Head Coach, Blaine Gusdal, is now in his 12th year at the helm of Vikings Hockey.
As he earned his undergraduate degree at Augustana (Camrose Lutheran College), Head Coach Blaine Gusdal played four seasons on defense for the Vikings from 1986-1990. Three quarters of the team lived in residence their first year in ’86-‘87 and they formed a tight-knit group. “We were a small fraternity,” he said, “and after graduation, some of the guys from the team were in my wedding party and I was in theirs. They were four of the best years of my life.”
After he graduated from Augustana in 1990, Blaine went on to study sports psychology at the University of Saskatchewan for a year and was then hired to coach in the SJHL with North Battleford in 1992. He spent two years as an assistant coach and 10 seasons as head coach and general manager in the SJHL. As Head Coach, his Battleford North Stars team finished 1st overall in 1994-95 and were league finalists in both ’95 and ’97. Blaine also coached his North Stars squad in Viking Cup ’96 and the SJHL All-Star Selects in Viking Cup ‘98 where they were the Gold Medal Champions.
Following his Junior ‘A’ coaching days, and prior to coming back to Augustana, Blaine spent three seasons coaching Senior AAA where his teams won 3 Sask. Provincial Championships and 3 Western Canadian Championships in 2004, 2005, and 2008. In 2004, they were Allan Cup National Finalists and in 2005, they were Team Canada Reps at the Nagano Cup in Japan.
In 2008, Blaine returned to the U of A – Augustana as Head Coach of the Vikings Hockey Program. Coach Gusdal has led the Vikings to the ACAC playoffs for the past ten seasons. His teams have earned ACAC medals six times; Gold (‘11-‘12), Silver (‘15-‘16), Bronze (‘10-‘11, ‘12-‘13, ’13-’14, ’14-’15). He has been named ACAC Men’s Hockey Coach of the Year (2010-11) and Augustana Athletics Coach of the Year (2009-10, 2011-12) during his tenure.
Blaine and his wife Jane (Augustana ’90) have three children; Connor (Augustana ‘18), Kjel, and Kyra.
“I am Viking red through and through,” Blaine admits. “Being a Viking is part of my whole make up, more than any other hockey experience I’ve had. I’m a Viking Alumnus first and foremost.”