RED DEER - In what many are calling a long over-due honour, Clare Drake is finally headed to the Hockey Hall of Fame.
The legendary University of Alberta coach will join Dave Andreychuck, Danielle Goyette, Jeremy Jacobs, Paul Kariya, Mark Recchi, and Teemu Selanne as the Class of 2017.
Originally from Saskatchewan, Drake moved to Edmonton following his graduation from the University of British Columbia in the early 1950’s. He played one season of hockey with the University of Alberta Golden Bears, and earned a Bachelor of Education Degree there. Drake then completed his Master of Science degree at the University of Washington, and continued on to the University of Oregon.
Drake returned to Edmonton as a teacher, and in 1955, he joined the Golden Bears as interim Head Coach, winning his first league championship. He was named the full-time Head Coach in 1958, a post he held for 28 season, amassing 697 wins, 17 Canada West titles, and six national championships behind the bench. Popularly-known as "the dean of coaching", Drake is the only university coach to win a national championship in both hockey and football in the same year, a feat he accomplished in 1967.
In the inaugural Canada Winter Games in 1967, Drake led the Golden Bears, who represented Team Alberta, to a gold medal.
Drake also coached the Edmonton Oilers during the 1975-76 World Hockey Association season, served as an Assistant Coach with the Winnipeg Jets in 1989-90, and worked with the Dallas Stars during the 2001 Stanley Cup playoffs. Internationally, Drake was the co-coach of the 1980 Canadian Olympic Hockey team, and the mentor coach for Canada’s National Women’s Team leading up to the 1998 Winter Olympics.
Drake was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1989, the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame in 2006, and had the University of Alberta’s hockey rink, formerly the Varsity Arena, named after him.
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