Danny Stewart appointed Blaze Head Coach
Genting Casino Coventry Blaze are pleased to announce the appointment of Danny Stewart as the clubs Head Coach ahead of the 2016/17 Elite League season.
The 37-year-old Canadian previously spent four seasons with Coventry between 2006 and 2010 winning the Elite League Championship on three occasions, including back-to-back successes whilst also adding a Challenge Cup and Knock-Out Cup.
Prior to moving to the UK, the Fort McMurray native spent his college years at Miami University in the NCAA (1999-2003) before turning professional with the Fort Wayne Komets in the UHL where he would stay for two full seasons before being drafted to the Danbury Trashers in 2005.
As the Trashers disbanded in 2006, Stewart made the move to Coventry where after enjoying four years of significant success he accepted the role to become player/coach of the now defunct Newcastle Vipers. During his year in the North East, Stewart guided his team to the Challenge Cup Semi-Finals and was named Elite League Coach of the Year despite the off-ice struggles of the organisation. He then headed further North, this time to the Fife Flyers where for five seasons in the position of player/assistant and then associate coach he helped establish the Scottish side as a recognised force in the Elite League.
To end the most recent season, Stewart announced his retirement from playing duties after helping Fife to their second Play Off finals weekend appearance in three seasons. The feisty forward ended his playing career with over 800 professional games on his CV, more than 150 goals, 500 points and well over 1,500 penalty minutes. He also holds the record for most appearances in Elite League competitions by an import.
On his appointment as Blaze Head Coach, Stewart said: "It means a lot to come back, I have a lot of good memories here in Coventry, but saying that it is a new era. I have wanted a head coaching job for a while and the offers I've had over recent years haven't been the right fit for me. This is a great fit for me and I am really excited about the opportunity."
Blaze Director of Hockey Operations James Pease said: “This is an exciting opportunity for us to bring Danny back to the club where he had so much success. I think Danny understands the DNA of the Blaze and I think he understands better than most the challenges that he will face here and the kind of team we need to build to have success. He was one of the most hard working players I have ever shared a locker room with and I have no doubt that he will take that into his coaching career. It is his second chance as a head coach, and I am sure his experience in Fife as associate coach over the last five years will be crucial to him doing well here. It was important for us that after Chuck that we appointed somebody who would be able to hit the ground running and Danny will do that.”