It’s been great fun the last 15 years, helping hundreds and hundreds of student-athletes negotiate their way into and through the Higher Ed system. We’ve been fortunate to have been the stepping stone for tremendously successful young men and women; doctors, lawyers, Navy SEALs, sports agents, corporate sales/marketing professionals, community activists and leaders, coaches and even a minor-league professional hockey player. The list goes on.
What’s been most impressive, however, is that we’ve been able to maintain high levels of competition and academia via an all-volunteer program, with no financial support whatsoever from our college (it’s just the way it is in the California Community College System, not that they wouldn’t help if they could!). And with rosters from 8 to 30, it’s been sketchy at times; nonetheless, we have always met each and every commitment, be it on or off ice, and we have never, not once, failed to maintain our PCHA and/or ACHA requirements. Oh, and we have never, ever been under suspension or disciplinary review the entire time we’ve been competing. And that, folks, is an outstanding feat.
So here comes the hammer: the College of the Canyons Ice Hockey Club is taking a sabbatical. Our ‘OG’ volunteers are preparing for the “after-life” of retirement, while our present, much younger volunteers are stepping into the mainstream of the American Dream: buying houses, getting married, having their own future COC hockey players, etc. On both ends of the spectrum, we’re simply stepping away to concentrate on life and family and, although it may sound sacrilegious to some, putting hockey second.
We are saddened at the young men and women who we won’t be meeting and helping through the 18– to 21-year-old transition of their lives, but our priorities have changed over the course of the last 15 years. And as we’ve always told our players, no matter what, family comes first; it’s now time to take our own advice. Mission accomplished: we’re proud of what we’ve done, how we’ve done it and what our alumni have become.
And, just maybe, after this youngest volunteer group of ex-COC players, who have valiantly preserved the honor of the program over the last three years, finds their way and gets settled into building their own families, we’ll return for yet another run. In the meantime, I’d like to personally thank each and every one of you that have helped make this program a resounding success, regardless of ANY season’s W-L record. Let’s start with the PCHA and Cal State Northridge, who were our sponsors for inclusion into the league, which was the foundation of competition for the club; the ACHA, including the commissioners, Ranking Committee members and all of the teams that competed with us; the players, of course, many of whom have sustained lifetime injuries, sacrificing to the end for their fellow Cougars; every single entity that helped fund the program; and our home rink, Ice Station Valencia, which has accommodated us throughout the duration.
Finally, and on a personal note, none of this would have been possible without the support and understanding I received from my family – my wife and our two sons, both of whom graduated from College of the Canyons and are COC Hockey Alumni as well. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
I haven’t mentioned everyone, of course, who helped the program achieve its phenomenal success; you know who you are, though – and so do I! Thank you all for your support and lifelong friendships.
I’ll be seeing you around.
College of the Canyons Ice Hockey Club
Our core goals are to make good hockey players the best they can be and, most importantly, send them along toward their degrees – where they can continue to play competitive hockey at four-year universities.
CHAMPIONS MADE HERE
College of the Canyons Hockey is dedicated to student-athletes who care about their future and want to continue playing a high level of competitive hockey. Academically, College of the Canyons is one of the top community colleges in the country.