three seasons with the California native at the helm.
“Receiving this recognition supports some time-tested truisms, stuff I got to see and feel everyday this season,” said David. “Quite simply, we had difference makers behind the bench, in the locker room, and on the ice at every position. Our assistant coaches Evan Dixon and Justin Hale were tremendously supportive, helpful and competent, and most importantly, believed wholeheartedly in the work we did.
“Furthermore, the player leadership we had from Aidan Fulp, (Oceanside native) Kaelan Taylor, (Dublin native) Luke Robinson and Riese Gaber proved to me what an impact peer to peer learning and support can mean to a team. Coupled together, these positive contributions day to day from staff and our player-leaders cannot be overstated. It was the best I’ve seen in my decade-plus of coaching junior hockey.
“Thanks to those that saw something in our efforts worthy of voting for. By recognizing us with this award – without knowing it directly – this is what has been exposed.”
David is one of very few American coaches to have coached in three top junior leagues – the USHL, NAHL and WHL. He won a USA Hockey national championship as an assistant coach with the California Wave Bantam AAA team in 2006.
“I’m just so proud of ‘OD,’” said Dubuque GM Kalle Larsson. “Having him coach our team is a privilege, and there is no one better at developing players and young men than him.”
David set a career high in wins and winning percentage this year. Dubuque was top-five in most major categories and finished the season behind only the Chicago Steel in the USHL standings.
(June 1, 2020)