Hall of Fame 2018 InducteesThe 2018 Hall of Fame inductees, mark great careers and achievements that stand the test of time. The tributes and memorabilia you see here in the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame of past inductees recall the passion and successes of many great people in this community. Competing at the highest level or setting a new path for others to follow, each member has made an impression that our community can cherish for years to come. This year’s inductees are a diverse group, showing the rich sport history in Coquitlam and the influence that they have on sport in our province and across our country.
BILL and ELAINE MILLS – curling
Few sports are as indelibly part of a community as curling. With the dedication and support from Bill and Elaine Mills, Coquitlam became one of the provincial hotspots for junior development while prominent members of the Coquitlam Curling Club.
The couple launched the junior curling program with Centennial Secondary in 1987, and built it up not only locally, but helped spread that game to other schools, groups and clubs. In 1989, the Mills attracted the support of the Coquitlam Optimist Club, who sponsor and promote positive community service projects. Through that involvement, the Coquitlam Optimists created the provincial under-18 program that continues to this day.
The pair became involved with the Special Olympics in 1993 and introduced a new group of enthusiasts to the sport.
Bill and Elaine Mills served as coaches, teachers and organizers for junior curling, setting up curling events that introduced the game to new generations. Their love of the sport was coupled with an ability to connect with younger players, to teach sportsmanship and community involvement. As volunteers there was no task too small.
In honour of Bill Mills, who passed away in 2013, the Coquitlam novice bonspiel was renamed the Bill Mills Memorial Coquitlam Junior Bonspiel. Elaine has continued to carry the broom and promote the game in his absence. The Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame is proud to induct Bill and Elaine Mills as builders.
ALAN ERRINGTON – soccer
A young boy’s love for football, as the grand game is known outside of North America, put Newcastle’s Alan Errington on a journey that took him to heady heights and a lot of different soccer stadiums. At the age of 23, Errington visited Vancouver and was enticed by the area’s beauty and the potential to grow the game in Canada. An injury while playing premier soccer in Richmond sent him to the sidelines, where his knowledge of the sport’s ebbs and flows led to a coaching career.
H is first volunteer position was with Killarney minor soccer, where he enjoyed sharing his passion for the game. It was followed by a coaching position with the Vancouver Whitecaps, working with head coach Tony Waiters on the 1979 North American Soccer League championship run, and later the Vancouver 86ers, where he oversaw a 46-game undefeated streak.
For Canada, Errington carried the flag as a staff coach for the 1984 youth men’s CONCACAF tournament, and a year later at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Russia. In 1986 he found himself as a staff coach with Canada’s first and only World Cup team. His commitment to the sport led him to coaching duties with the Canadian Youth team, Olympic teams and at the club and university levels.
Errington was inducted, alongside members of both the ’79 champion Whitecaps and ’89 86ers, into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame. It’s our pleasure to welcome him to his hometown Hall of Fame.
DON HEDGES – lacrosse
A physician by training, it’s fair to say Dr. Don Hedges has had his fingers on the pulse of a multitude of sports in the Lower Mainland for over 30 years. A long-time supporter and volunteer, Dr. Hedges has provided invaluable medical support to a host of amateur and pro teams, including the Coquitlam Adanacs, the Vancouver Stealth, the Vancouver Whitecaps, the New West Hyacks high school football team and the Burnaby Lake Rugby Club, as well as provincial and national team programs.
With the Adanacs, Hedges took on every role that was required between 1987 to 2012, serving as governor, team president, physician, supporter, fundraiser and fan. Although loyal to his team, he followed the traditional Hypocratic Oath and helped anyone who required it, volunteering as chairman and physician for the Western Lacrosse Association, as well as three junior teams. He played a major, behind the scenes role in Coquitlam’s 2001 Mann Cup championship, and has organized numerous trips and donations in support of lacrosse in Costa Rica.
Dr. Hedges was elected into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame and was voted the Physician of the Year (2013) in Community Sports Medicine. His benevolent dedication to sports and the athletes have enriched his hometown of Coquitlam and many communities beyond.
GEORDIE DEAN – lacrosse
Geordie Dean’s impact on the sport was not only on the scoresheet, but in championships. The Coquitlam native discovered lacrosse at an early age, and he made it his own. Groomed through Coquitlam Minor Lacrosse, Dean would quickly star at the junior A level, earning the circuit’s Top Rookie award in 1978 with 55 goals and 54 assists in 24 games.
His stick skills made him a player to watch, and over four-plus seasons with the junior Adanacs he averaged 3.8 points per game, playing 101 games and scoring 192 times. In his final season with Coquitlam, he spearheaded the team’s first-ever league title, tying Victoria for the league-best record at 16-8. While playing junior, Dean made his Western Lacrosse Association debut at 17 as a call-up and played games for both his hometown team, the Vancouver Burrards and New Westminster Salmonbellies. In 1980, he would go on to play his first Mann Cup games, counting three goals and two assists, as a call-up for New West. It would foreshadow much to come.
