The first and only coach in franchise history, Barry Trotz is regarded as one of the top bench bosses in the game today, having been a finalist for the Jack Adams Award as the NHL’s top coach in both 2009-10 and 2010-11, and finishing among the top five in Adams voting again in 2011-12.
In his 14 seasons and 15 years as the Predators’ coach, Trotz has put himself among some legendary names, ranking third all-time in games coached (1,066) and fourth all-time in wins (503) with a single franchise, in addition to moving into 15th on the all-time coaching victories list. On Nov. 12, 2011 against the Monttreal Canadiens, he hit the 1,000-game milestone, and on March 30, 2012, reached the 500-win mark. Additionally, he is one of just six coaches in all four major North American sports leagues to have coached or managed each of a team’s first 14 seasons of existence (MLB: Connie Mack (50, Oakland); NFL: Curly Lambeau (29, Green Bay), Tom Landry (29, Dallas), Hank Stram (15, Kansas City), Paul Brown (15, Cleveland)), and one of just four coaches in expansion-team history (among the four major sports) to have a record better than .500.
Trotz, the second-longest tenured coach in the NHL behind only Buffalo’s Lindy Ruff, guided the Predators to the second round of the playoffs for the second consecutive season in 2012, making them the only Western Conference team to advance beyond the first round in each of the past two seasons.
Trotz is the also only coach to lead his team to the playoffs in seven of the last eight seasons, averaging nearly 45 wins and 99 points per season (91 in 2003-04, 106 in 2005-06, 110 in 2006-07, 91 in 2007-08, 88 in 2008-09, 100 in 2009-10, 99 in 2010-11 and 104 in 2011-12). The Predators also boast the League’s fifth highest win total (320) and third-most home victories (181) in the League since the start of the 2005-06 season.
Trotz’s modus operandi is using an aggressive system based on strong forechecking and sound defense to direct a hard-working group to the playoffs on an annual basis. His mission to get the most out of his team helped Trotz guide the Predators to their third-best record in franchise history and home ice advantage in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 2011-12 (48-26-8, 104 points) despite starting the season with the NHL’s youngest team at 25 years, five months. Under his watch, the Preds were one of only four teams to finish in the Top 10 in both goals for (eighth) and goals against (eighth), and one of three teams to rank in the League’s Top 10 in both power-play percentage (first) and penalty kill percentage (10th) in 2011-12.
Trotz earn his second straight nomination for the Jack Adams Award in 2011 after guiding the Predators to the fifth seed in the Western Conference (44-27-11 record) despite losing 348 man-games due to injury, a number that ranked among the top three in the League and the fifth youngest roster down the stretch, the youngest among playoff teams (26 years, five months). In 2010, he was Jack Adams runner-up in his first time as an award finalist after leading his squad to a 100-point season (47-29-6).
Trotz also raked in the individual accolades following the 2006-07 campaign after guiding the Predators to the second-most points in the Western Conference and tied for the third-most points in the entire National Hockey League, notching franchise records in points (110), wins (51), road wins (23) and goals (272) in the process. He was named 2007 Coach of the Year by The Sporting News, an honor determined through a vote of his peers, in addition to finishing fourth in Jack Adams voting and serving as an assistant coach for the Western Conference All-Stars at the 2007 NHL All-Star Game.
The 50-year-old Dauphin, Manitoba native reached his goal of becoming an NHL head coach when he was named to his current position on Aug. 6, 1997. After a year aggressively scouting talent in North America and Europe, Trotz and his staff made the most of their opportunity by leading the inaugural edition (1998-99) of the Predators to a 28-47-7 record. Starting with a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Oct. 13, 1998, the Predators’ 28 wins were the third-most in expansion history.
Prior to joining the Predators, Trotz spent five seasons (1992-97) as the head coach of the Washington Capitals' primary developmental affiliate in the American Hockey League. He was named head coach of the Baltimore Skipjacks in 1992 after one season as an assistant coach. Following the franchise’s relocation to Portland, Maine in 1993, he led the Portland Pirates to two Calder Cup Finals appearances over the next four seasons. In 1994-95, Trotz coached Portland to a Calder Cup Championship and a league-best 43-27-10 record and captured AHL Coach of the Year honors. In 2006, he was honored with election to the Pirates’ Hall of Fame.
Trotz has also gained experience coaching on the international stage, serving as an assistant coach for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championships on three occasions. In 2003, he helped the Canadians strike gold in Finland, and in 2009 he helped guide Canada to a silver medal in Switzerland. The first time he answered the call for his nation came at the 2002 Championships in Sweden.
Trotz began his coaching career in 1984 as an assistant with the University of Manitoba. He then served two seasons (1985-87) as the head coach and general manager of the Dauphin Kings junior hockey club before returning to the University of Manitoba as the head coach in 1987. In January 2001, Trotz was inducted into the University's Hall of Fame.
During the 1987 campaign, Trotz also served as a scout for the Spokane Chiefs (WHL) and a part-time scout for the Capitals. In 1988, he joined Washington as a full-time western scout, and the next season he became the Caps' chief western scout.
Before coaching, Trotz played junior hockey for Regina (WHL) from 1979-83, capturing a WHL championship in 1979-80. The defenseman registered 102 points (19g-83a) and 490 penalty minutes in 204 games.
The popular head coach and his family are active in a variety of service and charitable initiatives in the Middle Tennessee community. This commitment was recognized when Trotz was honored with the Community Spirit Award (in recognition for community service) at the 2005 O’Charley’s Dinner of Champions, presented by the Nashville Sports Council.
Since the Predators inception, the Trotz’s have donated $500 to My Friend’s House (a United Way agency) for each Nashville victory, with donations surpassing the $250,000 mark in 2011-12. He is an active board member for Peterson for Parkinson’s Foundation, the Williamson County YMCA and the United Way. He also works closely with Best Buddies of Tennessee, a nonprofit organization dedicated to establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-on-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Barry and his wife, Kim, reside in Brentwood along with their four children: Shalan, Tyson, Tiana and Nolan