‘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

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

Just Posted

A rock slide is blocking one lane off the Trans-Canada Highway west of Sicamous. (Cindy Schedlosky/Facebook)
Rock slide closes one lane of Trans-Canada Highway near Sicamous

Single-lane alternating traffic is in effect.

Nick Kent had three assists to lead the Vernon Vipers over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 4-1 Friday, Oct. 30, 2020. (Lisa Mazurek Photography)
New additions push Vernon Vipers past Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Freshly signed WHL talents Josh Prokop and Tyler Carpendale both had goals in Friday night’s tilt

Planning is underway for the Okanagan Rail Trail connecting Sicamous to Armstrong. (Supplied)
Sicamous denied rail trail ownership

The district sought ownership of part of trail to address a conflict with dock owners.

The mandate is in keeping with recommendations made by Dr. Bonnie Henry. (CSRD photo)
Mask use now required at CSRD office, public facilities

The mandate comes after Dr. Bonnie Henry strongly recommended their use

The Koelsag family poses with Allied airmen who were being hidden and cared for by the family. (Contributed)
Fearless allies: Shuswap woman reflects on childhood in Dutch Resistance

Mineke Spencer was three-years-old when Germany invaded her home in the Netherlands

Physical distancing signs are a common sight in B.C. stores and businesses. THE CANADIAN PRESS
272 more COVID-19 cases for B.C., outbreak at oil sands project

Three new health care outbreaks, three declared over

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Makayla Kraft, Bridget Wiebe and Genevieve Foster show off their costumes before Parkview Elementary’s costume parade on Oct. 30. (Submitted)
Snapshot: Costume parade

Halloween is the only season where Red Riding Hood, a hippy and a nurse all share a classroom.

(DiStefano Jaud Architecture)
Proposed development on Kelowna farmland raises red flags

Developer proposes gas station, car wash, liquor store, commercial buildings, in agricultural area

Jessica Neudorf received a regional gold medal for her mark in the ARCT piano exam. (Submitted)
Shuswap piano students pass Royal Conservatory exams with honours

Jessica Neudorf received the highest exam grade in the B.C./Yukon region

Hiawatha RV Park will be demolished starting in February, to make room for a new condo development. Residents have four months to leave. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘I don’t know what to do’; Kelowna RV park resident pleas for eviction extension

Hiawatha RV Park residents have four months to leave the neighbourhood

FILE - In this Jan. 23, 1987 file photo, actor Sean Connery holds a rose in his hand as he talks about his new movie “The Name of the Rose” at a news conference in London. Scottish actor Sean Connery, considered by many to have been the best James Bond, has died aged 90, according to an announcement from his family. (AP Photo/Gerald Penny, File)
Actor Sean Connery, the ‘original’ James Bond, dies at 90

Oscar-winner was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2000

Vernon Council voted in favour of implementing a 500-metre buffer between all new cannabis stores in the city at its meeting Monday, Oct. 26, 2020. (Black Press files)
New cannabis shops in Vernon will need to stay 500m apart

The distancing rule won’t apply to existing stores, including the six currently in downtown core

Most Read