The Selkirk College Saints have announced that Castlegar-raised Alex Evin is stepping from assistant coach to head coach for the upcoming 2014-15 BCIHL season. He will replace Jeff Dubois, who moved to the Creston Valley Thunder of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) earlier this summer.
“I think it’s a good fit,” Evin says. “Having been part of the program for the last two years and two championships, I made a contribution to that overall success as an assistant coach. I think I can help keep the program going in the right direction. There’s an expectation to win and I love to win.”
Selkirk College Athletics & Recreation Coordinator Kim Verigin says the choice was obvious.
“Alex understands this team and understands this community,” says Verigin. “We’re excited to give him the opportunity to see what he can do calling the shots. He is young, enthusiastic and has the hockey knowledge that will enable our players to succeed both on and off the ice.”
Evin, 27, was drawn to the position of goaltender at a young age.
“I was attracted to the equipment, that was pretty common for little kids,” Evin says with a chuckle. “But I like the fact that you are able to stay on the ice for the entire game.”
Evin was a standout while helping several Castlegar rep teams take on the best in the province. With the likes of Clinton Pettapeice and Lindsay Walker adding offensive firepower, Evin helped backstop the Castlegar Bantam Rep team to a coveted BC title.
Drafted by the WHL Calgary Hitmen, Evin chose a more academic route with the Powell River Kings of the BCHL as a 16-year-old. Evin finished his junior hockey career with the Penticton Vees where he helped the squad win a BCHL title in 2008, earning him a scholarship at Colgate University in New York State where he played four seasons of NCAA hockey. Though he took a shot at the professional game after graduation in 2012, Evin decided to return to the Kootenays to start training the next generation.
Evin started NL Goaltending shortly after his return to Castlegar, offering his services to teams and individuals.
“I have a soft spot for the goaltenders in the Kootenays,” says Evin. “When I grew up I never had any help, I was on my own and made it pretty far by being essentially self-taught in the position.”
Early in the 2012-13 BCHL season, Dubois asked Evin to the join the Saints staff as an assistant coach. Focussing on the goaltenders, Evin left his mark by helping develop both Alex Sirard who was instrumental in Selkirk’s first championship in 2013 and Chris Hurry who backstopped the Saints to this past season’s ultimate glory.
Graduating with a degree in English from Colgate University, Evin knows the rigours of a student athlete.
“It was a pretty tough school when it came to academics, at Colgate you were always a student first and athlete second,” he says. “That’s how I am going to approach things at Selkirk because it puts things in perspective for you. Not everybody is going to play at the National Hockey League level and make a living in this game.”
On the ice and behind the bench, Evin plans to apply his knowledge and coaching technique in developing the Saints’ players.
“I’ve always been a student of the game, I’m a bit of a geek that way,” he says.
The core philosophy Evin helped foster under Dubois will continue and he expects this year’s club to be as tenacious as ever.
“We pride ourselves on outworking each opponent every night.”
The Selkirk College Saints will begin defence of their BCIHL title in September.