ECHL Coaches Profiles
John Olver
Idaho Steelheads

This is the 19th in a series of biographies on the 28 men behind the benches of the ECHL in 2004-05.

Wednesday: Dave Farrish of Pensacola

The ECHL recently asked each of its 28 coaches a series of six questions.

Here are the answers given by John Olver, head coach of the Kelly Cup Champion Idaho Steelheads

Best player you have coached?

Mike Recchi and Stu Barnes

Best player who you played with during your career?

Ryan Walter (played together several years in youth hockey)

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?

National Hockey League Commission

Who is the person you admire most?


Your ideal golf foursome would have?

Mike Weir, Donald Trump and Bill Murray

Named head coach and vice president of hockey operations in May 2000, John Olver led Idaho to the Kelly Cup Championship in the Steelheads inaugural ECHL season in 2003-04. After finishing 40-23-9 in the regular season and trailing Las Vegas two games to none in the Pacific Division Semifinals, Idaho won 13 of its next 16 games to win the title, finishing 13-5 in the postseason. Idaho won back-to-back regular season championships in the West Coast Hockey League and set team records with 52 wins and 108 points in 2002-03. Olver was named Co-Coach of the Year in 2001-02 marking the fourth time he was received Coach of the Year honors in the WCHL. Olver joined the Steelheads after three seasons as general manager and head coach of the Tacoma where he led the Sabercats to a 134-47-20 record. Tacoma advanced to the WCHL Finals each of Olver’s three seasons and in 1999 won the WCHL title. Olver was selected as co-coach of the WCHL All-Star Team in 1999 and 2000. Prior to joining Tacoma, Olver was general manager of the Fresno Falcons of the WCHL for two seasons. Selected in the eighth round (125th overall) by the Colorado Rockies in the 1978 National Hockey League Amateur Draft, Olver elected to forego his playing career to concentrate on coaching. Olver and his wife, Diana, have three children, Darin, Mark and Breanne. Darin Olver was selected in the second round (36th overall) by the New York Rangers in the 2004 National Hockey League Entry Draft after scoring 32 points (13g-19a) in 41 games in his first collegiate season with Northern Michigan University in 2003-04.