“We are beginning a new four-year Paralympic cycle this season, and we could not be more excited about this coaching staff”
Hockey Canada have announced that Ken Babey will be the head coach of Canada’s national sledge hockey team for the 2014-15 season, including the 2015 World Sledge Hockey Challenge in Leduc, Canada, and 2015 IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship in Buffalo, New York, USA.
Ron Choules and Herve Lord will serve as assistant coaches.
“We are beginning a new four-year Paralympic cycle this season, and we could not be more excited about this coaching staff,” said Shawn Bullock, Senior Manager of hockey operations and men’s national teams with Hockey Canada. “Ken and Ron bring knowledge and success from a number of different levels of the game, and when combined with Herve’s understanding of, and passion for sledge hockey, this is the right group to lead Canada’s national sledge hockey team this season.”
Ken Babey, 60, spent 27 years as the head coach of the men’s hockey team at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) from 1987-2014, finishing his career as the winning coach in Canadian post-secondary hockey history, with 534 regular season and playoff wins. He led SAIT to nine Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference championships (1997, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014) and the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association national championship in 2000, while also serving as athletic director at SAIT from 1997-2014. Babey served as head coach of Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2000 Four Nations Cup, and as an assistant coach with Canada’s national men’s team at the 2003 Loto Cup, winning a gold medal at both tournaments.
Ron Choules, 51, is in his first season as an assistant coach with the men’s hockey team at Concordia University. He has also spent time as head coach of the QMJHL’s Acadie-Bathurst Titan (2008-10, 2014) and Cape Breton Screaming Eagles (2011-12), as an assistant coach with the QMJHL’s Victoriaville Tigres (2005), and as general manager in Cape Breton (2012). Choules was also head coach and general manager of the LHJAAAQ’s Kahnawake Condors from 2006-08, and was an assistant coach with Kahnawake and the St-Eustache Gladiators from 2003-05. A 12th-round selection (228th overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, Choules served as an assistant coach with Canada’s national men’s Summer under-18 team at the 2011 Memorial of Ivan Hlinka, winning a gold medal.
Herve Lord, 56, is one of the most decorated players in the history of Canada’s national sledge hockey team, spending 19 seasons with the national program from 1991-2010. During his career, Lord won three medals at the Paralympic Winter Games (gold in 2006, silver in 1998 and bronze in 1994), two IPC Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship gold medals (2000, 2008), two World Sledge Hockey Challenge gold medals (2007, 2008) and two World Cup gold medals (1991, 1992). In all, he participated in five Paralympics, and recorded 31 points (15 goals, 16 assists) in 93 games after Hockey Canada took over the sledge hockey program in 2004. A recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012, Lord has spent the last four seasons as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Sledge Development Team.
The 2015 IPC Sledge Hockey World Championship is scheduled for 24 April-2 May at HARBORCENTRE in Buffalo, and will include Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia and the United States.
The 2015 World Sledge Hockey Challenge will take place from 1-7 February at the Leduc Recreation Centre, and will include Canada, Korea, Russia and the United States.