‘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

Robert Barron column: Lower speed limits could save lives

That’s annoying, but at the same time, I think it will save some lives.

Andrea Rondeau column: I’ll beg if I have to, to get you to vote

Please, please, please mail in your vote in the proportional representation election.

Sarah Simpson column: Cowichan sure knows when to step up to help

Shortly after my birthday last year I wrote a column about gifts.… Continue reading

Cowichan United seeing positives despite results

U21 team falls to Lakehill, but coaches see improvement

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

CUPW requests mediator as deadline for Canada Post offer expires without deal

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau weighed in Saturday night with a last-minute plea to the two sides

Trudeau says he won’t negotiate in public on future of LGBTQ rights in USMCA

Legislators urged Trump not to sign the agreement unless the language was removed.

Search for contaminant continues at Little Qualicum Cheeseworks

Island company ‘blown away’ by support after E. coli recall of Qualicum Spice cheese

Most Read