Don Evans was a true hockey man in our eyes.

After graduating, Don played for the Kelowna Buckaroos for four years. He then starting coaching his nephew Brodie, then his two sons Jordan and Sean. Upon returning to Kelowna in 1991 Don became atom house director, moving on up through pee-wee, bantam then midget, he was then elected President in 1994 , a position he held until 2004.

He saw the need for development and keeping it fun for everyone involved, he set up the midget house league on Sunday nights, so kids would keep playing the game. He personally saw too it that kids that were a little to old to play still had a place where they could play, and at the same time develop the skilled players in a more competitive environment, Don was a driving force in setting up the major midget league with BC hockey. Regarding the officiating end of the game, Don understood that the better the association trained the officials the better the hockey would be, also along those lines, visiting teams for league play and tournaments always were complimentary towards the officiating standard , which made the visitors happy to come back to Kelowna. He helped the whole association with coaching initiatives, he did the same for the officials. As president of Kelowna Minor Hockey it was a pleasure to be a member of his executive, as he respected everyone. He was one of the original Kelowna Buckaroos, a man that truly came from the game, and understood , in his era, what it took to run a successful program. He was the very proud and loving father to his sons Jordan and Sean.

Under his guidance and leadership, the Kelowna Minor Hockey Association has evolved from a perennial runner up to the predominant organization of Okanagan Minor Hockey Association. This has not occurred through chance but rather via a pre-planned set of development programs that he has implemented. It started with Novice Division where KMHA hired a certified instructor to ensure each child could develop to their maximum potential. In all divisions where KMHA competes extra “B” teams were added so more players could compete at a higher level. A midget enhancement program was also established to help local players stay at home, while completing their education, this proved fruitful as the first Provincial Midget title in 30 years. He did not neglect the house leagues, setting up what had been a non-existent Midget league.

R.I.P. Don Evans.

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.