The former member of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies hockey team guided Team Canada to a sixth-straight victory to clinch the World Cup of Hockey with a 2-1 triumph over Team Europe in Toronto.
The 53-year-old Saskatoon native—who was awarded an honourary Doctor of Laws for outstanding achievement at U of S Spring Convocation in June—is now the only coach in the history of hockey to win the five most prestigious championships in the sport with a World Cup, Stanley Cup, world championship, world junior championship and back-to-back Olympic gold medals for Canada.
Canada has now won 16 straight games with Babcock behind the bench in the 2016 World Cup and the 2014 and 2010 Winter Olympic Games, padding a Hockey Hall of Fame-calibre resume that is unmatched in the sport. But through it all, the head coach of the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs has remained true to his roots.
“I don’t know if you can ever in your wildest dreams think of this stuff,” said Babcock in the spring, recalling his days on campus at the U of S playing for legendary hockey coach Dave King. “But if you keep opening doors for yourself and embrace lifelong learning, like the U of S sets you up to do, then you have a chance . . .
“Getting a university degree doesn’t guarantee success, but it gives you a platform to pursue it and then it’s up to you. So it’s a launching pad, but it’s a heck of a launching pad. And to me, I’m living proof that dreams do come true.”
Babcock now rejoins the Maple Leafs as he prepares for the 2016-17 NHL season as one of four former Huskie hockey players serving as head coaches in the 30-team league, along with Todd McLellan (Edmonton Oilers), Willie Desjardins (Vancouver Canucks) and Glen Gulutzan (Calgary Flames).
You can read more on Babcock leading Canada to victory here.