Blaine Gusdal, a former Viking player from 1986-1990, has been appointed as the new Head Coach of Men’s Hockey at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus.
Gusdal brings a wealth of coaching experience to his new position with the Vikings hockey program. Following his playing days in the ACAC, hespent ten years coaching Jr. A in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey league, which included seven very successful seasons with North Battleford. At Viking Cup ’98, Gusdal returned to Camrose where he led the S.J.H.L. All-Stars to the Gold Medal Championships.
"I think Blaine will be a great addition to the athletics department. Augustana athletes are encouraged to excel not only as athletes but as students as well. As an alumni and former Vikings Hockey player, Blaine’s own experience will serve as a great example to current players," said Greg Ryan, Director of Athletics.
During the 2004 and 2005 hockey seasons, Gusdal was the Head Coach with the Midwest Senior AAA Islanders where they won two consecutive Saskatchewan Senior AAA Provincial Championships and advanced to the Allan Cup National Championships both years. In 2004, the Islanders were Allan Cup National Finalists and in 2005, the Islanders were Team Canada Reps at Nagano Cup 2005 in Nagano, Japan.
In 2006-07, Gusdal was Head Coach/General Manager with the Drayton Valley Thunder where he gained valuable experience in the A.J.H.L. and gathered many more solid contacts which will be beneficial to future recruiting. During that 2007-2008 season, Gusdal returned to Senior AAA hockey where he coached the Lloydminster Border Kings to the Saskatchewan Senior AAA Provincial Championships and led them to the 2008 Allan Cup National Championship Tournament.
“I am extremely excited and honoured to be returning to Augustana as the head hockey coach,” said Gusdal. “It has been a dream of mine to return to this campus and lead the hockey program and once again wear the Viking colours to represent the university and all the alumni. I am both honoured and humbled to be following in the footsteps of the former Vikings coaches, such as Mike Johnston who first recruited me back in the 80’s, and especially Gary Snydmiller who has led the Vikings so loyally for the past 15 years. Gary’s commitment and perseverance is a true testament to what must be expected from the current and future Viking athletes.”