What do Jon Cooper, Don Nachbaur, and Jared Young all have in common?

Yes, all are prominent sports figures from Prince George and all three were again in the news this week.

Let’s start with Cooper, arguably the top hockey coach in the world, after guiding the Tampa Bay Lightning to back-to-back Stanley Cup titles the last two seasons.

Hockey Canada has taken notice and named him head coach of Canada’s men’s team at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing.

(The 2021-22 NHL schedule leaves room for an Olympic break between Feb 7 and 22, but the league has not announced a final decision on whether players will compete)

Cooper has been with Hockey Canada before.

His last stint came in 2017 when he was an assistant coach at the world hockey championship in Germany and France, where the Canadian team settled for silver after losing the final to Sweden.

The soon-to-be 54-year-old Cooper, who grew up in the Spruceland/Lakewood area of PG, is living the ultimate dream of any coach.

“It’s the Olympic Games. I get fired up just talking about it,” Cooper said on Monday during a virtual news conference.

“(For) the young kid that used to go down in his basement and fire pucks into the dryer for years on end, after watching games on Hockey Night in Canada’ … It’s surreal to be in this spot.”

Nachbaur does not have Cooper’s credentials but he is the WHL’s third-winningest head coach of all time and is a member of the PG Sports Hall of Fame.

The 62-year-old Nachbaur has not been slowed down by COVID-19 travel restrictions.

In fact, he could do a commercial for a suitcase company considering the number of times he has moved from one team to another (including three in just over a year).

Nachbaur on Monday was named assistant coach of the AHL Stockton Heat working under new head coach Mitch Love of Quesnel.

In the forgettable 2020-21 season, Nachbaur began as head coach with SC Bern in Switzerland before becoming an associate coach with the Tri-City Americans.

In a 26-year coaching career, Nachbaur has 20 seasons of WHL experience, three in the AHL, two behind an NHL bench as an assistant with the LA Kings (2017-18 and 2018-19), and one with HKM Zvolen in Slovakia.

https://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/pdisplay.php?pid=3888

Now the Young up and comer.

Coaching is the furthest thing on the mind of Jared Young.

The 26-year-old first baseman is a step closer to becoming the first baseball player from PG to land a spot in the Majors.

The Chicago Cubs triple-A farm club, the Iowa Cubs, called up Young from the double-A Tennessee Smokies on Sunday.

In 35 games this year with the Smokies, Young batted .326 with an on-base percentage of .396.

He told MyPGNow.com he’s right on target to achieve his lifelong dream.

“It’s where I expect to be, it’s where I want to be and I am hoping to contribute and help this team win. It doesn’t feel weird at all and it’s where I want to be in my career.”

The Chicago Cubs unloaded many of their top players at this year’s trade deadline including Anthony Rizzo, Javier Baez, Craig Kimbrel, and Kris Bryant.

This could mean the big-league Cubs may want to look at a number of prospects come the September call-up but that is not on Young’s radar at the moment.

“It’s still very difficult to get there and it does not change your mindset on how you need to play down here. You got to take care of business down here first, that is the only thing on my mind.”

The Cubs selected Young in Round 15 of the 2017 MLB Draft (465th overall).

Cooper is possibly headed to the Olympics, Nachbaur remains a coaching icon into his 60’s and Young is swinging for the fences with the Cubs.

Yes, this has been a grand slam week for the three of them who are proud to call Prince George their hometown.

 

Taking Note:


FROM THE QUOTE RACK:

Just prior to the announcement of the new host of’ Jeopardy’ it was certain that it would not be Packers QB, Aaron Rodgers. When asked to take a wild guess at who he thought it would be, Aaron replied, ’Jordan Love?’

*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California

Dolphins TE Adam Shaheen is complaining about NFL trying to “strong-arm” him, but his decision not to get vaccinated is “bigger than COVID.” Is he really daring the virus?

*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com

Teddy Bridgewater is in a battle with Drew Lock for the starting QB spot in Denver. You don’t have to be Simon & Garfunkel to think Lock is troubled over Bridgewater.

*Western Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com


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Hartley Miller is the news and sports director/supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm. He also is the radio color commentator for P.G. Cougars’ home games.
Hartley has been on the Prince George airwaves since 1979 and is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes).
His column appears Fridays on myprincegeorgenow.com.
Send along a quote, note, or anecdote to [email protected]