Tuesday, 15 March 2011
MURRAY COPOT - 1923-2011
Hockey Alberta Life Member and former Hockey Alberta President, Murray T. Copot, passed away peacefully on Monday, March 14 at the age of 87.
"Murray was a remarkable volunteer who made many significant contributions to hockey in Alberta,” said Hockey Alberta President, Annie Orton. “He has left his footprint on Alberta’s hockey community by leaving a legacy of unconditional commitment and passion for the game.”
Copot, a World War II veteran, had been a staple in Alberta’s hockey community for over 50 years. Like many parents, he became involved with minor hockey when his son Terry began playing in the Calgary community of Briar Hill. After Copot made a late-night phone call to convince his local alderman that the city should get staff to scrape the ice during the second and third periods of minor hockey games, he received a phone call from the president of Calgary Minor Hockey.
“He said, ‘If you can do things like that, we need you to be a part of Calgary Minor Hockey’, so that’s how I got involved,” said Copot in an interview several years ago.
At first, Copot became a director of Calgary’s Tiny Mites program.
“This was enjoyable because you got to be involved with the kids,” Copot once said, who later went on to become president of Calgary Minor Hockey in 1975-76 and ’76-77. “They all tried so hard and they still do. I still have a soft spot in my heart for them.”
Copot served as President of the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association (Now Hockey Alberta) from 1986-1988. He was named a Hockey Alberta Life Member is 1992 before getting inducted into the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame in 1993.
In 1991, the old Thorncliff Arena on Centre Street in north Calgary was renamed to the Murray Copot Arena. Hockey Calgary also hosts the annual Murray Copot Tournament for either Tiny Mites or Atom-aged players each year.
“I just hope it carries on for a long time and that I’m able to help get some prizes for the kids,” said the ever-dedicated volunteer, who spent lots of his time traveling around the countryside with his wife Mary to watch their grandchildren’s numerous athletic pursuits. “They take after their grandmother.”
During his years as a volunteer, Copot had the chance to travel around Alberta, Canada and even overseas through opportunities with Hockey Alberta and Hockey Canada.
“Through hockey, I’ve met an awful lot of nice people throughout Alberta, Canada and the world,” summed up Copot in an interview in 2007. “Whatever you get involved in, you’ve got to have a passion for it.”
Copot is survived by his wife Mary, his children; Terry, Carol, Debbie, Ruth and Joanne, and his grandchildren; Colin, Ryan, Kyle, Mike, Chris, Greg, Julie, Sarah and Chad.
Summary of Achievements
1938-1940 Played Junior “B” hockey for Teulon, Manitoba
1941-1946 Served with the Royal Canadian Navy during the 2nd World War. Survived being torpedoed aboard the Ship, H.M.C.S. Albania.
1950 Continuous Minor Hockey involvement from 1950 to present.
1955-1958 Sports Director, Briar Hill Community in Calgary.
1958-1980 Coached community hockey in all levels.
1969-1970 Successful in coaching Triwood Juvenile “BB” team to the City of Calgary and Alberta Provincial Championships.
1963-1973 Tiny Mite Division League Director of the Minor Hockey Association of Calgary.
1967-1978 Board of Director, Minor Hockey Association of Calgary.
1975-1977 President, Minor Hockey Association of Calgary.
1978-1980 Coached and founded in Henry Viney League in Calgary which is a league for players 18-22 years old.
1978-1992 Served on Board of Directors of the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association (AAHA).
1978-1986 Vice President, AAHA.
1979 Mr. Copot is the founding father of the Mac's Midget Tournament.
1980 Was presented with the Award of Merit by the President of Calgary Minor Hockey Association, Grant Richards, for his years of volunteer involvement in community of hockey.
1981 Received Athletic Leadership Award for Hockey from the Calgary Booster Club for his outstanding leadership and organizational skills in the development of hockey.
1985 Received the CAHA Minor Hockey Week Plaque for his dedication to hockey and because he was one of the founders of Minor Hockey Week in Calgary which has its 25th anniversary January 30, 2004.
1986-1988 President, AAHA.
1988-1992 Past President, AAHA.
1988 Volunteered for the advertising for the AAHA Hockey News.
1988 As President of Hockey Alberta, Murray Copot was th