When we think about successful sports teams, we often focus on the players on the ice—their skill, talent, and dedication to the game. However, behind every great team, there is a great coach, and the Langley Rivermen of the British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) are no exception. Led by Head Coach and General Manager Bobby Henderson and Assistant Coach, Director of Hockey Operations, and Assistant General Manager Jordan Emmerson, the Rivermen’s success is a testament to the power of strong leadership in the world of hockey.
Founded in 2011, the Langley Rivermen are a Junior A hockey team based in Langley, British Columbia. They compete in the Coastal Conference of the BCHL and have consistently been one of the top teams in the league. But what sets them apart from other teams is not just their wins and losses, but the impact their coaches have had on the program and the players.
From Player to Coach: Bobby Henderson’s Journey to Leadership
Bobby Henderson is no stranger to the BCHL. In fact, before he became the coach of the Rivermen, he was a player himself in the league. Having grown up in Calgary, Alberta, Henderson joined the BCHL’s Burnaby Express in 2005 and played for the team for two seasons before moving on to play for the University of New Brunswick. After his playing career, Henderson returned to the BCHL as an assistant coach with the Coquitlam Express in 2010.
In 2011, Henderson made the move to become the head coach and general manager of the Langley Rivermen, and it’s safe to say that it was a perfect fit. Under his leadership, the Rivermen have reached the playoffs every single year, advancing to the league finals twice and taking home a BCHL championship title in 2014. But Henderson’s impact on the team goes beyond just the wins and losses on the ice.
As a former player himself, Henderson has a deep understanding of the game and what it takes to be successful at the junior level. He is known for his ability to develop and mentor young players, helping them to excel both on and off the ice. By creating a positive and supportive culture within the team, Henderson has earned the respect and trust of his players, and it’s clear that they are willing to do anything for him.
The Power of Unity: Jordan Emmerson’s Role in Rivermen’s Success
Like Henderson, Assistant Coach and Director of Hockey Operations Jordan Emmerson was also a former player in the BCHL. After playing for the Surrey Eagles and the Cowichan Valley Capitals, Emmerson hung up his skates and began coaching in 2010. He joined the Langley Rivermen in 2011 as an assistant coach and has since taken on the roles of director of hockey operations and assistant general manager.
Emmerson’s leadership style complements Henderson’s perfectly. He is known for his ability to connect with players and build strong relationships that go beyond the hockey arena. He is also highly skilled at recognizing each player’s strengths and utilizing them to their full potential on the ice. This emphasis on teamwork and unity is a huge part of the Rivermen’s success as a team.
Together, Henderson and Emmerson have created a winning formula that has led the Rivermen to become one of the most respected and admired teams in the BCHL. They have built a program that not only produces successful players but also teaches valuable life lessons and prepares them for the next level of hockey or their careers outside of the rink.
The Impact on Langley’s Community and Culture
The impact of the Langley Rivermen’s coaching staff extends beyond the success of the team. They have also made a significant impact on the local community and the overall culture of the program. The Rivermen have become an integral part of the community, with players often volunteering at local schools, events, and charities. The coaches have also implemented a strong focus on academic success and community service within the team, leading to the Rivermen winning the BCHL’s Academic Award for the highest combined grade point average multiple times over the years.
The strong community involvement and emphasis on academic success not only create well-rounded players but also set an excellent example for young hockey players in the community. The Rivermen have become role models and ambassadors for the sport, inspiring the next generation of players and fans. This positive impact on the community is just another testament to the leadership of Henderson and Emmerson.
Having strong leadership is crucial for a team’s success. The Langley Rivermen’s Head Coach Bobby Henderson and Assistant Coach Jordan Emmerson have proven that by being more than just coaches, they are mentors, life coaches, and community builders. They have created a winning culture within the program that not only leads to success on the ice but also impacts the players’ lives long after they have hung up their skates. As the Rivermen continue to thrive, there is no doubt that the legacy of Coach Henderson and Coach Emmerson will live on in the hearts of the players, fans, and community.