Throughout the 2017-18 season, U SPORTS sits down with one key athlete, coach, and staff member of each U SPORTS athletic program in our new interview series “Getting to know…”
Name: Marc-Étienne Blackburn Hubert
Sport: Men’s hockey
Position: Head coach
Seniority: Five years
Previous school/position: Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL)
Hometown: Chicoutimi, Que.
- How did you first get involved in coaching? What was your path to your position as head coach of the UQTR Patriotes?
I started as many young players do, as a coach at minor hockey schools. I was then assistant coach with the Chicoutimi Saguenéens from 2006 to 2010 and head coach for the 2010-11 and 2011-12 seasons.
- Who are the people that have influenced you most as a coach?
My family first; my father and my brother were great influences for me as an athlete and coach. Then I would say Mr. Rénald Nepton from the Chicoutimi Saguenéens. He has always been a mentor for me, and still is today.
- How would you describe your coaching style?
I’m a demanding and meticulous coach. I believe in communication and making athletes feel valued through their role within a team.
- Which coach do you admire the most, and why?
Benoit Groulx. I think he’s a demanding and passionate coach. He’s intelligent, and a good communicator. He is motivating, structured, and most of all, he’s a winner.
- What is the most “out-of-the-box” thing you’ve done as a coach?
I think becoming an assistant coach of a QMJHL team without having any coaching experience or having played for an NHL team is the most unconventional thing in my career so far.
- What is your greatest coaching moment or achievement?
In my first year as head coach at Chicoutimi, we won the quarterfinal series in seven games against the Shawinigan Cataractes, who then went on to win the Memorial Cup as a host team.
In my third year at the helm of the UQTR Patriotes in 2016, we finished first in the season first in U SPORTS top 10 and won the OUA Queen’s Cup.
- What’s the best advice you can give to an athlete and/or athlete’s parents?
To show appreciation for the people around you. To ensure that you have the right attitude every day in the face of adversity and success. Hard work is always rewarded.
- How have you changed as a coach over time? What principles/values, etc. have remained the same?
I have certainly evolved as a person and as a father. I became more calm and patient over time, certainly less impulsive. My passion, my work ethic and my communication with athletes have remained the same, in my opinion.
- What do you enjoy doing when you’re not in coaching mode?
Taking care of my family and cooking.
- What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you as a coach?
Once I ripped the crotch of my pants behind the players’ bench.