March 1, 2020

BUSTING A MYTH

Ten years ago this month, a CCAA gold medal winning coach would break a future Hockey Hall of Fame member's record.

On March 5, 2010, Ken Babey, who guided the SAIT Trojans to a CCAA National Championship in 2000, eclipsed Clare Drake’s mark of 427 regular and post season victories to become Canada's all time win leader among men's post-secondary hockey coaches. Babey was behind the SAIT Trojans bench for 27 seasons and parted ways with the team in 2014 following 534 wins, 260 losses, 43 overtime losses and 12 ties

Since Drake stepped down as head coach of the University of Alberta Golden Bears in 1989, few questioned his record of 697 wins, 96 losses and 37 ties over 29 seasons . However, the mark included 270 wins, 123 losses & 33 ties in exhibition play. There was no limit on the number of exhibition games and they had no bearing on standings.

In 1985, media outlets from Sports Illustrated to the New York Times failed to fact check sources and erroneously reported that Drake had surpassed John MacInnes on October 10th to become the winningest coach in post-secondary hockey history.

MacInnes recorded 555 wins, 295 losses, and-39 ties at Michigan Tech in regular season and post season action over 25 seasons. Non-conference contests were part of the NCAA regular season schedule and incorporated into standings. As a result, they were included in the coaching record of MacInnes. Exhibition games were excluded.

Drake's accomplishments were admirable. The inclusion of exhibition games in coaching stats was not.


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