Walleye head coach Dan Watson was honored Tuesday with the John Brophy Award as the ECHL's Coach of the Year.
In only his first season, Watson led Toledo to a record 51 wins on the way to capturing the Brabham Cup Championship.
“To be recognized for this honor is very humbling,” said Watson. “The ECHL is full of many coaches worthy of this, and to be chosen from that group is special."
Watson helped lead the Walleye to become the first team in ECHL history to lead the league in goals, goals allowed, power play percentage and penalty kill percentage.
But Watson is the first to give the credit to the team he proudly coaches.
"This really is a team award and the accomplishments that we reached because of the players executing the game plans on the ice," Watson said. I give a ton of credit to my staff especially assistant coach Andy Delmore for all of the hard work that they put in over the course of the year.”
This is not the first honor given to Watson this year. Earlier in the season, Watson became the first Walleye coach to be named coach for the ECHL All-Star game, where he lead the team to a 8-7 win over Adirondack.
“We are extremely pleased and happy for this honor in Dan being recognized as ECHL Coach of the Year,” said Walleye general manager Neil Neukam. “For all his hard work day in and day out, his commitment to his team, the community and the entire Walleye organization, we couldn’t be more proud!”
Watson has been with the Walleye as a coach since the 2009-2010 season, where he has been a part of four playoff appearances. He also played profession hockey in the Glass City with the Toledo Storm in 2006-2007.
Watson joins Derek Lalonde, Nick Vitucci, and Claude Noel as the only Toledo coaches in ECHL history to win the John Brophy Award.