Behind the ECHL Benches – Dan Watson, Toledo Walleye

Dan Watson was named the third head coach in Toledo Walleye history on June 29, 2016, replacing Derek Lalonde, who stepped down after two seasons in Toledo to take the head coaching job with the American Hockey League’s Iowa Wild.


In his first season, Watson led Toledo to its third straight division title, its second Brabham Cup title in the last three seasons and served as the head coach for the ECHL All-Stars at the 2017 CCM/ECHL All-Star Classic. He also received the John Brophy Award as ECHL Coach of the Year.


Prior to taking over as head coach, Watson spent the previous seven seasons as assistant coach and associate head coach for Toledo. Over that time, Watson helped guide the Walleye to four playoff appearances (2010, 2013, 2015, 2016), a Brabham Cup championship (2014-15) and the best Eastern Conference regular season record in back-to-back seasons (2014-15 and 2015-16). He also served 21 games as interim head coach to close out the 2013-14 season, finishing with a 5-13-3 record.


Watson played three seasons with the Sarnia Sting of the Ontario Hockey League, being named the 1998-99 Scholastic Player of the Year at Sarnia and the 1999-00 Defensive Player of the Year, and playing in the 1998-99 OHL All-Star Game. Following his junior career, Watson played seven professional seasons in the AHL, UHL, and ECHL, with 447 games played, 89 points (23g-66a) and 394 penalty minutes. He was captain of Long Beach of the ECHL from 2004-06.



Coaching Record   Reg. Season     Playoffs   
Season Team  Gms. W L T  Gms. W L
2013-14 Toledo Walleye (ECHL)  21513 3 
2016-17Toledo Walleye (ECHL)72511741798
 ECHL Totals  9356307 1798