Behind the ECHL Benches – Steve Martinson

Steve Martinson joined the Allen Americans in 2012-13 as head coach and general manager, and has led the Amercians to three straight titles, capturing Central Hockey League championships in 2013 and 2014 before winning the Kelly Cup title in 2015 with a seven-game victory over South Carolina. Prior to Allen, Martinson coached the Chicago Express in their only season in the ECHL in 2011-12.

A native of Minnetonka, Minn., he played professionally for 12 years spanning from 1981-96, at several different levels. Martinson played in 50 games in the National Hockey League, for parts of four seasons with the Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens and Minnesota North Stars.

Martinson began his coaching career in 1996 with the San Diego Gulls of the WCHL, where he coached for nine seasons and over 600 games, winning five championships. During his ECHL expansion season in 2003-04 with San Diego, his club set an ECHL record for most points by an expansion team with 100 points. Following San Diego, he spent three seasons in Rockford of the UHL, where he won a championship with the IceHogs in 2006-07. In his 19 years of coaching, Martinson has failed to reach the postseason only once. He won his first championship in the Central Hockey League in 2012-13 as Allen defeated Wichita in seven games. He won his 800th game against the Rapid City Rush on March 14, 2014.

Martinson was a tough, gritty player during his playing days, racking up more than 3,000 penalty minutes over his 14-year career. He holds the single season American Hockey League mark for most major penalties in a season with 49, in 1985-86. Off the ice, Martinson earned his Business Management degree in 1981, from St Cloud State University. Martinson and his wife, Michelle, reside in Illinois in the offseason along with their two children, Logan and Lily.

Coaching Record   Reg. Season    Playoffs  
SeasonTeam GmsWLT GmsWL
1995-96San Diego (WCHL) 584972 963
1996-97San Diego (WCHL) 6450122 871
1997-98San Diego (WCHL) 6453101 13112
1998-99San Diego (WCHL) 7145197 1275
1999-00San Diego (WCHL) 7046166 945
2000-01San Diego (WCHL) 7250175 13103
2001-02San Diego (WCHL) 7247223 743
2002-03San Diego (WCHL) 7245227 1284
2003-04San Diego Gulls (ECHL) 72491310 303
2004-05Rockford (UHL) 8046259 1176
2005-06Rockford (UHL) 7648199 945
2006-07Rockford (UHL) 7648217 17125
2007-08Elmira Jackals (ECHL) 7241247 624
2008-09Elmira Jackals (ECHL) 7239267 1147
2009-10Elmira Jackals (ECHL) 7237269 523
2011-12Chicago Express (ECHL)
2012-13Allen (CHL) 6639189 19127
2013-14Allen (CHL) 6639225 17125
2014-15Allen Americans (ECHL) 72481410 25169
 ECHL Totals 43224812955 502426