The Iowa Stars announced today that the American Hockey League (AHL) club has named Dave Allison as the team’s first head coach and Scott White as director of hockey operations. The announcement was made today at a press conference at Hy-Vee Hall in Des Moines by Dallas Stars general manager Doug Armstrong, who oversees all aspects of the team’s hockey operations as the primary development affiliate for Dallas.
Both Allison and White will be relocating to Des Moines and begin their new positions with the Iowa Stars immediately.
“We are very excited to have Dave and Scott as part of our inaugural team here with the Iowa Stars,” Armstrong said. “They will be heavily involved in the success of the team on the ice, developing our top prospects to one day play in the NHL. They both have a wealth of experience in coaching and developing hockey players and are a perfect fit for what we want to accomplish here with the Iowa Stars.”
Allison, 46, has over 15 seasons as a head coach on his resume, most of which has been spent at the developmental level of professional hockey. His efforts in helping launch the Iowa Stars will mark the fourth time he has been involved in starting a new franchise (also Albany in the IHL, 1990; Grand Rapids in the IHL, 1996; Fort Wayne in the UHL, 1999). Allison has twice taken teams from worst to first place in one season, including the 1994-95 Prince Edward Island Senators in the AHL.
He was named Coach of the Year in the ECHL in 1989-90 with Virginia, earning a record of 36-19-6. Allison helped Kingston (OHL) improve 45 points is his first year at the helm in 1992-93 (going from second-worst record to second-best in one season), with nine of his players drafted by the NHL and 17 total players going on to play pro hockey.
Every team that Allison has coached has developed players that have either played in the NHL or have recently been drafted in the NHL. Players of note that he has developed and coached include Pavol Demitra, Chris Gratton, Brett Lindros, Chad Kilger and Ville Peltonen, among others.
A veteran of 10 seasons as a defenseman in the pros, Allison spent much of his playing career with the development affiliates of three of the most successful organizations in hockey — the Montreal Canadiens, the Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs. He played parts of eight seasons in the American Hockey League, won the Turner Cup in 1987 with Muskegon (IHL) as a player assistant and served as captain for Halifax (AHL) in 1988-89. Allison also served as interim head coach for the NHL’s Ottawa Senators for 25 games in 1995-96.
Allison joins the Stars from the Borderland Thunder of the Superior International Junior Hockey League (SIJHL), where he was head coach for the past three seasons, cumulating an 87-44-11-6 record (.645). He led the Thunder to the SIJHL championship in 2002-03.
Having coached 942 regular season games over his career at the minor league and junior levels, Allison has an all-time record of 474-358-50-60 (.619).
White, 37, joins the Stars after four seasons with the Columbia Inferno of the ECHL, where he served as head coach. During his tenure with Columbia he was also responsible for all hockey operation activities including recruiting, scouting, trades and roster moves, among others. Prior to joining Columbia, White served as an assistant coach with the Greensboro Monarchs (ECHL) for a season and a half. Overall, he has over 10 years of coaching experience under his belt, including five seasons as an assistant coach for his alma mater, Michigan Tech University, from 1994-99.
A former defenseman, White played five years of professional hockey from 1989-94. He played three of those seasons with Greensboro, winning the 1990 ECHL Championship with the Monarchs and earning ECHL Defenseman of the Year and First-Team All-ECHL honors for the 1991-92 season. White signed with the NHL expansion Ottawa Senators in 1992 and played the entire season with the club’s developmental affiliate in New Haven, capturing team MVP honors after scoring 54 points (10 goals, 44 assists) in 80 games. He finished his professional career with 235 points (55 goals, 180 assists) in 190 regular season games and 40 points (8 goals, 32 assists) in 41 playoff games.