SPORTS

U of S Men's Hockey Coach racks up most wins in CIS history

01/20/2015 06:30 EST | Updated 03/22/2015 05:59 EDT
When the University of Saskatchewan men's hockey team won their game in Vancouver on the weekend, they vaulted their long-time coach into sports history.

Dave Adolph has racked up the most wins in the history of Canadian University men's hockey, with 378 wins.

His reaction might explain how he got to that lofty place.

"I can honestly say it wasn't until probably 45 minutes after the game that I remembered that I did it," Adolph said. 

His team is in a playoff battle for the first time in 19 years, he explained. He said that's where his mind was.

Bested his idol

Adolph's record, for both Canadian Inter-university Sport and the Canada West conference, now does exactly one better than his long-time idol, University of Alberta coach Clare Drake.

"I'm not even in his category," Adolph said. "(Drake's) done so much for this game, for both men's and women's hockey that eventually people are going to pass him, but they're not going to replace him, that's for sure."

The first time he saw Drake, Adolph was a U of S student athlete. The Huskies joined with the U of A players at a hockey school in St. Albert.

"I'd never seen a coach's clinic before that was that well attended," Adolph recalled. "I'd never seen a hockey school that really worked on skill and skill development."

That was in the mid-70's.

"From that day forward we all knew who Clare Drake was and what we were chasing," Adolph continued.

Championship eludes him

While Drake led his Golden Bears to six University Cup championships, Adolph has yet to match that accomplishment in his 21 years coaching the Huskies.

"Our team's been in the national championship 14 of the last 19 years and we haven't won it," Adolph explained. "As a student athlete I was very fortunate to have that experience. We won the national championship. And it was my short and long-term goal to win a national championship. Haven't accomplished that."

As for why, "my wife would say bad luck," Adolph said. They lost in a couple of overtime games, taken penalties late in the game and their opponent scored.

"It's not something that I've looked back on and, you know, kicked my soccer ball through the hedge worrying about it," Adolph commented.

So, he and the Huskies will keep "knocking on the door".

No thought of leaving

Including his time as a student athlete, Adolph has been at the U of S for more than 30 years. He got to know a cadre of fellow athletes who also got involved in the community and successfully pursued their studies.

"It just inspired me," he said. "I don't think I've ever wanted to leave."

Not that he couldn't have crossed over into the WHL or even the NHL but family and job satisfaction have a stronger pull than money and glitz for Adolph.

His daughter and son are both students at the U of S, and his wife is a teacher there.

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