August 1, 2023
Fifty years ago, a 25 year old was tabbed to coach a hockey team on the campus which was the site of his induction into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame this past May.
Born in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Allan Ferchuk played a number of sports including hockey with Shellbrook of the Northern Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League under Terry Simpson.
While attending the University of Saskatchewan, Ferchuk also donned the uniform of the Unity Cardinals of the Northern Saskatchewan Baseball League. In 1969, his first year with the club, the right handed pitcher won six games in a row.
The following year, the Cardinals captured the Northern Saskatchewan Baseball League championship in six games over the North Battleford Beavers. Ferchuk started the series ender allowing three runs on seven hits, striking out seven, and walking four to pick up the win. Away from the diamond, he received a Master of Science degree from the School of Physical Education at the University of Saskatchewan and headed to the University of Lethbridge as a lecturer in the physical education department.
After relocating to Lethbridge in the fall of 1970, he played with the Lethbridge Cubs of the Southern Alberta Baseball League in 1971 and the Lethbridge Lakers of the Alberta Major Baseball League in 1972 and 1973. In 1973, the Lakers advanced to the Canadian Senior Baseball Championships where Ferchuk tossed a three hitter as the Lakers blanked Prince Edward Island 5-0.
Ferchuk was also a playing coach with the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns hockey team in the City Recreational Hockey League. In March of 1973, Ferchuk was honoured as coach of the year and as a first team all star. A few months later, he would accept a position with Red Deer College and assume the reins of the hockey team.
Following a trio of Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference, 4-West and Canadian Colleges Athletic Association titles with the Red Deer College Kings in a span of seven seasons, Ferchuk thought about returning to the province of his youth, but had second thoughts. In a span of 14 days during the summer of 1980, he signed a two year contract to be head coach of the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League and then requested a release which was granted. In an interview with the Leader-Post following the release, Ferchuk stated "It's not my ambition to be a professional coach and that seems to be the motivation one needs. I see hockey more as a sport rather than a business."In addition to coaching the Pronghorns and the Kings, Ferchuk has been involved with the sport as men's hockey convenor with the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference, conference representative on the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association's Education Council and chair of Canada Amateur Hockey Association's Research Committee.