Meet Mike Egener, current Head Coach of our Bantam Prep team here at Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton. He is a former assistant coach with the Mount Royal University Men's Hockey team. Prior to coaching, he enjoyed an 11-year professional hockey career in the AHL, ECHL and Europe. Egener was drafted 34th overall by the Lightning at the 2003 NHL Draft after a 246-game career with the WHL's Calgary Hitmen. He has since completed his Master of Science Degree, specializing in Sport Management at Coventry University.
Egener began working at Okanagan Hockey Group in 2016, and has since brought many positive leadership initiatives to our team. Both coach and family man, Egener works hard to find balance within his day-to-day life. He is thankful that his love for hockey has provided him with a career that allows him to be an outstanding coach, loving father, and supportive husband.
When talking with Egener, he highlighted a picture of him and his brother playing pond hockey as one of his favourite hockey memories. He illustrated purity, which always reminds him of why children continue to play, and why he does what he does; for the love of the game and giving back to youth.
His favourite part about being a coach is that he gets to be a mentor while making a positive impact on the lives of many young athletes. He believes having a positive attitude and resilient mindset, are keys to success; something that needs to be instilled each and every day within our youth today, in absolutely everything they do.
The word ‘resilience’ truly hits home for Egener, since being diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) in 2012. GBS is a rare disorder in which your body's immune system attacks your nervous system; eventually paralyzing your whole body. This experience made him realize just how fragile life is and that sometimes things are thrown your way that is beyond our control. Egener knew that he needed to get back up and work harder than ever to continue to inspire and give back to the next generation. With treatment and resilience, Egener is able to continue playing and coaching the game that has given him so much to be thankful for.
The game of hockey has provided Egener with many wonderful memories; through travel, culture, great teammates and endless opportunity. With support from his family and friends, Egener has gotten to where he is today, and we are so thankful to have him as part of our team at OHG. He reminds us all to be patient and kind as kids are so innocent, and require guidance from people like Mike Egener to make a difference within their lives.
Written by Michayla Fraser, BA Sports Management
Playing at OHA was an amazing opportunity. It gives you the chance to train like a pro everyday to develop your game. Playing in a great league, along with the on and off ice training gives you the upper hand on other competition. I am thankful to have had the chance to play there."