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.
Since joining the RoughRiders in 1999, Carlson's team has won the Clark Cup in 2004-05 and the Anderson Cup three times in 2004-05, 2010-11 and 2015-16. Carlson was also named the USHL Coach of the Year in 2004-05, 2010-11 and 2015-16. Carlson earned his 600th USHL victory in 2017-2018. To date, he is still the only head coach and general manager that the franchise has ever had.
Over 500 players who have skated for Carlson have received Division I scholarships, 38 have been selected in the National Hockey League Draft, 41 have signed NHL contracts, over 100 are developing in the minor leagues, and 22 have made their NHL debuts.
“Mark Carlson has done it the right way for a very long time,” Wenatchee Wild Head Coach Bliss Littler said on Wednesday. “When looking at the college hockey careers of his former players, I’m most impressed by the sheer number of team captains that have emerged from Mark’s teams. He’s done an amazing job helping to develop his boys into great young men.”
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.