The coach of a junior hockey team whose bus crash scarred the nation was honoured this weekend with a bronze statue that was unveiled in the Alberta town where he grew up and coached another team to five league championships. A statue dedicated to Humboldt Broncos coach Darcy Haugan is seen in Peace River, Alta., in a Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, handout photo. Haugan, 42, was one of 16 people who died after the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team’s bus and a semi collided at a crossroads in Saskatchewan on April 6, 2018. Thirteen others were injured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Albert Cooper, *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Alberta town unveils statue of coach who died in Humboldt Broncos bus crash

Darcy Haugan was one of 16 people who died after the Humboldt Broncos team’s bus and a semi collided

A junior hockey coach who was killed in a deadly bus crash that scarred the nation was honoured this weekend with a bronze statue unveiled in the Alberta town where he grew up and coached another team to five league championships.

Darcy Haugan, 42, was one of 16 people who died after the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team’s bus and a semi collided at a crossroads in Saskatchewan on April 6, 2018.

Haugan was remembered over the weekend as a coach who pushed his players to bring their very best to the rink and to their personal lives.

“We were all devastated when we heard the news in April 2018. Like many in our community, it was hard to digest, hard to comprehend what had happened,” town councillor Orren Ford said at the unveiling of the statue on Saturday in Peace River, Alta., occasionally wiping away tears.

Thirteen others were injured were injured in the crash.

Prior to joining the Broncos, Haugan, who was a devout Christian, coached the North Peace Navigators in the Northwest Junior Hockey League for 12 seasons.

Navigators president Albert Cooper said discussions began about how they wanted to remember Haugan about a month after the tragedy. Ideas like naming a building or a street after Haugan were also considered.

“”I actually felt a statue would be unique — a nice addition for our town,” he said in an interview Sunday.

The statue, which is three-quarters life-size and weighs over 190 kilograms, was cast by Don and Shirley Begg of Studio West in Cochrane.

The bronzesmiths’ body of past work touches on themes of tragedy and hockey. It includes a sculpture honouring four RCMP officers who were gunned down in Mayerthorpe, Alta., in 2005, as well as helping with sculpting the Wayne Gretzky statue that now stands outside Rogers Place in Edmonton.

Don Begg said the artists wanted to illustrate Haugan’s coaching philosophy with the piece.

“He wanted them to be not just good hockey players, but good community people,” Begg said of Haugan when reached by phone on Sunday.

“That’s what we were trying to portray in him.”

Attendance at the ceremony outside Baytex Energy Centre had to be limited due to COVID-19, although his widow, Christine, sons Carson and Jackson, and parents were there.

“I can tell you without a doubt, Darcy would be in complete disbelief seeing this,” Christina Haugan told the small crowd.

Ford said Haugan saw his players as “full and complete men, not just as hockey players.”

“He made it his mission to mold them into men he knew they could be — men who cared about their family and their community in addition to their team and the sport of hockey,” he said.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Humboldt Broncos

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Grand Forks’ Ian Mitchell, left, and Everett Baker are the only two candidates in the city’s upcoming byelection, according to CEO Patti Ferguson. Photo submitted
Two-way race shaping up in Grand Forks byelection

The nomination cut-off was Friday afternoon, Oct. 30

Ian Mitchell on Thurs., Oct. 29 filed his nomination for Grand Forks byelection. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Mitchell joins Grand Forks’ byelection race

The candidate highlighted the mutual respect between himself and opponent, Everett Baker

A view of proposed seniors housing on Vernon St. Illustration: City of Nelson/ Vendure Retirement Communities
Nelson seniors housing project to start construction in the spring

Private development on Vernon Street will provide assisted living services as well as housing

City staff will report residents’ feedback to council before the shelter’s permit is decided at a special meeting Tues., Nov. 3. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks’ city council seeking feedback on proposed winter shelter

Boundary Family Services hopes to have the proposed facility running starting Dec. 1

Brandon Kootnekoff stands at the “Zombie Bay” he lit up at his home near Sion Cemetery Wed., Oct. 21. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks haunt enthusiast re-vamps Halloween display for pandemic

Brandon Kootnekoff said he wanted neighbours ‘to have something to look forward to this year’

Over the years, Janice Blackie-Goodine’s home in Summerland has featured elaborate Halloween displays and decorations each October. (File photo)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about Halloween?

Oct. 31 is a night of frights. How much do you know about Halloween customs and traditions?

This house at 414 Royal Ave. became notorious for its residents’ and visitors’ penchant for attracting police. It was also the site of a gruesome torture in August 2018. It was demolished in 2019. KTW
6-year sentence for Kamloops man who helped carve ‘rat’ into flesh of fellow gang member

Ricky Dennis was one of three men involved in the August 2018 attack

Cpl. Nathan Berze, media officer for the Mission RCMP, giving an update on the investigation at 11:30 a.m., Oct. 30. Patrick Penner photo.
VIDEO: Prisoner convicted of first-degree murder still at large from Mission Institution

When 10 p.m. count was conducted, staff discovered Roderick Muchikekwanape had disappeared

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Among the pumpkin carvings created this year by Rick Chong of Abbotsford is this tribute to fallen officer Cont. Allan Young.
Abbotsford pumpkin carver’s creations include fallen police officer

Rick Chong carves and displays 30 pumpkins every year

An online fundraising campaign in support of the six-year-old boy, Edgar Colby, who was hit by a car on Range Road Oct. 25 has raised more than $62,000 in a day. (Submitted)
$62K raised in 1 day for boy in coma at BC Children’s after being hit by vehicle in Yukon

The boy’s aunt says the family is “very grateful” for the support they’ve received from the community

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Kimberley Dynamiters' next two exhibition games have been postponed due to an individual testing positive for COVID-19. Paul Rodgers file.
Member of Kimberley Dynamiters tests positive for COVID-19

Exhibition games in Fernie, Creston postponed

Most Read