‘Damps’ joined the Panthers as coach in 1985 and in a seven year stint as coach won the Autumn Cup in 1986, the British Championship in 1989 and the B&H Cup in 1991. This was also coupled with his tenure as coach of the GB national team, where he took the national team from Pool D in 1990 to Pool A in 1994. After a poor start to the 1992/93 season Dampier left Panthers as he felt the players were not responding to him as the team were near the foot of the Premier League.
He went to Sheffield were he enjoyed more success with Clive Tuyl before leaving the Steelers to take over the coaching role at Newcastle Riverkings. When Finnish owners Jokerit appointed their own head coach for the soon to be named Jesters, Dampier found himself back in Nottingham as Director of Hockey after Mike Blaisdell had left the Panthers for the Steelers.
In what was our final season in the old barn, Damps lead the club to the best home record in the ISL and the Challenge Cup final, losing to Sheffield in London. After a less than promising start to life in the new NIC Dampier was joined by Peter Woods for the remainder of the campaign. Paul Adey shared the coaching responsibilities with Dampier in 2001/02, where Dampier was sadly relieved of his duties before the end of the season. Damps returned to Newcastle to become coach of the Vipers in their inaugural season, teaming up with Clive Tuyl once again before returning to his native Canada in 2004.
Dampier coached the Panthers to their first trophy of the modern era in 1986 and brought several top notch imports to the UK, including Darren Durdle, Jimmy Paek and fellow hall of famers Paul Adey and Terry Kurtenbach. As such he will always be a part of Panther folklore.
Profile by Jonathan Bullard