2019 CCAA Hall of Fame Inductee: Perry Pearn
The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA)
is proud to induct 10 new members into its Hall of Fame.
The 2019 CCAA Hall of Fame Banquet will be hosted by the
Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) on June 11 in Calgary, AB.
Written by the CCAA
Perry Pearn, who guided the NAIT Ooks to five CCAA Championships in Men's Hockey, will be inducted into the CCAA Hall of Fame in the Coach Category.
Pearn and the Ooks earned their first CCAA Championship crown in 1982 and back-to-back titles in 1985, 1986 and 1989, 1990. In 14 seasons at NAIT, Pearn registered a 457-177-24 record.
He was honoured as ACAC Coach of the Year on seven occasions and received the CCAA Coaching Award of Excellence in 1984.
"I learned to "coach" at NAIT – many very important and valuable lessons were learned in the ACAC," said Pearn. "The ACAC was full of excellent coaching, including many future National Hockey League and National Team coaches."
Pearn's fondest CCAA memory was the 1982 National Championship victory in Calgary, AB. After the win, and much to the concern of NAIT's Athletic Director – and fellow Hall of Fame inductee – Irwin Strifler, the school's President and Dean of Student Services carried a hockey bag full of beer into the room.
"The players sat and enjoyed the beer, most still half dressed, reminiscing about the season," said Pearn. "Then suddenly somebody suggested they put their skates on, go out on the ice in the darkened arena and in slow-motion, replay each goal – and they all did it over and over."
Another extraordinary experience for Pearn was the 1984-85 season. That NAIT team went undefeated in the ACAC and CCAA and had an overall record of 44-2-2. The Ooks were also unbeaten in Switzerland during a Christmas tour that was highlighted by a victory over York University, the eventual CIAU (now U Sports) champions.
"Our only two losses (that year) were to University of Alberta, the second in a game played at the old Edmonton Northlands Coliseum in front of 13,500 fans," said Pearn, who was inducted into the ACAC Hall of Fame in 2014.
Pearn twice served as an assistant coach with Canada's national junior team at the IIHF World Junior Championships (1990, 1991). Then as head coach, he led Canada – and future Hockey Hall of Famers Paul Kariya and Chris Pronger – to gold in 1993.
"The success we had at NAIT led to all the opportunities I had with Hockey Canada," said Pearn. "Those successes gave me the confidence to head down the road to a professional coaching career."
Pearn left NAIT in 1993 to coach professionally in Switzerland. He then went on to serve as an assistant coach in the NHL for 21 years with the Winnipeg Jets (twice), Ottawa Senators, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens and Vancouver Canucks.
He is currently the Head Coach of Canada's National Women's Team. Earlier this month, Pearn guided Team Canada to a bronze medal at the 2019 IIHF Women's World Championship in Finland.