Head Coaches

The Senators have a rich line of storied head coaches within the 20 years of the modern era Senators.

These head coaches helped guide the Senators to 12 playoff appearances. Among these coaches is a Jack Adams award winner and an NHL icon with 1000 games behind the bench.


Rick BownessRick Bowness1992-1995

Bowness was named the first Head Coach of the Ottawa Senators on June 15, 1992. In three and a half seasons with the expansion franchise, Bowness finished with a record of 39-178-18. Despite the tough times, Bowness was highly regarded for his positive style and was credited for the development of many of the Senators' young stars. Bowness remained behind the Senators' bench until November 20, 1995, becoming only the second coach in NHL history to head an expansion team through its first three seasons.

Dave AllisonDave Allison1995-1996

Allison was hired by the Ottawa Senators organization in 1994 as head coach of their farm team, the Prince Edward Island Senators of the AHL. In 1994–95 he guided them to a 41–31–8 record. Allison began the 1995–96 season with PEI, leading them to a 10–11–2 record through 23 games. Allison was brought in to coach Ottawa in late 1995.

Jacques MartinJacques Martin1996-2004

Jacques Martin coached the Ottawa Senators for 9 seasons, at the time making him second only to Carolina's Paul Maurice as the NHL's longest-serving head coach. In 2002-03, Martin led the Senators to their best season in franchise history.

Under Martin's guidance, the Senators captured their first Presidents' Trophy, third Northeast Division title and reached the conference finals for the first time in team history. Martin was also nominated for the Jack Adams Trophy as NHL Coach of the Year for the fourth time. He won the award in 1998-99 and was also nominated in 1996-97 and 2000-01.

Martin also served as head coach of the Eastern Conference at the 2003 NHL All-Star Game in Florida. He had previously served as head coach of the World Team at the 2001 All-Star Game in Denver.

On November 8, 2000, Martin was named one of the associate coaches for Team Canada's men's hockey team that won gold at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

Martin also established and continues to fund the Jacques Martin Hockey School, which has earned the reputation of being one of the finest bilingual hockey schools in Ontario and Quebec.

Roger NeilsonRoger Neilson2001-2002

After being diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a form of Cancer, on December 9, 1999, Neilson valiantly continued coaching between treatments before succumbing to the disease on June 21, 2003. During his courageous fight, he established the Roger Neilson Forever Hockey Fund to help bring children and hockey and fun together.

Neilson received hockey's highest honour when he was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on June 19, 2002. The 18-member Hall of Fame selection committee selected Neilson for membership in the builders category.

At the conclusion of the 2001-02 season, Neilson became just the ninth coach in NHL history to reach the 1,000-games-coached plateau and the first to act as head coach for eight different teams when Jacques Martin stepped aside for the season's final two games, allowing Roger to reach the historic mark. He has a 460-381-159 all-time record in 1,000 career games.

Bryan MurrayBryan Murray2005-2008 & 2011

Bryan Murray was named head coach of the Ottawa Senators on June 8, 2004. The former NHL coach of the year and fifth head coach in the Senators' new era, he will enter his 25th consecutive season in the NHL.

The Shawville, Que., native came to the Senators from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim where he served as senior vice-president and general manager. Murray was promoted to the posts in May 2002 where he moulded the Ducks into Western Conference champions in 2002-03.

Murray joined the NHL coaching fraternity with the Washington Capitals on Nov. 11, 1981. He remained at the helm of the Capitals for the following 8 1/2 seasons. Beginning with his first full season behind the Washington bench, the club had winning records and averaged 95 points per season over the next seven years. Murray won the Jack Adams Award in 1983-84 as the NHL's coach of the year.

John PaddockJohn Paddock2007-2008

John Paddock entered his first season with the Senators as head coach after being named to the position on July 6, 2007. The 2007-08 season was his sixth with the Senators organization, after initially joining the club as head coach of the Binghamton Senators on July 23, 2002. Paddock was then named Ottawa's assistant coach by Bryan Murray on July 9, 2004, and served as co-coach with Dave Cameron for the 2004-05 Binghamton Senators during the NHL lockout.

Born in Hamiota, Man., and raised in Oak River, Man., Paddock is the only coach to lead three different franchises to Calder Cup wins (Maine in 1984, Hershey in 1988 and Hartford in 2000), and his 542-392-93 career record ranks third all-time in AHL coaching victories.

Craig HartsburgCraig Hartsburg2008-2009

Craig Hartsburg was named Senators head coach on June 13, 2008. Hartsburg began his third term as a National Hockey League head coach after completing his fourth consecutive season with the Ontario Hockey League's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 2007-08.

The 2007-08 season marked Hartsburg's fifth in the Sault. He had completed his first season in 2001-02 before assuming an assistant coach's position with the Philadelphia Flyers for two campaigns.

Hartsburg was recognized as both the OHL and Canadian Hockey League coach of the year in 2001-02, marking the second such occasion he captured those honours. He first won the award in 1994-95 as bench boss of the Guelph Storm.

Cory CloustonCory Clouston2009-2011

Cory Clouston joined the Ottawa Senators as Head Coach after being promoted to the position on Feb. 2, 2009.

Clouston completed his first professional season with Binghamton in 2007-08 and was in the midst of his second when he was promoted to Ottawa. Prior to joining the Senators organization, Clouston spent five seasons as head coach of the Western Hockey League's Kooteney Ice, where he also worked as an assistant from 1999-2000 to 2001-02.

A native of Viking, Alta., Clouston had a career regular-season record of 209 wins, 110 losses, 24 overtime losses and 15 shootout defeats with Kooteney. The Ice made the playoffs in each of his seasons behind the bench, advancing as far as the conference final in 2004-05. Clouston was named both the WHL and Canadian Hockey League coach of the year for the 2004-05 season and was also named WHL coach of the year in 2006-07.