Lakers’ coach named 2019-20 Gary Cook Memorial Award recipient

Press Release

THUNDER BAY, Ont.—The SIJHL announced yesterday that Fort Frances Lakers’ head coach and general manager Wayne Strachan has been named the recipient of its prestigious Gary Cook Memorial Award for the 2019-20 season.

This distinguished honour is presented annually by the SIJHL to an individual in recognition of their efforts, commitment and contributions to the league.

Strachan, the long-time Fort Frances bench boss and GM, is the winningest coach in SIJHL history.

He has led the Lakers to multiple league finals, a trio of Bill Salonen Cup championships, along with numerous Dudley-Hewitt Cup appearances.

Strachan also boasts a SIJHL-record five Coach of the Year honours from his time in the league.

“Wayne Strachan has been one of the leading figures in the SIJHL since its inception and not many are more deserving of this award,” lauded SIJHL commissioner Bryan Graham.

“His commitment to the Fort Frances program for nearly two decades has been a vital cog to the club’s success throughout the years.

“We at the SIJHL thank Wayne for his continuous efforts and extend our heartiest congratulations to him on receiving this well-deserved recognition,” he concluded.

About the Gary Cook Award

The Gary Cook Memorial Award is presented annually by the SIJHL in honour of the late hockey icon for his five decades of hockey-related service to the community of Thunder Bay.

An honoured member of the Northwestern Ontario Sports Hall of Fame, Mr. Cook was the ultimate hockey executive who boasted a resume of championship clubs that was second to none in hockey circles around North America.

Among his many accomplishments as a general manager and executive with multiple Thunder Bay-based franchises, was a record five Allan Cup Canadian senior hockey championships, three Colonial Hockey League crowns, a CHL executive of the year award, a trio of SIJHL Bill Salonen Cup titles and a Dudley-Hewitt Cup trophy all the while earning the admiration and respect of the many, many people he was associated with over the years.