The Malik Report
by George Malik on 11/14/13 at 03:49 PM ET
As the only coach to be inducted into the Triple Gold Club – hockey people who have won the Stanley Cup, Olympic Gold and the World Championships – Mike Babcock keeps some very exclusive company. Today, the longtime coach of the Detroit Red Wings and McGill alumnus (BEd86) became a member of another select club with the announcement that his alma mater will confer an honorary doctorate upon him as part of Fall Convocation 2013.
Babcock will be made a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, as part of the Convocation ceremonies to be held on Monday, Nov. 25. McGill will also bestow honorary degrees to Calgary philanthropists and McGill benefactors Richard A. Walls and Carolina J. Walls, both of whom will receive a degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa. The honorees will share the stage with approximately 1,800 graduating students at the ceremonies to be held at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts in Montreal.
“No question about it that an honorary degree from McGill was more improbable to me than winning a Stanley Cup,” said Babcock when asked which he would have thought more unlikely had someone told him 25 years ago he would one day hoist Lord Stanley’s hallowed Cup or be granted a Doctor of Laws from McGill. “When I went to McGill, I had no idea of the quality of people I would meet and the quality of institute that I would be attending. And I didn’t know it until after I arrived and maybe even until after I left what a great school it was and how it was going to impact my life. So to be honoured in this fashion is so humbling and unbelievable.”
Continued, and here's the picture McGill used to show Babcock in action "back in the day":
Update: While we're at it, the CBC posted an Olympic profile of Babcock:
“There always has been someone to push me, someone I have stopped and learned the ropes from,” said Babcock, who leaves Detroit every summer to spend time with family in Emma Lake, Sask.
While his father instilled the values of hard work and commitment, Babcock absorbed winning techniques at every step of his career.
“Work ethic comes first, structure comes second, your skill comes out third,” Babcock said.
He has won a Canadian University title with the University of Lethbridge, a world junior title — when at age 33 he was the youngest coach for Canada at the tournament — a world championship, a Stanley Cup and Olympic gold. Babcock always wanted to be an Olympian. As a kid, he often dreamed of wearing the Canadian maple leaf as an athlete. Still, going to Vancouver in 2010 as the head coach of the Canadian men's hockey team and winning gold, was something special.
“I really enjoyed the Olympics,” he said. “I always wanted to be there as an athlete, but wasn't good enough. In many ways, I'm glad I experienced it as a coach because I'm older and I could appreciate it more.”
Babcock has done well at walking the fine line between being cozy with management and also being a coach that players like to play for. He has a knack for getting the best out of his team and his sport psychology background certainly helps.
“I believe you don’t remember everything in life. You have to create moments for yourself. Being an Olympian’s a moment. It’s something that you’ll remember forever. Now you gotta decide what you’re gonna do with it," he said.
Babcock is philosophical when he talks about the privilege and the pressures of being an Olympian.
“Pressure means you have a chance ... Our country expects to win.”
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.