UAA hockey hires former Fairbanks Ice Dogs bench boss Trevor Stewart as associate head coach

KYES News at 6
Published: Jan. 13, 2022 at 2:27 PM AKST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2022 at 2:32 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - University of Alaska Anchorage head hockey coach Matt Shasby announced Thursday that he has tapped Fairbanks’ Trevor Stewart to become the associate head coach of the Seawolves for their 2022-23 return to the ice.

“My list was one and it was Trevor Stewart from day one,” Shasby said. “When I got the job he was the first name that popped into my mind and it was a lot of recruiting on my behalf and then hoping and wishing that he would like to participate in the relaunch of this program because I know he is somebody that has recruited to Alaska before and again he knows how to build winning cultures and winning hockey programs and he was target number one from day one.”

Stewart had been the head coach of the Fairbanks Ice Dogs until Monday when he announced his resignation.

“There is a tremendous amount of pride in Alaska hockey and that’s what coach Shasby is very excited about moving forward, but hopefully maintain and keep the best young players in Alaska to stay in state and play college hockey,” Stewart said.

After over 10 seasons as the head coach of Alaska’s top junior hockey program, Stewart collected over 400 wins, and captured two Robertson Cup Championships as the North American Hockey League’s best team in 2014 and 2016. Stewart was named NAHL Coach of the Year for the 2013-14 and 2017-18 seasons with the Ice Dogs. Stewart is originally from Elk River, Minnesota.

“Just Coach Shasby’s enthusiasm, and he wants the program to go in the right direction,” Stewart said about what intrigued him to join UAA. “He’s certainly done so thus far in the things that he has done and the work ethic that he has shown, so I was attracted to that, and then just the endless possibilities of where Seawolf hockey can go and just the opportunity to be able to coach Division I hockey in the great state of Alaska.”

During his tenure in junior hockey, Stewart assisted more than 50 players in their commitments to NCAA Division I programs including Shasby’s son Camden (Western Michigan University) and former Dogs turned Wolves Tanner Schachle and Aaron McPheters.

Shasby, named head coach of the recently revived Seawolves in October, has now added two coaches to his staff, confirmed a number of games for next season’s schedule, as well as nearly a half dozen players have officially signed to the roster and many others have verbally committed.

“He will be able to take on more of the responsibility of more head coaching, sharing in the I would say systematic, team systematic, team building, team operating side of things. Him having that history of being a head coach for 10 years at the junior level is something that I am going to lean on heavily myself, with having limited experience at this level” Shasby said.

In Fairbanks, the Ice Dogs have appointed former professional player Dave Allison, 62, to take over the NAHL’s Midwest Division-leaders midway through the season.

“It’s with great excitement and gratitude that they’ve allowed me to join this,” Allison said.

Allison is coming out of retirement after previously coaching in the United States Hockey League, the East Coast Hockey League, and for a span of 25 games during the 1996-96 NHL season Allison was the head coach of the Ottawa Senators.

The Seawolves will continue to fill out the roster and finalize the schedule in an effort to return to action next winter after a pandemic pause in 2020-21 and reinstatement in 2021-22.

“Finishing the schedule for 2022-23 — which we are only a game away after today, we actually just locked in two huge games next year that we are extremely excited about — and then it’s the focus now is going to be about the facility and working on getting the Sullivan Arena back up and running hopefully next fall and if not what is plan B from there, but it is also working on the potential new facility on campus,” Shasby said.

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