‘Forever in our hearts’ Broncos head coach remembered for actions on and off the ice

Darcy Haugan was one of 16 who died in the Humboldt bus crash

Darcy Haugan was remembered Saturday not just as the head coach of the Humboldt Broncos, but as a family man who led by example on and off the ice.

Haugan, who was 42, was one of the 16 people who died on board a bus that was carrying the junior hockey team to a playoff game in Nipawin, Sask., on April 6.

The bus and a semi-truck collided at a rural intersection north of Tisdale.

Thirteen others were injured.

“Today marks just over a week since a terrible tragedy struck this community. In the wake of this crash 16 people have left the earth before their time, 16 families are grieving with the memory and countless lives have been changed as a result of this event,” said Haugan’s brother-in-law Adam George at the service at Elgar Petersen Arena where the Broncos play their games.

“Since his death there have been so many stories shared about his life. There’s no point in me standing before you and telling more stories about Darcy. This building is already full with them.”

Haugan was a devout Christian who would pray before work in his office and before bed with his sons Carson, 12, and Jackson, 9.

His friend, Pastor Sean Brandow, was the chaplain for the Broncos. He said Haugan was far from perfect, but he was a good man.

“Darcy always sought to do what was right. He didn’t always do it, but he sought to do it. He wanted to do it,” Brandow said with a chuckle.

“He wanted to communicate better. If you’ve ever tried to talk to Darcy, sometimes it would be like trying to talk to a squirrel in a roomful of nuts,” he said.

“He’s over here and then you’re watching a video about Seinfeld and you don’t know where he’s going to go next.”

Amanda White said she was the “tag along little sister” when her older sister, Christina, started dating Haugan. She eventually moved with them to Haugan’s hometown of Peace River, Alta., and the two of them just clicked.

“I wasn’t sure there was a man on this earth that was good enough for my big sister. I was so proud to walk into the arena and having coach Darcy Haugan being my brother-in-law,” she said.

“Darcy was an amazing part of our family and we will forever hold him close to our hearts. Forever in our hearts. I’ll always love you Darc.”

Seven players wearing Humboldt Broncos jerseys, including one in a wheelchair, were sitting in the crowd as were former players from the North Peace Navigators where Haugan had been head coach.

George said Haugan was a good family man, and a coach and mentor off of the ice.

“As a coach we know that what happens on the ice is not nearly as important as when players took their skates off outside. He worked hard to lead the young men in his care to become people who live their lives with integrity.”

Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Cariboo Chilcotin Youth Fiddlers to host Halifax group on exchange

Group will co-host a barn dance July 14 before heading to the East Coast in September

Shadow puppetry show, art gallery pieces weave web of enchantment in Williams Lake

Al-Lisa McKay displays artwork at Station House Gallery and to perform at WLST

BC conservation officers release badger from wolf trap

Badger recovering after being caught in trap near Williams Lake

Environment Canada issues heat warning and special weather statement for Cariboo

Daytime temperature expected to reach 34C for Tuesday

VIDEO: Stampede warm-up action with barrel racing this weekend

BCBRA Stampede Warm-Up and Afterburn Slot Races running at the Stampede Grounds

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of B.C. couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Five B.C. families stuck in Japan as Canada refuses visas for adopted babies

Lawyer points to change in American policy around adoptions from Japan

Most Read