Lewis Takes Over As Red Wings Coach

Wednesday, July 17th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

DETROIT (AP) _ Assistant Dave Lewis was promoted by the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday to replace the retired Scotty Bowman as head coach.

``I know I'm going to be watched,'' Lewis said. ``I know the team is going to be watched.''

Lewis has been a Red Wings assistant since retiring as a player in 1987. He takes over for Bowman, who won a record nine NHL championships, including three with Detroit.

``I just felt Dave was the man for our hockey club,'' general manager Ken Holland said. ``He knows our team. He knows our players.''

Lewis was regarded as the frontrunner for the job after Bowman retired June 13 _ the night Detroit won the Stanley Cup.

``I know what's expected,'' said Lewis, who announced that his coaching staff will include associate coach Barry Smith and former Red Wings player Joe Kocur. ``I look forward to the challenge.''

Lewis inherits a team with a number of likely future Hall of Famers, including captain Steve Yzerman _ Lewis' teammate in 1986-87. Lewis, whose primary responsibility was handling the defensemen, has worked with three head coaches in Detroit: Jacques Demers, Bryan Murray and Bowman.

Lewis was a defenseman for 15 years with the New York Islanders, Los Angeles, New Jersey and Detroit.

At the beginning of the 1998-99 season, Lewis shared head coaching responsibilities with Smith for the first five regular-season games while Bowman recovered from knee surgery. The Lewis-Smith combination went 4-1.