|Posted : : 10/18/2005
ACES COACH EXTENDS AGAIN
Davis Payne will coach Alaska through 2007-08
Alaska Aces Press Release
Anchorage, AK - For the second time in as many seasons, the Alaska Aces have given head coach Davis Payne an extension on his original contract, tacking on an additional two years through the 2007-08 campaign. Per club policy, specific terms of the contract were not released.
Payne, who turned 35 last month, was hired in May of 2003 and signed to a two-year contract. He led the Aces to a stunning turnaround in 2003-04, when a 35-point improvement during the regular season (21-46-5 to 38-28-6) was capped off by Alaska's first playoff series win in five years, as the Aces swept the team who finished with the best record in the ECHL, San Diego, in the first round before bowing to the eventual Kelly Cup champion Idaho Steelheads.
Last season, Alaska jumped another 16 points in the standings, finishing with its best record in 10 years as a professional team (45-19-8) and claiming its first ever division title. The Aces again fell to the eventual Kelly Cup winners, this time in the conference finals, where the Trenton Titans prevailed in a decisive Game Seven in Anchorage.
Payne played 22 games for the Boston Bruins to highlight an eight-year pro career in which he never failed to score at least 15 goals in any season. His success last season pushed him over the .600 mark (187-114-31) during the regular season as a head coach and over .500 (25-23) in the postseason. Payne has never lost a first round playoff series and only one of his five playoff losses have come against a club that failed to reach the Kelly Cup Finals.
"This move makes sense, both professionally and personally," said Payne, who lives year-round in south Anchorage with his wife and two daughters. "I have been treated very well by the organization and my family and I consider Alaska our home."
Payne and the defending West Division champion Aces open up the 2005-06 regular season with six straight home games, beginning Friday at 7:15 p.m. against the San Diego Gulls. KFQD 750 AM will broadcast all Alaska Aces games, with the live feed also available at alaskaaces.com. For season ticket information, please call 258-ACES.