‘Big little brother:’ Broncos head coach remembered for kindness, faith

Three funerals taking place for Humboldt Broncos killed in last week’s bus crash

Darcy Haugan was four years younger than his sister, but Deborah Carpenter says she always looked up to him as they were growing up.

“He was my big little brother. He was my hero,” she said from Humboldt, Sask., where his funeral service is to take place this afternoon at the Elgar Petersen Arena.

“He was just so gracious to me and kind to me and encouraging.”

Another funeral is being held in Humboldt today at the St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church for team statistician Brody Hinz. In Lethbridge, defenceman Logan Boulet will be remembered at a service at the Nicholas Sheran Ice Centre.

Haugan was head coach of the Humboldt Broncos. The junior hockey team’s bus and a semi-truck collided at a rural crossroads April 6 as the team was heading to a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff game.

PHOTOS: British Columbians show their support for Humboldt with ‘Jersey Day’

Haugan, 42, was among the 16 who died. Thirteen were injured.

Carpenter said she and her brother grew up in a sports-loving household in Peace River, Alta. When it wasn’t hockey, it was baseball.

She wanted to take part, but she lacked the athletic prowess of her brother and father. She would sometimes tell her brother that she wished she could play like him.

“And he would say to me: ‘Deb, you have all the talent. You just haven’t had the opportunity to develop it.’

“How kind is that?”

By the time Haugan started playing junior hockey for the Fort Saskatchewan Traders, Carpenter was away at school, but she would travel to watch his games.

Once he started coaching, Haugan always made time to see his sister, even if it was just squeezing in a coffee at a Tim Hortons in Red Deer, Alta., where she lives.

The lessons he imparted to the young players on his team went beyond the ice, said Carpenter.

“At the end of the day, he obviously wanted them to succeed at hockey, but he also knew what it was going to take to succeed in life.”

Haugan was a devout Christian who would pray before work in his office and before bed with his sons Carson, 12, and Jackson, 9.

Carpenter said Haugan would tell his boys: “I don’t care if you play hockey. I don’t care what job you do. I don’t care about those things. I just care that you follow Jesus.”

“He never left things unsaid to his children, things that he felt were important that they know. And he would repeat them so that they knew it was important.”

When Haugan went out of town for a few days for a tournament, he would tell his eldest: ”All right, you’re the man of the house. Take care of your mom until I’m back.”

“So Carson is looking at this and saying, ‘My dad is gone and I want to take care of my mom,’” Carpenter said.

She said Haugan’s wife, Christina, is suffering, but she’s handling the tragedy with courage and grace. She is the office manager for the Broncos.

Carpenter said her brother lived as though every moment were his last, even though he couldn’t have known how little time he had.

“We think that things like this can’t happen, (that) we’re safe. And we live as though we have forever and we live recklessly and without thought.

“But Darcy lived intentionally and gave a thought to everything and everyone.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Mother of missing Shuswap woman holds out hope she’ll be found

Nicole Bell’s mom urges public to report any information that might help

In Photos: Salmon Arm pays respect at Remembrance Day ceremony

Veterans and cadets, community groups and other residents gathered at the Salmon… Continue reading

Chase RCMP catch wanted man

Damian Nathan Thiessen will face charges of robbery and drug possesion among others

Video: Sicamous Remembers

The community gathered to honour the sacrifices of veterans on Nov. 11

Veterans in Salmon Arm honoured for their service

Piccadilly Care Centre arranges a Remembrance Day Service to honour four veterans who live there

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Feds’ appeal of solitary confinement decision in B.C. to be heard

Judge ruled in January that indefinite such confinement is unconstitutional, causes permanent harm

Recognition for Mazu website founder Janice Taylor

Kelowna woman awarded alumni of distinction honour by Campion College

B.C. health care payroll tax approved, takes effect Jan. 1

Employers calculating cost, including property taxes increases

Nunavut urges new plan to deal with too many polar bears

Territory recommends a proposal that contradicts much of conventional scientific thinking

Review: Okanagan Symphony dazzles with Verdi’s Requiem

Remembrance offering was months in the making

Video: Historic South Okanagan restaurant closes

Bittersweet ending for open mic night patrons and musicians in Penticton

Eagles meet tough opposition on the road

Team is dominated by the North Okanagan Knights and then loses an overtime heartbreaker in Osoyoos

Most Read