(Buffalo, NY) – The Ontario Junior Hockey League today announced that Jack Williams of the Buffalo Jr. Sabres has been named the 2012-13 recipient of the OJHL Trainer-of-the-Year Award. The OJHL Trainer-of-the-Year Award is awarded to the trainer, therapist or equipment manager that is judged to be the best at his profession for his/her member club throughout the course of the regular season, while past experience and time served will be taken into consideration.
Williams has been the Equipment Manager for the Jr. Sabres franchise and involved with Buffalo area amateur hockey for the past 29 years. After spending time with his son’s youth hockey teams in Buffalo and West Seneca, he joined Kris Hicks as the latter helped acquire the original Jr. Sabres franchise, which then became the Niagara Scenics. During his tenure, Williams saw the club change its name from Scenics to Buffalo Lightning and then to the Buffalo Jr. Sabres. He watched them play in four different leagues, the NAHL, the Eastern Junior Hockey League (EJHL), the Metro Junior ‘A’ Hockey League and finally the OJHL. He has also mentored numerous future NHL players along the way, including current stars Ryan Callahan (New York Rangers), Brian Gionta (Montreal Canadiens) and Lee Stempniak (Calgary Flames).
A fixture on the Junior ‘A’ hockey scene in Buffalo, Williams is typically the first person to arrive at the rink each day and almost always the last one to leave. A tireless worker, his dedication to the game and to his franchise are appreciated by all who cross his path, and for the hundreds of players that have come through the organization throughout the years, he has, and continues to make junior hockey a memorable and positive experience.
Born on August 14 1936 in Buffalo, New York, Jack Williams served full-time in the United States Army for more than 35 years from December of 1959 to August of 1996. He would remain stationed at home for the duration of his career and served in various battalions including artillery, guided missiles, combat engineering and signals. Following his retirement, Williams also served six years in the National Guard. The dedicated family man has been married to Lorraine for 50 years and has four sons (John Jr., Anthony, Dennis and Thomas), as well as eight grandchildren.
Williams becomes the second member of the Jr. Sabres organization this week to earn a postseason honor by the OJHL. On Monday, the league named Jr. Sabres head coach and general manager Michael Peca the 2013 OJHL Executive of the Year.
Photo: Jack Williams (left) assists a Jr. Sabres player in a recent game. Williams, now in his 29th season with the Jr. Sabres franchise, was named the OJHL’s Trainer of the Year. Photo by Tim Bates, OJHL Images.