Long-time Trail hockey coach Ken Koshey is riding high after receiving a Coach of the Year Award this weekend from BC Hockey.
This comes after earning recognition as an outstanding volunteer and securing $20,000 for Greater Trail Minor Hockey this spring from the Kraft Hockey Goes On promotion that awarded a total of $1 million to 25 minor hockey associations across the country.
“It was a big surprise and I felt really honoured to receive the award,” said Koshey from his home in Trail. “This has been an awesome year with the Kraft deal and now this.”
The 68-year-old traveled to Sun Peaks, Kamloops, for the 94th annual Awards Banquet Saturday, when nine awards were dolled out in a variety of categories.
The Ernie Gare Award is given to the province’s top coach who shows leadership to players, demonstrates skill development and has a sound philosophy. This award is given in memory of the late Ernie Gare of Nelson.
“It was kind of special because Ernie Gare was a pretty high-level man in B.C. hockey and also when I first came to Trail.
“I played him when I was with the Senior Smoke Eaters and he was with the Nelson Leafs.”
Koshey has been coaching for about 40 years, ranging from Junior B through to Novice.
Following his playing career with the Trail Senior Smoke Eaters in the mid 70s, he entered the coaching world with the Trail Minor Hockey Association.
He has since moved back to coaching the younger players at the Novice and Atom levels.
During the summer months, Koshey can be found puttering around his yard “waiting for winter.”
Hockey is his life. It all started with a pair of skates at four years old in his hometown Dauphin, Manitoba, where if he wasn’t on the outdoor rink, he was playing shinny.
He doesn’t plan on leaving coaching anytime soon.
His passion for teaching kids in Trail will keep him going “until his legs fall off,” he said.