One day after tying the USHL all-time coaching wins mark, Waterloo Black Hawks head coach P.K. O’Handley led his team to another victory on Saturday to now stand alone with the most wins in USHL history. The 530th win of his career in the League came in a 2-1 triumph against Team USA, led by goaltender Cam Johnson who made 46 saves in his debut with the Black Hawks.
O’Handley had moved into a tie for first place on the USHL all-time coaching wins list with Mike Hastings (Omaha Lancers, 1994-2008) when his team defeated the Youngstown Phantoms on Friday, but then set the new mark on Saturday as the Black Hawks extended their win streak to 11 games. It is the longest win streak in the USHL since the 2009-10 season (Green Bay Gamblers, 15) and one shy of the team record established during the 2002-03 campaign, O’Handley’s first with the Black Hawks.
O’Handley has led the Black Hawks to a 27-5-1 record this season, his 12th year in Waterloo and 19th overall in the USHL. Waterloo has earned a point in the standings for 17 straight games (16-0-1) and currently has the most victories in the League.
During his USHL career, O’Handley has accumulated a 530-441-74 record. He first stepped behind the bench in the League for the North Iowa Huskies during the 1991-92 season and guided them to 140 victories over seven seasons, including a team record 36 wins during the 1997-98 campaign.
Since arriving to Waterloo in 2002, O’Handley’s teams have won 390 games. He is three victories shy of having his ninth season of at least 30 wins with the Black Hawks. He has led the organization to a pair of championships, winning the Clark Cup in 2004 and the Anderson Cup title during the 2006-07 season when the club won a record 39 games. The Black Hawks again equaled the 39-win mark last season. O’Handley has been named USHL Coach of the Year on two occasions (2006-07, 2002-03) and twice earned USHL General Manager of the Year honors (2011-12, 2002-03).
In addition to piling up victories, O’Handley has developed hundreds of players that have gone on to NCAA Division I hockey. He has coached two of the last three MVP’s of the NCAA Frozen Four – Parker Milner (Boston College, 2012) and J.T. Brown (University of Minnesota-Duluth, 2011) – and the National Champion in each of the last four years has included at least one of his former players.
A number of his players have been selected in the NHL Draft, including five in during the USHL’s record-setting 2013 NHL Draft – Ian McCoshen (Florida Panthers), Eamon McAdam (New York Islanders), Taylor Cammarata (New York Islanders), Cal Petersen (Buffalo Sabres), and Jake Jackson (San Jose Sharks). This season alone, six of his former players have suited up in the NHL – Joe Pavelski (San Jose Sharks), Craig Smith (Nashville Predators), J.T Brown (Tampa Bay Lightning), Eriah Hayes (San Jose Sharks), Chad Billins (Calgary Flames), and Patrick Wey (Washington Capitals).
O’Handley has also guided several players that have gone on to coaching careers. His current staff includes two former pupils – Associate Head Coach Shane Fukushima (North Iowa Huskies, 1995-98) and Assistant Coach Scott Pavelski (Waterloo Black Hawks, 2007-09).
He has also had success on the international stage and served in multiple coaching roles for USA Hockey. He most recently led the Waterloo Black Hawks to a silver medal at the 2012 Junior Club World Cup, and led a team of USHL players to a gold medal at the 2010 World Junior A Challenge.
O’Handley is the only coach in USHL history to coach 1,000 games, reaching that milestone on March 9th, 2013. He earned his 500th win in the League on April 6th, 2013, becoming just one of four coaches to reach that plateau – Mike Hastings (529), Dave Siciliano (522), and Bob Ferguson (517). The next closest USHL coach to the 500-win mark is Mark Carlson of the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders who currently has 477 regular season victories.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)