Don Hay 743 Celebration Night – Winningest Coach in WHL History
I am honoured to have had the opportunity to become the Winningest Coach in the history of the WHL. I was fortunate enough to be introduced to the Western Hockey League as a player back in 1972. At the time, I would not have expected it to lead me where it has.
There are so many people to thank, but first off would be the Western Hockey League. I have learned so much and have a lot of respect for the league and for all those associated with the league. This is the best junior hockey league in the world.
I have had the opportunity to work for two tremendous owners in Ron Toigo and Tom Gaglardi. Both are passionate and driven to win. I am thankful for the chance to coach their teams.
In my 19 seasons, I have worked with four General Managers, Bob Brown, Scott Bonner, Craig Bonner and Stu MacGregor. They all have done a tremendous job in managing their hockey club to give our teams great hockey players.
I would not be here today if it were not for the many assistant coaches, trainers, scouts, office staff and support staff that work tirelessly behind the scenes. Everyone I have worked with has a part in this accomplishment.
The players are what makes coaching so rewarding. I cherish the opportunity I’ve had to help them reach their goals in pro hockey or in life and help them turn into young men.
To all the fans that support the Western Hockey League and have supported the teams I’ve coached, thank you. Your support is felt every night our teams stepped on the ice.
Most importantly, to my family. Vicki, Darrell, Angela and Ashly. They sacrificed many birthdays, anniversaries, activities and family gatherings to support my career. They have been there since the beginning and our family continues to grow with grandchildren. Thank you for all the support and sacrifices you have made.
I feel privileged to have worked and grown beside all of these people. This milestone is a team milestone. I am thankful to have been supported by so many great people throughout my career.