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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona hockey appreciates associate coach Dougall

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Kyle Wasson / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA assistant hockey coach David Dougall

Last year the Arizona hockey team changed head coaches, uniforms and names, but it retained one major link to its past: associate coach Dave Dougall.

In 2011, UA hockey players severed ties with the founder of Wildcat hockey, Leo Golembiewski, after he ran the program for 32 years. Vital to the transition was former Wildcats hockey player and coach Dougall.

“He’s kind of the heart and soul of this team. Guys love him, guys respect him,” head coach Sean Hogan said. “He has a lot of pride in hockey at Arizona and Wildcat hockey.”

Dougall was a captain of the Wildcats hockey team in the 1980s and has been a UA coach since 2005.

“It was tough. You have loyalties because you played for that coach and he always treated me well and I knew he believed in the program,” Dougall said. “But the transition was a positive step for the program, as far as being able to hire someone the caliber of Sean Hogan.”

Dougall wasn’t happy about the change but said it was the right move for the program, which hasn’t made the national tournament since 2006.

“I think it was tough initially. Any change you fight initially, at least mentally, and then you come to terms with it,” Dougall said. “Once I came to terms with what was going on and what needed to happen, I basically jumped on board.”

Dougall helped the team find a new coach last summer.

“He was a part of the hiring process for me,” Hogan said. “They leaned on him pretty heavily in terms of the hockey side of things, because he understood the way it needed to be run and how to be successful, so he played a major role.”

In 1983, Dougall graduated from Canyon del Oro High School in Tucson. He graduated from the UA with a degree in operations management.

“He’s meant a lot,” senior forward Brian Slugocki said. “He’s helped us through the biggest transition in the history of this team.”

Dougall played at Arizona from 1983 to 1987 and on the 1985 national championship team.

“Coach Dougall’s been fantastic,” said senior goalie David Herman.

“Through the transition he was phenomenal. He’s always been there. Even when coach Golembiewski was our coach, he was always there as a great assistant coach to go talk to.”

Herman said Dougall is an important tie to the past and that he is “always able to crack a joke when it needs to be cracked and lighten the mood.”

“He’s always somebody who’s had our backs and that’s something I’ve always respected about him,” Slugocki, team captain, said.

“He can bring a smile to all our faces when he’s on the ice and having a good time.”

Dougall was named rookie of the year in 1984 and won best defenseman in 1986 and 1987.

When Dougall played, though, he never thought he would eventually become a coach at Arizona.

“It’s exciting. You feel the sense of pride within the university as far as wanting to carry on the tradition,” Dougall said. “We’ve always had a strong program through the years; you want to see that continue and it’s nice to feel like you have some type of impact in people’s lives,”

Dougall also works for the UA, overseeing convenience stores for the UA Student Unions, like Highland Market, U-Mart and Bookend Café. When he was hired by the school in 2005, Dougall started helping with the hockey program.

Golembiewski had asked Dougall to help out with the team a few years before, but Dougall was working at HoneyBaked Ham and his kids were young, so he didn’t have the time. When he started working for the UA, Golembiewski convinced him to watch tryouts and he volunteered for the first year.

“Next thing I knew, I was doing it every year, getting more and more involved,” Dougall said.

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