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Hockey 101
Davis Payne - Head Coach/President of Hockey Operations
Born: 09/24/1970 - Kamloops, British Columbia

Player Pic Notes
The Alaska Aces hired Davis Payne as head coach May 28, 2003, after he spent two and a half seasons as head coach of the Pee Dee Pride. Davis led Alaska to its first division title in its 10-year history as a pro club in 2005, racking up a club-record 98 points in the process to finish second overall in the 28-team ECHL as West Division and National Conference champions. In the playoffs, Alaska rolled over Bakersfield in a decisive Game 5 in the opening round, then swept Long Beach in three straight games to advance to the conference finals, before losing Game 7 to eventual Kelly Cup titleist Trenton, the second straight year that the Aces had fallen to the eventual league champion.

In 2003-04, Payne guided the Aces into first place in their division for the first time since March of 1999, an accomplishment that resulted in his being named one of the two Western Conference coaches for the 2004 ECHL All-Star Game in Peoria, Ill., and led the Aces to their first winning season since 1998-99, reversing a trend of three straight last-place finishes in the process. Payne became the first Alaska coach to win a playoff series since 1999 when he guided the Aces to a first round sweep of San Diego. He also is the first coach to send a current Ace to the next level, having helped five players reach the American Hockey League directly from Anchorage.

Davis won at least 40 games in each of his two full years in Pee Dee and guided the Southern Conference to a 7-6 win at the 2002 ECHL All-Star Game in Trenton, N.J. His 2003 club scored a first round playoff victory over 2001 Kelly Cup champion South Carolina before bowing to eventual ECHL finalist Columbia in the second round. He has never lost a first round series in five postseason appearances, and three times has guided his club to victory under the pressure of a fifth and deciding game.

Payne was drafted in the seventh round by the Edmonton Oilers in 1989 after completing his freshman campaign at Michigan Tech. He scored 26 goals during his sophomore and junior seasons before injuries hampered his senior year of 1992. A 6-1, 190-pound winger, Payne averaged 20 goals per season over three years in the ECHL with Greensboro and led the Monarchs to the 1995 Kelly Cup Finals with two game-winning goals in OT.

A year later, he found himself in the NHL, playing for the parent club Boston. In 22 games with the Bruins over two seasons, Payne recorded one assist and 14 penalty minutes. He played one year in the now-defunct IHL and two more in the ECHL for the Greenville Grrrowl before retiring in 2000 at the age of 29. A model of consistency as a player, Payne never failed to score at least 15 goals in any of his eight pro seasons. He graduated in 1992 from Michigan Tech, a program rich with tradition in the powerful WCHA.

Davis and his wife, Jane, live in Anchorage with their daughters, Allison and Lydia.
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Season Team League W L OT PCT Notes
2000-01 Pee Dee Pride ECHL 23 16 5 .580
2001-02 Pee Dee Pride ECHL 41 25 6 .611 2002 ECHL All-Star Coach
2002-03 Pee Dee Pride ECHL 40 26 6 .597
2003-04 Alaska ECHL 38 28 6 .569 2004 ECHL All-Star Coach
2004-05 Alaska ECHL 45 19 8 .681 West Division Champions
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