In just his second year as a Canadian university (CIS) head coach, Mark Howell, the first ever coach of the Westside Warriors, has won the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award, as the Coach of the Year for his work with the Calgary Dinos.
Over his two seasons with the team, Howell has led the Dinos to a pair of playoff appearances after a one-year absence and the program’s first University Cup appearance since 2000.
His 2010-11 squad posted a 17-8-3 conference record, the school’s best since 1996-97, and a second-place finish in Canada West.
With home-ice advantage in the opening round of the playoffs, the Dinos qualified for the CIS championship with a three-game series win over Saskatchewan and appeared in their first conference final series since 1996.
Howell joined the Dinos after six years as a head coach at the Junior ‘A’ level in Drayton Valley, Alta., and Westside, B.C. He played one year of CIS hockey at Alberta, winning the 1992 University Cup with the Golden Bears.
“In just two short years, Mark has re-established the University of Calgary as one of the premier hockey programs in Western Canada,” said Wayne Giles, dean of the U of C’s kinesiology faculty.
“His dedication and tireless work have led to quick success and a trip to the University Cup, and we congratulate him on this well-deserved honour.”
Howell was the first ever head coach of the Westside Warriors and served for three years with the team. He had a 100-60-4-16 record during the regular season and a 10-15 record during the playoffs with the Warriors in his three years.
He also led the Warriors to their only Interior Conference Finals appearance in 2008.