Building Champions, Gardiner MacDougall's Unrivaled Legacy in Canadian Hockey
Building Champions, Gardiner MacDougall’s Unrivaled Legacy in Canadian Hockey

Building Champions, Gardiner MacDougall’s Unrivaled Legacy in Canadian Hockey

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With an astonishing 35 years of coaching experience, Gardiner MacDougall is not only the winningest coach in U Sports history, but he has developed one of the most likeable and personable reputations while achieving tremendous success in the sport.

MacDougall has advanced a coaching style that demonstrates contagious positive energy and enthusiasm, which has allowed his teams to cultivate an exceptional top-notch culture both on and off the ice. The key to MacDougall’s success is his ability to find a happy balance between working hard and having fun, even at a competitive level. MacDougall stresses an environment where his players feel comfortable and enjoy the hockey development process while also emphasizing a hard working and self-accountable culture.

What separates MacDougall is not just his passion for the game, but his care and consideration to make a powerful impact on his player’s lives. As the Head Coach for the University of New Brunswick’s hockey program, he embodies the motto of the University which is “To Make a Significant Difference.” MacDougall has taken this motto to heart, striving to make a positive significant difference with all people, especially his players. As a coach, MacDougall believes that it is his job to serve his players not just on the ice, but off it as well in whatever capacity is necessary. This philosophy has created an environment of mutual trust between MacDougall and his players which has played a critical role in his ability to relate with and coach his players to an elevated level of success.

TCS Live - The Coaches Site Live - Gardiner MacDougall - CHL

The native of Budeque, PEI, ended up getting into the world of hockey after starting as a physical education teacher in western Canada. His first coaching assignment was with Portage Collegiate. After spending four years in Manitoba, MacDougall transitioned to an Assistant Coach for the Flin Flon Bombers of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League.

After two years with the Bombers, MacDougall challenged himself by starting an expansion team called the Lebret Eagles, the newest addition to the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. After getting the Eagles up and running, MacDougall started an additional expansion team in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League called the OCN Blizzard. During their inaugural 1996-1997 season, MacDougall was honored with the MJHL Coach of the Year. MacDougall won this distinguished award again during the 1998-1999 season, while also guiding the Blizzard to an MJHL Championship.

MacDougall’s ability to step-in and make a quick impact made him the perfect candidate for as the interim Head Coach of the Saint John Sea Dogs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. Despite only spending five weeks with the team, he steered the Sea Dogs to the prestigious CHL Memorial Cup Championship in 2022.

After taking a year off to decide what he wanted to do with hockey, MacDougall made his biggest coaching career decision in 2000 when he took over as Head Coach for the University of New Brunswick. MacDougall has been behind the bench for New Brunswick for the past 24 seasons.

TCS Live - The Coaches Site Live - Gardiner MacDougall - UNB

Throughout his time as the REDS bench boss, MacDougall has cemented his name as one of the greatest hockey masterminds the game has ever witnessed. He has guided the REDS to eight Canadian Championship titles. MacDougall currently stands as the all-time Atlantic Conference leader in total wins, including regular season and playoff victories. On a larger scale, MacDougall has coached his way to a top five position in all-time U Sports victories while reaching the number one pinnacle position of all-time, National Championship Tournament wins in Canadian University hockey history.

Through MacDougall’s effective ability to create a positive and hard working team culture, he has turned the University of New Brunswick hockey program into a premier hockey development program. With MacDougall at the helm, he has played a critical role in guiding 39 players to the AHL or NHL. MacDougall has also set a high standard for his players off the ice academically. Over 100 of MacDougall’s players have achieved Academic All-Canadian status, attaining at least a 3.5 GPA. This remarkable standard of on-ice and off-ice excellence has propelled MacDougall’s continued illustrious success.

TCS Live - The Coaches Site Live - Gardiner MacDougall - USHL - Waterloo Blackhawks

MacDougall’s extraordinary ability to leave a lasting impact on his players has allowed him to be one of the most respected and admired coaches to ever lead behind the bench. We are ecstatic to welcome Gardiner MacDougall to TCS Live in June where he will present more about what makes his energetic coaching style so effective.

Get your TCS Live tickets to see MacDougall and the rest of the TCS presenters up close and in person!

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Jack Strassner

Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, Jack Strassner grew up playing hockey in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Jack is a rising junior majoring in Sport Management, with a concentration in Marketing and Management, along with a minor in Coaching and Leadership, at the University of Michigan. Jack works with Michigan Athletics and am very passionate about working in hockey as my career path.