The annual award is presented to the current junior hockey coach that displays similar characteristics that Haugan was known for.
Haugan was an unusual junior hockey coach that emphasized helping his players become better people as being more important than wins and losses. He also expected his players to give back to the community. He strongly believed that hockey is not about making players, but human beings, and was a frequent attendee at fundraisers, minor hockey clinics, and spoke with community leaders and schools about family, integrity and respect. Nominees, that display similar characteristics, are selected each month during the season leading up to the May announcement.
Jardine spent four years at NCAA Division I Merrimack College before joining the coaching ranks. He served as an Assistant Coach of the Klippers for the 2015-16 season. After that one season on the Klippers’ bench, Jardine accepted an Assistant Coach position with NCAA Division III New England College and spent the last two seasons there. When the opportunity to return to Kindersley and the Klippers became available, Jardine accepted the challenge.
“Sometimes it takes a bit of time for a team to settle in with a new coach. That doesn’t seem to be the case with Clayton,” Battlefords North Stars Head Coach Brayden Klimosko said on Thursday. “He has them playing an exciting brand of hockey to start off the season. He is definitely deserving of this award.”
“Clayton has made an enormous change to the Klippers from last season until now,” Christina Haugan said regarding the coach. “They are currently one of the hardest teams to play against in the SJHL as they do all the small things right.”
Like the man this award is named for, Jardine has already established the reputation as a character first coach. That coaching style has paid off for the rookie bench boss as his charges have responded with a very impressive start to the season.
The winner will be selected at the end of regular season by a panel led by Darcy's wife Christina Haugan.
JuniorHockey.com is honored to have the opportunity to facilitate this award on behalf of Darcy's family, friends, and the game.