Colin Cooper picks hockey coach John Broadhead

There is something to be said about a coach who knows how to turn the intensity off once in awhile. Perhaps Mount Royal Cougars’ starting goalie, Colin Cooper, wouldn’t be where he is today without it.

Playing his first year of midget hockey in Calgary, Cooper says his mind would often be on the ice for hours on end before and after each contest. It was the September of Grade 11 when Cooper would lace up the skates for coach John Broadhead, who Cooper says changed the way he viewed the sport.

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“It wasn’t only a hockey standpoint that he coached from, but also life,” says Cooper. “He told me there’s more to life than just the game.”

Cooper was named to the Canada West rookie All-Star team after his stellar 2015-16 campaign. Photo by Zenon Andryo

Broadhead consistently asked players how school was going, and would make sure everyone was having a good time on the ice.

“John came at it from more of a parental role,” says Cooper. “I always had coaches who would say ‘do this, do this, do this,’ but he was the first coach to sit down and just talk to me.”

Broadhead even contributed to Cooper’s decision to attend Mount Royal University in fall, 2015.

“I saw a lot of those same characteristics in Bert Gilling (head coach of the Cougars),” says Cooper. “You can sit down and talk to him for like 40 minutes about anything, just like John did when I was growing up.”

Editor’s note: Reporter Brendan Stasiewich also serves as a game-writer for the Mount Royal Cougars.

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