Dave's first coaching experience came in Columbia while attending Mizzou where he worked at the Ice Chalet. The rink manager, Barry Roufa, asked him to coach a Pee Wee team in the fledgling Columbia Hockey Association for the 1975-76 season. That was the beginning of his nearly forty-years of coaching. Upon his return to St. Louis, Frank Ferrara recruited him to coach in the Webster Groves Hockey Association. Between 1977 and 1982 he worked with Peewee, Bantam, and Midget teams.
Dave began his long association with the Webster Groves Skatesmen High School program during the 1982-83 season when he ran their first JV team. The next year he was named head coach of the Varsity team and has served in that capacity ever since. Under his guidance, the Skatesmen have won eight division titles, reached the finalâ€“four 13 times, and made two appearances in the state championship game. Dave is extremely proud of the reputation the Webster program has established for consistently producing teams that compete hard and over-achieve.
Dave resumed coaching with the Webster Groves Hockey Association in 1993, taking over their Bantam AA team. The following year he coached their midget team. That team reached the Central District Regional's, the first W.G.H.A. team to ever achieve that level of success. Dave later partnered with Jack Behan to coach the Webster squirts for two of his favorite seasons.
Dave has coached Pee Wee teams, along with his high school team since the 2003-04 season. In one of the most memorable games of his coaching career, Dave's Rockets AA team defeated the Chesterfield Central States' team in a six- overtime game. It was the first time a local association team had beaten the Central States representative to advance to Regional's. That team eventually finished third at Nationals. Dave has led two more Affton Central States teams to Nationals. His 97's won a national championship in 2010 and his 99's were runner-up's in 2012.
In 1995 Dave served as a Central District Coach at the USA Hockey Select 15 National Festival in St Cloud, MN. He was a member of the Mid-States Chicago Showcase Coaching staff on five different occasions. Along with Jack Behan, he coached six different Missouri Storm teams. The Storm was a select program sponsored by Missouri Hockey for Pee Wee age players to compete in Summer AAA tournaments in Canada. Between 2002 and 2007 their teams represented St. Louis hockey in Halifax, Sarnia, Whistler, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Montreal. Other hockey involvement includes serving many years on the Mid-States rules, seeding, and scheduling committees.
Dave is proud of the personal growth he sees year after year in his former players. He enjoys watching them transfer many of the strengths and qualities they developed on the ice to their careers and families. Dave believes that is the true importance in coaching. He is especially grateful to all the help he has received over the years from his assistant coaches and coordinators. Without their hard work and dedication he knows his teams would have had far less success. Finally, Dave wants to thank all the wonderful hockey families who have opened their hearts and lives to him over the years.