Dave King had a distinguished career in hockey as a coach, administrator and mentor for more than 40 years. He developed a reputation as one of hockey’s outstanding tacticians and teachers at the domestic and international level. He coached Canada's Junior team to World Championship gold in 1982 and bronze in 1983 and was an Assistant Coach, then Head Coach, and General Manager of the National Team from 1983 to 1992. He coached Team Canada at the Olympic Games in 1984, 1988, 1992, and was an Assistant Coach in 2018.
Throughout his career, Dave had been on the coaching staff of four NHL teams. He was the Calgary Flames Head Coach from 1992 to 1995 and an Assistant Coach with the Montreal Canadiens from 1998 to 2000. He was also the Head Coach of the Columbus Blue Jackets from 2000 to 2002 and coached the Phoenix Coyotes from 2009 to 2011.
Dave made a lasting impact on hockey in Alberta and Canada. He was very involved in the delivery of the Program of Excellence through Hockey Alberta where he offered on-ice coaching, rich curriculum content, great presentations, and mentorship. He changed the way the game was taught and played through his work with the National Coaches Certification Program, by conducting seminars and clinics, and by mentoring coaches along the way.
He was one of the first to embrace discipline specific experts (physiology, strength and conditioning, sport psychology, nutrition, medical services) and embed these experts into the daily training environment. He was not afraid to seek the expertise of others that could assist the advancement and development of the players.
Dave was born in Saskatchewan and started his coaching career as Assistant Coach with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies during the 1972/73 season. He then went on to coach several Junior A and B hockey teams. In 1976/77, Dave became an Assistant Coach with the Saskatoon Blades of the Western Hockey League. He became the Head Coach of the WHL’s Billings Bighorns for two seasons from 1978/79 and 1979/80. In his first season with the team, he led the team to the WHL final and was named the 1978 WHL Coach of the Year. Dave returned to the University of Saskatchewan as the Huskies Head Coach for the 1979/80 season. He was named the University’s Coach of the Year four times, from 1979 through 1982. He was also inducted into their Athletic Hall of Fame as a Builder in 1994 and into the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
In the early 1980s, he began his long association with Hockey Canada where he coached the National Team at five International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships. At the Olympic Games, he coached his teams to two fourth place finishes and a silver Medal in 1992. Dave was an Assistant Coach with Canada's 2018 Olympic bronze medal men's team.
Tom Rennney, President and CEO of Hockey Canada remarked:
"Mr. King, through the development of athletes, his education of coaches, and the building of a high-performance organization in Canada, has distinguished himself as the individual most responsible for getting Canada back to its lofty reputation as the pre-eminent hockey power in the world."
Dave helped develop the game abroad through coaching in the Russian Super League, German League and the Swedish Elite League. He was the Head Coach of the Japanese National team from 1996 to 1998 and further coached the team at the 1998 Olympic Games.
Dave King was named the Western Hockey League Coach of the Year in 1978 and the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union Coach of the Year in 1980. He was the Coaching Association of Canada Coach of the Year and a recipient of the Order of Canada in 1992. Dave was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Canadian Hockey Award from Hockey Canada in 1996. In 2001, he was inducted into the IIHF Hall of Fame and in 2013 was a recipient of the Order of Hockey Canada.