Orlando, Fla. – The Orlando Solar Bears announced that former Solar Bears defenseman Vince Williams has been named the team’s new head coach.
"I am extremely proud to join the Orlando Solar Bears organization. This is a first class organization that is committed to winning and developing its players," said Williams.
"We are committed to giving Williams the resources he needs to make the Solar Bears a Kelly Cup contender," said Joe Haleski, Managing Partner and Chairman of the Solar Bears.
Williams played eight seasons and 461 games in the ECHL and was recalled in 2000-01 from Trenton to Orlando (IHL) where he was a member of the Solar Bears Turner Cup Championship team. Williams was also a member of the 2004-05 Kelly Cup Championship team in Trenton where he played for Mike Haviland (Head Coach, Hershey Bears). He served as captain for Trenton during the 2003-04 and 2005-06 seasons and was inducted into the team’s Hall of Fame.
After retiring in 2006, Williams began his coaching career in Trenton serving five seasons as an assistant for the Trenton Devils and two seasons as head coach of the Titans. As an assistant coach, he studied under the guidance of Rick Kowalsky (Head Coach, Albany Devils) and Kevin Dean (Assistant Coach, Providence Bruins). In 2011-12, 18 of his players went on to play in the AHL and in 2012-13, 23 players moved on to the AHL and two players graduated to the NHL (Jason Akeson and Matt Konan). Last year, Williams’ team finished the season winning 12 of their last 18 games.
"Vince is an individual we have watched over the years as he transitioned from player to coach," said Jason Siegel, CEO and Managing Partner of the Solar Bears. "His teams have always been disciplined and well-prepared. He is an experienced recruiter and has worked closely in developing his coaching skills with two premier NHL organizations – the New Jersey Devils and the Philadelphia Flyers and was highly recommended by both."