Virden Oil Capitals bench boss Tyson Ramsey has been named a finalist for the prestigious honour of Canadian Junior Hockey League Coach of the Year.
The second-year Oil Caps head coach and general manager is one of five finalists for the national Junior A hockey honour. The Darcy Haugan/Mark Cross Memorial Award is given out annually in honour of the two Humboldt Broncos coaches who died in the team’s April 6, 2018 bus crash.
“It certainly means a lot and it is a great honor to be included in the conversation for an award named after Darcy Haugan and Mark Cross,” Ramsey said. “I know from reading about them after the tragedy in Humboldt … the values and life lessons they felt were important for their players and their organization. It is certainly very incredibly humbling to be considered as someone who represents those same values.”
Before the 2020-2021 Manitoba Junior Hockey League season was paused and then cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oil Capitals got off to a MJHL-best 8-0-1-0 start. They earned points in all nine contests. While Ramsey has enjoyed on-ice success during his three seasons, including one as an assistant coach, as a member of the Oil Caps coaching staff, that is only part of what he brings to the franchise.
“I had the privilege of having Tyson as my coach for six consecutive seasons,” said Virden co-captain Brett Paddock, who was coached by Ramsey in the U18 AAA ranks. “Through those years he taught me an incredible amount about the game of hockey, however hockey wasn’t the only thing he taught his players. He takes an immense amount of pride into coaching his players to be good citizens and leaders off the ice. He is a man that is respectful to everyone he encounters, and he expects the same kind of respectful traits to be portrayed by his players. I am so grateful to have had him as a role model for the past six years, and I couldn’t think of a better person to be recognized for the coach of the year honours.”
Although the Oil Capitals were not able to compete this past winter for a league title, Ramsey said the season still had it positive aspects.
“Even though this season was challenging on so many levels, the enjoyment every season comes from working with the people involved with the organization,” he said. “From the players and coaches, to training and equipment staff, office staff, billets, board members, business partners, season ticket holders, and fans, it is always the people that I enjoy working with.”