Firefighter Doug Trumble was recently honoured as Victoria Minor Hockey Coach of the Year, and he says it’s all thanks to his teammates – at the fire hall.
“I hadn’t been head coach before because of the shift work,” said Trumble. “The guys at work covered for me and made it possible for me to be the head coach. I work nights and weekends and that makes it hard, if I had a morning practice, guys would stay late or come in early to cover for me. They would trade shifts with me, do weekends. A lot of guys pitched in and made this possible for me.”
Trumble grew up in Oak Bay playing hockey from age five. He rose through the ranks of Oak Bay Minor Hockey to play with the Junior B Saanich Braves. He continues to play the sport with a men’s team, and has been active as a minor hockey assistant coach for about three years.
“I have two great assistant coaches, Jeremy White and Jason Gammon and our manager Jenny Bishop was a huge part of it,” he said. “I put the onus of team fun and team building on her. I’m more intense on the ice and she provided the fun.”
Trumble said his experience as a firefighter helped him as a coach. “At the beginning of the year I said if I do anything this year, it’s have the kids learn to operate in a team environment. That’s my goal.”
The Pee Wee C2 team of 17 11- and 12-year-olds took time to gel. “We started the season by losing 10 games straight. We played 50 games in total. The first one we lost 9-1 – I knew then we were in big trouble.”
Eventually the loses turned to wins and the team ended the season in second place. “We actually ended up in the playoffs winning against the team that beat us 9-1, that was hard to believe for a lot of people,” he said. The team won the South Island Pee Wee C championship.
Trumble used a traditional style of coaching, making the team accountable for themselves. “ I ran intense practises and put expectations on the kids … the spin off was the success of the team.”
He was surprised and honoured with the coaching award. “I was pretty touched by it. But as I said before, the credit goes to a bunch of people. It’s nice, the recognition I got, but I sure wasn’t expecting it.”