Nashville names Steve Howard as head coach
May 23, 2014
The new North American 3 Hockey League (NA3HL) club based out of Franklin, Tennessee has announced that former Flint Junior Generals head coach and reigning NA3HL Coach of the Year, Steve Howard, has been named the first head coach in the team’s history.
Howard led Flint to a 42-4-2 record this past season, which was second best in the NA3HL. The 42 wins was a franchise record and Flint won both the Eastern Division regular season and playoff titles. The Junior Generals advanced to the USA Hockey Tier III junior National Championships where the team posted a 2-1 record during the round-robin. He also moved four players up to the NAHL this year with three more signing NAHL tenders.
“I’m very excited about the opportunity in Nashville. The community has really grown to appreciate the game behind the success and hard work of the Nashville Predators and we hope to be an extension of that, exposing them to a entirely new level of hockey,” said Howard. “The club is under some great leadership with Tim McAllister and JP Dumont who are committed to making this new venture a success. I love the challenge of starting from scratch and going to a new spot, and I think that will be a vision that is shared by the type of players we are looking for to fill a roster. I think with the addition of the three new clubs in addition to the three that were a part of the NA3HL last season, the South Division is going to be a very exciting and competitive place to be.”
The yet-to-be-named Nashville team will play their home games out of the A-Game SportsPlex in Franklin, Tennessee, a suburb of Nashville. The team is owned and operated by MDG Management, LLC of Franklin, Tennessee. Owners of MDG Management, LLC are Tim McAllister, JP Dumont and Brad Guzda. Dumont is a retired NHL player with over 800 career NHL games to his credit with the Chicago Blackhawks, Buffalo Sabres and Nashville Predators. Dumont left the Predators franchise in 2011 5th in all-time scoring with 267 points in 388 games.
“I was really impressed with Steve’s passion for the game and for the league. He brings a track record of experience and success to the organization, he understands how to recruit and we feel confident that he can do some great things here in Nashville with our club,” said Dumont. “This is an exciting new venture for all of us who have been in Nashville and watch the sport grow. It will be a team and a level that our youth hockey players can look up and aspire to and I think people will be excited to see a level of hockey they haven’t seen before.”
The South Division, which featured the Dallas Jr. Stars, Sugar Land Imperials and Topeka Capitals in the 2013-14 season, will see the addition of three new teams in 2014-15: the Nashville NA3HL Hockey Club (A-Game SportsPlex, Franklin, Tennessee), the Point Mallard Ducks (Point Mallard Ice Complex, Decatur, Alabama) and the Texas Brahmas (NYTEX Sports Centre, North Richland Hills, Texas).