Tom LaVallee’s love of hockey and ambition to help youngsters were a perfect match for joining the coaching ranks.
Tom became a hockey coach in 1967. With his coaching partner Jim Leaderhouse, Tom guided teams to City Championships in 1967 and 1975.
Tom coached developmental teams at the bantam level, the east-side developmental Flamingo Wings, Venice House and west-side Imperial 400s. As coach, he guided the bantams to a silver medal at the 1982 Saskatchewan Winter Games and was runners-up at the provincials in 1982 and 1984. He also won Centre Four Hockey League bantam division champions on three occasions.
Tom moved up to the junior B ranks guiding the Prince Albert North Stars to two North Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League titles with general manager Reg Martsinkiw. Joining former coaching partner Jim Leaderhouse, Tom and the North Stars posted an 18-game undefeated record in 1986. The North Stars were the 1986-87 North Sask. Junior Hockey League East Division pennant winners.
Hockey was not the only sport Tom coached in. He coached squirt boys’ softball East End team that wonthe City Championship in 1974. That winning tradition followed Tom to the pee wee and bantam softball level. He guided teams to provincial championships in 1975 and 1977.
When not coaching during the spring and summer months, Tom could be found behind the plate. He umpired in Prince Albert more than 16 years. He was an umpire at the Canadian Junior Ladies Championship in Scarborough, Ont. Tom worked five Western Canadian men’s and women’s championship tournaments as well. He could be found on the diamond officiating at many provincial championships, too, for many age divisions.
Tom also played fastball with the Davis Aces and Corrigal Seals winning City Championships in 1967 and 1968. He sponsored the Old Dutch Twins for more than 20 years also coaching and playing with the team.
Tom found success in sports as an athlete as well. He played with the Jacks Senior B softball team and won provincials in 1955. He then joined the Navy in 1956 and returned to Prince Albert in 1961. Tom then played four years of hockey in the Big V League with Debden and Big River. He won a league championship with Big River.
Tom also curls. His team won the Anavet’s curling league in 1988
Tom is joined this year in the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame by brothers Floyd (Athlete) and Felix (Athlete).
The Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame proudly welcomes Tom LaVallee in the Builder category.