This is the 11th in a series of biographies on the 28 men behind the benches of the ECHL in 2004-05.
Tuesday: Martin St. Amour of San Diego
The ECHL recently asked each of its 28 coaches a series of six questions.
Here are the answers given by Reading’s Derek Clancey.
Best player you have coached?
Best player who you played with during your career?
What is the toughest ECHL rink for a visiting team?
Toledo Sports Arena
If you weren’t a hockey coach, what profession would you like to try?
Who is the person you admire most?
My family, who has helped me deal with the ups and downs of both my life and my career
Your ideal golf foursome would have?
Wayne Gretzky, Jack Nicklaus, Scotty Bowman
Hired as head coach on August 8, 2003, Derek Clancey is the first coach in the team’s three-year history in Reading to return for a second season. In Clancey’s first season, the Royals finished 37-25-10 and qualified for the Kelly Cup Playoffs for the first time. Reading came within one goal of advancing to the Kelly Cup Finals, losing 3-2 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals to Florida. The fifth seed in the Northern Division, the Royals beat Johnstown in the Wild Card Game and then upset Wheeling, which finished atop the Eastern Conference with 106 points, in five games in the Northern Division Semifinals. Reading won the Northern Division in four games against Peoria to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals. Clancey played for Columbus (Ohio), the ECHL membership that moved to Reading in 2001-02, from 1993-97 and he continues to hold several individual records for the Chill/Royals. The 35-year-old Clancey was head coach and director of hockey operations for Jackson (Mississippi) of the ECHL from 1999 until the team ceased operations in 2003. Clancey was the most successful coach in team history with a 143-111-32 record in the regular season and three straight appearances in the Kelly Cup Playoffs. In the 2002 Kelly Cup Playoffs, Jackson beat Louisiana in the Southwest Division Semifinals in the third-largest postseason upset in league history. Jackson went 15-2-3 in its final 21 games in 2000-01, setting team records with 39 wins and 87 points, to qualify for the postseason after missing the playoffs by one point in 1999-2000. Prior to stepping behind the Jackson bench, Clancey was a player/assistant coach with Chesapeake in the ECHL and led the team in scoring each of his two seasons, including a team record 77 assists and 105 points in 1998-99. He retired at the end of 1998-99 as the ECHL career assist leader and currently ranks sixth with 367 career assists.