September 1, 2020
While most halls of fame have held off on induction ceremonies due to COVID-19, the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame inducted a CCAA record holder in an online event on August 21st. Terry Bangen guided the Cariboo College Chiefs to five consecutive appearances at nationals in the 1980s.
As head coach of the Chiefs, the 1987 CCAA Coaching Award of Excellence recipient guided the team to nine conference titles and five national championship appearances – the most of the eight hockey coaches currently eligible for induction into the CCAA Hall of Fame. As an assistant coach with the Kamloops Blazers, he received three Memorial Cup Rings.
His contributions to hockey extend beyond Kamloops in various positions with different organizations. During the 1995-96 campaign, the Grande Prairie, Alberta native was an assistant coach with the gold medal winning Canada National Junior Team while serving as head coach of McGill University. He was an assistant coach with the Vancouver Canucks, a playoff scout with the Dallas Stars and a development camp instructor with the New York Rangers. With the Tri City Americans, he held the dual role of assistant general manager and director of player personnel before becoming a senior advisor with the team.
Of the 50 plus head coaches to participate in CCAA National Hockey Championships, only a handful have been recognized individually in a provincial sports hall of fame and/or a provincial hockey hall of fame. Some, including Bangen, have entered provincial halls of fame with teams that won national championships.
Others have not received the call for a number of reasons including lack of knowledge about the stature and calibre of college hockey back in the day when it was the equivalent of university hockey. A predisposition towards household names may also exist.
It's time that selection committees take a hard look in the mirror, set aside their biases and acknowledge the contributions of deserving builders who have made a lasting impact.