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*

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.

– By Rob Drinkwater in Edmonton

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

A central Alberta woman is collecting Christmas gift donations for roughly 85 residents at Valleyview Manor in Rimbey. (Jennifer Feinberg/ The Progress)
Rimbey woman gathering Christmas gifts for seniors at Valleyview Manor

Margaret Tanasiuk says she doesn’t want anyone to feel forgotten on Christmas morning

Bids for Kids poster
Wolf Creek Youth Foundation online auction gets ‘overwhelming’ response

Santa’s Bids for Kids auction to benefit youth programs in Rimbey, Ponoka

skip2
Rimbey Christian School students experience the joy of giving

Grades three and four students raised $2,000 for Somalian children

Alberta’s chief medical officer of health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw, confirmed eight additional virus-deaths Monday afternoon including one in central zone. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
New record: Red Deer at 236 active COVID cases

One more death in central zone reported

Janelle Robinson owns and operates Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler. The Ranch, just north of Stettler, is an animal therapy ranch that helps those with special needs and conditions ranging from PTSD to anxiety. Mark Weber/Stettler Independent
Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler provides support through animal interaction

‘I also come from a family of doers - if something that is needed isn’t there, you just figure it out’

Idyllic winter scenes are part of the atmosphere of the holiday season, and are depicted in many seasonal movies. How much do you know about holiday movies? Put your knowledge to the test. (Pixabay.com)
QUIZ: Test your knowledge of holiday movies and television specials

The festive season is a time for relaxing and enjoying some seasonal favourites

Paramedics register patients at a drive through, pop-up COVID-19 test centre outside the Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, in Ottawa, Sunday, Sept. 20, 2020. A new poll suggests most Canadians aren’t currently worried that people in other countries might get a COVID-19 vaccine first. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Canadians not worried other countries will get COVID-19 vaccine first: poll

Forty-one per cent of respondents say they want the vaccine to be mandatory for all Canadians

Fossil finds at Mt. Stephen. (Photo: Sarah Fuller/Parks Canada)
Extreme hiking, time travel and science converge in the Burgess Shale

Climb high in the alpine and trace your family tree back millions of years – to our ocean ancestors

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland listens to a question from a reporter on the phone during a news conference in Ottawa, Monday, Nov. 30, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Spending too little worse than spending too much, Freeland says as Canada’s deficit tops $381B

‘The risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much’

Executive Director and Co-Founder of Rock Soup Craig Haavalsen is sleeping in a tent outside Rock Soup’s location until the Go Fund Me for Rock Soup raises $10,000. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Putting normalcy into asking for help: New non-profit sets up in Wetaskiwin

Rock Soup non-profit is a new secular Food Bank putting down roots in Wetaskiwin.

Wetaskiwin Composite High School. Shaela Dansereau/ Pipestone Flyer.
Wetaskiwin Regional Public Schools prepare for transition back to online learning

Grades 7-12 will are mandated to transfer to online learning starting Nov. 30, 2020.

Lawyer Devon Page, Ecojustice Canada’s executive director, pauses during a news conference in Vancouver on Wed., Sept. 26, 2012. The environmental law group has lost its bid to pause Alberta’s inquiry into where critics of its oil and gas industry get their funding. Ecojustice sought an injunction this summer to suspend the inquiry, headed by forensic accountant Steve Allan, until there is a decision on whether it’s legal. nbsp;THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Judge tosses application to pause Alberta inquiry into funding of oil and gas foes

Ecojustice sought an injunction in the summer to suspend the inquiry

Janelle Robinson owns and operates Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler. The Ranch, just north of Stettler, is an animal therapy ranch that helps those with special needs and conditions ranging from PTSD to anxiety. Mark Weber/Stettler Independent
Spirit’s Respite Ranch near Stettler provides support through animal interaction

‘I also come from a family of doers - if something that is needed isn’t there, you just figure it out’

A pedestrian makes their way through the snow in downtown Ottawa on Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Wild winter, drastic swings in store for Canada this year: Weather Network

In British Columbia and the Prairies, forecasters are calling for above-average snowfall levels

Most Read