Before coaching the Admirals to their worst finish in franchise history, he spent a season and a half as coach of the Islanders before his dismissal in January 2006. During his rookie campaign in the NHL, Stirling led the Islanders to a pretty impressive record of 38–29–11–4. In the NHL playoffs, Stirling's Islanders were beaten by the eventual Stalnley Cup winning Tampa Bay Lightning in five games.
After the disappointing season with the Admirals, general manager Jay Feaster announced that Steve Stirling would not be the coach heading into the 2008–2009 AHL season. Stirling has been given a job as a scout for the hockey club. On June 16 the German DEL club Iserlohn Roosters announced that Stirling signed a 2-year contract as their head coach. After 44 games and a 0–6 series he was dismissed by the German DEL-Club on February 5, 2009.
Steve was signed as an assistant coach of the Binghamton Senators (Ottawa's farm team) in 2009. The Binghamton Senators won the AHL Calder Cup National Championship one season later.