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Selkirk College Saints Pay Tribute to the Heaven Era

Brent Heaven celebrates his first British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey Leaguechampionship in 2016 at the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre. After four successful years behind the bench as head coach, Heaven is moving on to pursue other interests.

The Selkirk College Saints are turning the page to a new chapter as the hockey team celebrates the achievements of the last four years and opens the door for a new head coach.

After four successful seasons as head coach of the men’s hockey program, Brent Heaven is stepping down to pursue other interests. During his time behind the bench, Heaven helped guide the Saints to a British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) championship in 2016 and finishes his stint at Selkirk College with an impressive overall 62-25-0-10 record.

“I feel very fortunate to have spent four years guiding these young men on and off the ice,” says Heaven. “Together with the coaching staff that I was privileged to work with over my time, we built a strong program both on and off the ice. It’s time to move on, but I am proud of the work we did and confident that Selkirk College will continue to be the strong program our supporters have come to expect.”

A former general manager and head coach of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s (KIJHL) Castlegar Rebels and Creston Valley Thunder Cats, Heaven arrived to the Saints in the 2014-2015 British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) season as an assistant coach. With Alex Evin as the team’s bench boss, the Saints captured their third straight BCIHL title in 2015. Evin left the team that summer to pursue his coaching career in the British Columbia Hockey League and Heaven took the reins.

In his first season as head coach, Heaven’s team continued to roll with a 17-4-0-3 regular season that was capped off with a championship series win over Trinity Western University at the Castlegar & District Recreation Centre before a raucous crowd.

“That championship in 2016 is a lasting memory that will always stay with me,” Heaven says of the fourth straight BCIHL title for the Selkirk College program. “Getting a chance to share that terrific season with all of the incredible fans who support this team, it was a special moment.” 

Heaven’s four years as head coach is the second longest tenure since the Saints program re-emerged in the BCIHL in 2007.

“It is difficult to see people move on from the program, especially when they have been with us for a lengthy period of time,” says Kim Verigin, Selkirk College’s Department Head of Athletics, Recreation & Student Life. “Brent is another great coach living in the Kootenays and we have been able to rely on this local talent for so many years. It is a testament to the quality of individuals we have in the area and not just from student-athletes.”

Running a program for a small college takes a tremendous amount of time and energy with recruiting players, practices, preparation, games and road trips. The success the Saints achieved under Heaven in a league composed of all four-year schools is impressive.

"We would like to thank Brent sincerely for his time, effort and commitment and we wish him well in his future endeavors," says Verigin.

With one chapter ending, the Saints are now looking for a new head coach to help guide the 2019-2020 team to more success in the future. Those interested in the position should contact Kim Verigin at 250.365.1304 or via email at hockey@selkirk.ca.