Glen Gaudet

Glen Gaudet played a major role in the rise of Cambridge ringette on the national and international stage. Inset: At the Turbos induction to the CSHF.

June 20, 1952 –

Glen Gaudet started his long association with ringette in 1986 in Edmonton, and has been at it ever since. And the impact he’s had on the sport in those nearly 30 years has been immense.

With a hockey background, the Winnipeg native had moved to Edmonton in 1982, and within a few years started coaching his daughter in the Bunny division.

In 1989 he came to Cambridge and continued his coaching career with his daughters.

“I never expected to fall in love with the sport as I did,” he admitted, though the example of how his father Albert had given so much of himself while following Glen’s athletic career was fresh in his mind.

“My dad was so involved behind the scenes in my sports back in Winnipeg,” he acknowledged.

It wasn’t uncommon for his father to water the outdoor rink at 3 a.m. in prepration for one of Glen’s 9 o’clock Saturday morning games.

The Gaudet house was team central in those days, and decades later, his own home would serve the same function in the ringette world.

His father has passed away but his mother came to Cambridge with the family and she immediately got in- volved in the local community and has volunteered with the Cambridge tournament and with the nationals.

Having such competitive daughters – they both devel- oped into national-calibre players – has pushed him to do the best he could do along the way.

In 2011 Ringette Canada appointed him to be the head coach of its senior national team. It was the culmination of years of dedication and hard work. He had developed into being a respected authority on the sport.

Following the announcement, Gaudet began working with the high performance committee to select the re- maining coaching staff for Team Canada.

In addition to leading the senior national team, Gaudet also served in a leadership capacity in the development of Ringette Canada’s junior national team. On the horizon were the U19 World Ringette Championship being held in London, Ontario in December 2012.

“We are delighted to announce the appointment of Glen Gaudet as head coach of our senior national team,” said Alexis Snow- don, chair of Ringette Canada’s high performance committee at the time. “Glen’s experience, knowledge and proven history of coaching success will be a tremendous asset to not just our senior national team, but to our entire national team program.”

Gaudet’s track record was almost unmatched. He coached Team Ontario to three consecutive gold medal wins at the 1999, 2003 and 2007 Canada Winter Games and took Team Canada East to a silver medal at the first-ever U19 World Ringette Championships in Prague in 2009.

As head coach of the perennially strong Cambridge Turbos in the Nation- al Ringette League — a position he held since the league started in 2004 — the Turbos captured three gold and three silver medals in the previous six years and were undefeated en route to a gold medal win at the first World Club Championships held in 2008.

“Glen’s record of success in the National Ringette League, Canada Winter Games and internationally show that he truly is one of the best coaches in the world,” said David Patterson, Ringette Canada’s Executive Director.

“I am honored to have been selected as head coach of the senior national team,” said Gaudet. “The pool of talent that this country has to offer is astounding.”

At the 2013 Worlds in North Bay that year Finland beat Canada to win gold. Still, it was an incredible experience to coach the best players in the country as they sought a world title.

“I love ringette and I got to watch the best players,” he said. “I had the time of my life, a great way to end my coaching career.”

In early 2014 the spectre of retirement after 26 years loomed. He cited his age — he was 61 — as one of the reasons. He had begun all those years ago when his girls Jenn, then seven, and Jackie, then five, began on the bunny team. Now they represent the next generation of Gaudet coaches.

Both have played for him at the Canada Games and with the Cambridge Turbos of the NRL. Through the years he saw his daughters mature, both on and off the ice. He still loves to watch them play.

In 2009 Gaudet was honoured by his hometown with the Sports Con- tributor Award. It also capped off an incredible year in which he led the Cambridge Turbos ringette team to an Eastern Conference and National Ringette League championship, as well as a world club title.

In addition, Gaudet guided Canada East to a silver medal that year at the inaugural World Junior Ringette Championship in Prague, Czech Republic.

“I’ve loved it.”