Former Golden Bears hockey head coach Clare Drake has been inducted into the 2017 Class of the Hockey Hall of Fame. Clare Drake will enter the Hockey Hall of Fame in the builders category, along with fellow 2017 inductees Teemu Selanne, Paul Kariya, Dave Andreychuk, Mark Recchi, Danielle Goyette, and fellow builder Jeremy Jacobs.
“This is a very great honour and I am humbled to be inducted amongst so many great individuals,” said Drake. “There are well over 300 people who have influenced me and helped me along the way—from players, coaches, assistant coaches and trainers—I must thank them all.
“This is truly a wonderful feeling and I never thought it would happen to me.”
Drake coached the Golden Bears hockey team for 28 seasons, beginning his tenure in 1958. Over the ensuing three decades, Drake led the Golden Bears to an astonishing six national championships, and 17 conference championships. He was named the conference and national men’s hockey head coach of the year four times.
When he retired from the University in 1989, Drake held a 697-296-37 overall record, which, at the time, was the most wins by any coach in University of Alberta history. Drake is still the winningest coach in Canadian Men’s University Hockey history, to this very day.
While his most notable accomplishments came from when he was behind the Bears bench, Drake also coached at the professional and national level. He spent two seasons coaching the WHA’s Edmonton Oilers (1975-1976), and co-coached the 1980 Canadian Men’s Olympic Team. He has also earned three medals coaching at the World Student Games, and led Canada to their first-ever Spengler Cup Gold Medal in 1984.
He has also spent time with the Winnipeg Jets, and Dallas Stars as an assistant coach. In 1975, he was named the Edmonton Sportsman of the Year. He is also the only coach to ever win a CIAU Men’s Hockey and Football National Championships in the same year (1967-1968).
Drake was inducted into the University of Alberta Sports Wall of Fame in 1987, was named to the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2008, and named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2013.