Leading the Line at the 2023 Canada Winter Games - "It’s about creating a vision together that will allow us to be successful"
Date: Nov, 22, 2022 12:00 PM EDT
Steve Devine’s coaching career began when he was under the tenure of his father as a young player. Growing up in Toronto and playing in the GTHL, Steve quickly understood that there were no shortcuts in the game of hockey. It was his father's passion for the sport and blue-collar work ethic that inspired Steve to pick up the mantle and begin his own path in coaching.
“My dad had a real passion for the game, he wanted everyone to have an amazing experience. That kind of upbringing has definitely shaped me as a player and this definitely shaped me as a coach,” said Steve.
“My long-term plan was always to go to Teachers College because I wanted to learn how to get concepts across to people. I wanted to know how to teach different learning styles. So there’s a passion background. There's a willingness to teach and learn.”
Devine's current task is leading Team Ontario as Head Coach alongside long-time colleagues CJ Bollers and David Cicchini in preparing the team to fully realize gold at the f 2023 Canada Winter Games. Devine's coaching background is well-recognized in the province with a resume that includes representing Ontario at the Deaflympics and previous Canada Winter Games.
“I am 65% deaf in both ears, so I wear hearing aids in both ears and I have been incredibly lucky to have a chance to represent our country at Deaflympics,” said Steve.
“To be a part of this leadership role with Team Ontario now and have hockey players be a part of something bigger than themselves is an incredible opportunity. [We get to] provide these kids with a life experience that maybe 10-20 years down the road and say ‘we went to the Canada Winter Games in PEI.”
A major part of the preparations for the Canada Winter Games includes narrowing down the final 20 that will join the coaching staff in PEI. In a vast talent pool like Ontario’s, this is a challenge Steve and his coaching staff know will be difficult. However, once that roster is narrowed down, the goal becomes allowing these young athletes to grow, develop and create a lifetime of memories.
“ Identifying the best players from across this province doesn’t matter where they come from. If we feel they will give us the opportunity to be successful, that’s what we are doing,” said Steve.
"I have an idea of the vision I’d like to have - but for me, I really believe in including our players in that process. These young athletes are different. …we think involving them creates a stronger bond with us because they go on this journey with us. It’s about creating a vision together that will allow us to be successful”.