Our deepest condolences to the Voytechek family and Vikings Hockey Alumni on the passing of beloved Vikings Hockey Coach Emeritus, Joe Voytechek. Joseph Francis Voytechek of Camrose, Alberta, passed away on Sunday, January 12, 2020 at the age of 96 years.
Coach Voytechek spent nine memorable seasons as the head coach of the Camrose Lutheran College Vikings Men's hockey team (now University of Alberta – Augustana) beginning in 1973 until 1982.
Most noteworthy among his many accomplishments over that period was leading the Vikings to a national championship in 1975 and in so doing, becoming the first ACAC team of any sport or gender to win a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) title. On top of winning the ACAC's first national college championship, it was also the first national sports title for any team based in the small town of Camrose.
Voytechek was also the first coach to reach the 200 ACAC game milestone (217 upon retirement) and was the second coach in ACAC history to earn 100 wins in his career (102 total). ACAC opponents came to expect discipline and tenacity from Voytechek's teams and other coaches saw Joe as a mentor and role model. Legendary ACAC head coach Perry Pearn of the NAIT Ooks acknowledged that Voytechek was someone after whom he patterned his own coaching style early in his own ACAC coaching career when he was still learning. "As a very inexperienced coach coming into the ACAC I was looking for coaching 'role models'. In Joe, I saw someone whose teams played with speed, skill, intensity and structure but were always disciplined. I knew Joe was a coach I would learn from and I did learn many lessons. The most important thing I learned though was about Joe himself. He had integrity and class, traits I knew I should try to acquire."
In addition to his induction into the ACAC Hall of Fame in May of 2017, Voytechek is also a member of the Camrose Sports Hall of Fame and the Augustana Vikings Wall of Fame. In fact, the entire 1974-75 national championship team has been enshrined next to their legendary coach in both the Vikings Wall of Fame was well as the Alberta Hockey Hall of Fame.
The Augustana Vikings will proudly wear the initials 'JV', in honour of Coach Joe, on the front of their white jerseys going forward.
A Prayer Vigil will be held at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, January 23, 2020 at the Burgar Memorial Chapel in Camrose.
A Funeral Mass will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, January 24, 2020 at the St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church, 3605 50 St Camrose with Rev. Carlos Nunez officiating.