At the 1982 WLA draft, Dean was chosen by the Salmonbellies and was ushered into the senior ranks alongside such leaders as Dave Durante, Eric Coweson and fellow Coquitlam native Steve d’Easum. Over a 16-year senior career, Dean led New West into the playoffs 15 years in a row – and advancing to nine Mann Cups, winning it three times – in 1986, 1989 and 1991. He played 506 games, tallied 569 goals and 1,412 points, was named the WLA MVP in 1984 and ’85, the Maitland Trophy winner for sportsmanship in 1987 and ’92, a two-time Mike Kelly Mann Cup MVP, and a first team all-star seven times.
At the time of his retirement after the 1997 season, he had established Mann Cup scoring records with 67 goals and 94 assists in 53 games. An imposing player both with and without the ball, Dean would go on to represent Canada at the world field lacrosse championships in 1986, 1990 and 1994. He was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2003, while his jersey has been retired by both the Coquitlam junior Adanacs and New Westminster Salmonbellies. Considered a generational talent, we’re proud to usher Geordie Dean into the ranks of the Coquitlam Hall of Fame.
ALEX STIEDA – cycling
As an inspiring athlete on two wheels, Stieda led the Canadian cycling community to great heights. His love of cycling started early and was unleashed onto the streets, lanes and trails of Coquitlam. A daredevil’s delight in riding fast and on the edge wasn’t deterred by numerous crashes. However, we’re grateful he chose to not follow in Evel Knievel’s path, instead choosing a championship route to a variety of podiums.
At the age of 16 Stieda became one of the best in Canada in the discipline of track racing, winning numerous junior national titles and placing fifth in the junior world championships. His passion for speed earned him a spot on the 7-Eleven road racing cycling team in 1982, which travelled across North America and produced first-place results in 50 per cent of the events they entered.
His international success spread to the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Australia, where Stieda captured bronze in individual pursuit and represented Canada at the 1986 Los Angeles Olympics. The big breakthrough that shocked a continent was with the 7-Eleven team when Stieda became the first-ever North American cyclist to capture the yellow jersey, on July 5 of the 1986 Tour de France. While he held it for less than a day, it was a ground-breaking achievement that inspired racers across the globe.
Stieda made headlines and set a course that thousands of other young Canadian cyclists would follow. As passionate about winning as he was for competing, sharing in his team’s success was paramount. Without a doubt, Alex Stieda set the wheels in motion for Canada’s emergence on the international cycling stage.
Alex could not be here this evening and sends his regrets. He is living in Edmonton at the moment but will be in Coquitlam this fall and we will make sure he receives his award and see his display alongside Coquitlam’s other great athletes.
1988 COQUITLAM REDS BASEBALL TEAM
The Coquitlam Reds’ 1988 championship run was forged by dogged determination, spirited competitiveness and a touch of magic. They did not take the easy route to the Canadian major juvenile baseball championships, but the map they followed got them to their goal, and then some.
By beating the Quebec Selects 4-2 in a championship final that was split over two days due to fog, the Reds completed a rollercoaster run. Despite inconsistencies and some typical teenage distractions, Coquitlam shook off a sluggish finish to the Lower Mainland league season to hit their stride at the provincials, where they trounced Richmond 9-2 to advance to their second straight nationals.
In Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, the team of 17-and-18 year olds bested Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec, with the lone setback coming in a stark 14-0 slap-down at the hands of Newfoundland. It proved to be a very successful wakeup call. In the semifinals, Coquitlam needed eight innings to edge Saskatchewan, thanks to Brad Robinson’s RBI single to plate Brett Hertzog.
Then came the fateful ‘fog bowl.’ Down 1-0 entering the second inning, the Reds put two men on and had two outs when Hamish D’Avellar popped a high fly into a bank of low-hanging fog that had rolled in minutes earlier. It created chaos for the Quebec infielders, who couldn’t track the ball, which hit the ground to give the Reds a 2-1 lead. Moments later, the officials suspended the game for the next day.
While the Quebecers would tie the game when play resumed in the daylight, Coquitlam retook the lead in the fifth when Barry Demarco, a pick-up from Burnaby, drilled a single to score Darren Hansen. Led by six-foot-nine lefthanded ace Cam Aronetz, the Reds emerged as the top dogs in an incredible summer.
- Corey Carpenter
- Steve Ferguson
- Cam Aronetz
- Greg Heximer
- Darren Turriff
- Chad Boll
- Brad Robinson
- Gord Elliot
- Al Vermuellen
- Hamish D’Avellar
- Barry Demarco
- Brett Hertzog
- Paul Spoljaric
- Billy Evans
- Vern Girard
- Jevon Clarke
- Greg Elliot
- Darcy Balla
- Everett Wicklund
- Darren Hansen