Kimberley’s Jeff Keiver, a long-time coach of the Kimberley Dynamiter peewee rep team and assistant coach of the Junior B Dynamiters, has won a 2020 Fred Heslop Minor Hockey Week Award.
Keiver was nominated by his assistant coach Dave Murdoch, who in his nomination writeup, said that Keiver is “an exceptional head coach who runs great practices and can teach skills to all levels of players.”
”During games, Jeff will always go over the game plan with players 45 minutes before the game (Pee Wee rep), and make sure all kids understand what to do. On the bench, he is a true example of a calm and fair coach, who will always take time to teach a player no matter the score or situation. All his assistant coaches over the years have learned a great deal from him. For me, his calm and respective demeanour to everyone who is involved in the game is what I have learned the most from him.”
The award recognizes “outstanding volunteer service” and is named after Fred Heslop, who was born in Trail and played minor hockey to the junior level and then spent many years coaching minor hockey and volunteering his time.
Keiver told the Bulletin that he hadn’t really heard of the award before, and it was a bit of a shock when he received a call from Fred Heslop’s son in Trail telling him he had won.
“I was obviously happy and grateful, mostly just to have been nominated by Dave,” Keiver said. “Just that you put a lot of effort into things. People say thank you all the time, and I do it for the kids and not for the thank you’s but at the same time it is certainly very nice to receive and award like that.
Keiver added that the best part of winning has been all the emails and text messages he’s received from other coaches and people he admires in the sporting world.
Keiver started playing minor hockey here in Kimberley back in the early 80s for the Warriors, and played all his minor hockey here before eventually joining up with the Cranbrook midget team. From there he played Junior A hockey in Kimberley for the Dynamiters in the late 90s.
He then received a scholarship to Michigan Tech University and played NCAA hockey. When he finished his schooling he came back to Kimberley and got into coaching, both with the Dynamiters as well as coaching his own kids from tykes up to peewee.
He’s been coaching the Kimberley Dynamiters junior rep team for eight years and has been head coach for seven of those years. This past season was his sixth as assistant coach to the Junior B Dynamiters and he has been a part of two KIJHL Championships in 2015 and 2018.
This year, the Dynamiters were number one in the league, however the playoffs were unfortunately cut short due to COVID-19.
“This year with the Dynamiters, like every year, we put in so much time and effort getting the players ready and organizing everything there is to do with the season,” he said. “The players themselves obviously get themselves ready over the summer and then pour their sweat and tears into the season, so it was a great season in pretty much every way except for the end, we had great team success.”
He also highlighted the individual triumphs of players like Brock Palmer among others and head coach, general manager Derek Stuart who won coach of the year.
“We ended up finishing first overall in the regular season which is quite an accomplishment as well, that’s a lot of wins you’ve got to put together.
“So really it was a very successful year all the way up until the end where it was cut short and obviously we were pretty upset about that but to put in perspective there was certainly a lot of other people that wouldn’t have been happy with the way things ended for all kinds of different reasons there. All in all I thought it was a really successful season and we’re definitely hungry to get her going again next year.”
During the off season, Keiver has been keeping busy biking the trails around Kimberley and watching as his two sons, who are both players, stay active and work on their shots in the driveway of their home in Marysville.