It’s very normal to see former UVic Vikes golf coach Brian Carbery at the Uplands Golf Club, but things have changed a bit over the past week for his son Spencer.
Victoria’s Spencer Carbery has gone from being the Toronto Maple Leafs assistant coach to landing a head coaching job last week with the Washington Capitals.
The last couple of years have been quite the ride for Spencer Carbery, but through it all there’s remained one constant — his dad.
The eldest Carbery boy got the news while touring Europe last week, and in his true Spencer style, he wanted to know how his dad was doing first.
Brian Carbery says his son started their phone call with details about his trip to Italy. “Let’s get to the real stuff here. What’s going on?!” Brian Carbery asked.
“Well, I’m the new head coach of the Washington Capitals,” his son replied.
Spencer’s road to becoming an NHL head coach started in Victoria and Vancouver Island.
He was a multi-sport athlete, who played minor hockey with Racquet Club, then went on to play with Peninsula Panthers. After that, he went off to the BCHL with the Cowichan Valley Capitals, then College and eventually went pro in the CHL.
“He ran into so many brick walls,” his father recalls. “Where ‘No you’re not gonna make the team. You’ll never play pro hockey. You’ll never play college hockey,’ and it never fazed him.” Brian added.
And while Spencer worked at his craft for many years — and for little money — his dad never told him that it was time to turn the page or do something else.
“I never once said that ever, ever. I said ‘Keep going! It’s your dream’,” Brian tells CHEK News.
And while it’s a dream come true, he’s never forgotten his roots or his former Racquet Club coach Craig Didmon, who remembers Spencer very well.
“You know, he’s the type of player you walk in the room and it’s the whites of his eyes are looking at you. He’s ready to learn,” Didmon said.
“I knew it was gonna happen one day. He had said it in the Times Colonist probably 10 years ago, and Spencer is just one of those driven guys.”