Wayne Fleming (MHKY | Coach)
NAME: Wayne Fleming
SPORT: Men’s Hockey
YEARS ACTIVE: 1970-1973, 1974-75 (student-athlete); 1976-1987, 1988-1990 (coach)
GPAC men’s hockey champion in 1984 and 1985
1985 CIAU Men’s hockey Coach of the Year
Coached with Canada at the 1992 and 2002 Olympics
University of Manitoba’s Wayne Fleming Arena named in his honour
Wayne Fleming arrived at the University of Manitoba as a young student-athlete in 1970, before going on to leave a legacy as an influential coach.
A native of Snow Lake, Man., Fleming played for the Bisons men’s hockey team from 1970-71 to 1972-73 and in 1974-75 when he was named a Great Plains Athletic Conference All-Star.
After earning a physical education degree and certificate in education from the U of M, he joined the Bisons men’s hockey coaching staff as an assistant in 1976, before taking over as head coach in 1980, beginning a tenure that saw Manitoba keep company with the CIAU’s top teams.
Over nine seasons with Fleming behind their bench (1980-81 through 1986-87, as well as 1988-89 and 1989-90) the Bisons went 140-78-14 in regular season play for an impressive .634 win percentage and won the back-to-back conference titles in 1984 and 1985. Fleming was named the CIAU Men’s Hockey Coach of the Year in 1985 and picked up GPAC Coach of the Year honours in 1983 and 1985.
Following his time at the U of M, Fleming went on to find success at the professional and international levels. Fleming spent over a dozen seasons as an assistant coach in the NHL, spending time with: the New York Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Tampa Bay Lightning. He worked frequently with Hockey Canada, and went to two Olympics, serving as general manager and assistant coach in 1992 when the men’s team won silver, and as associate coach in 2002, when it famously ended a 50-year gold medal drought.
The influential Fleming saw many of his Manitoba players go on to professional careers, including NHL all-star Mike Ridley, while members of his staff also advanced to the highest levels, including 2018 Stanley Cup champion head coach Barry Trotz..
After a courageous battle with brain cancer, Fleming passed in March 2013 at the age of 62. On October 4, 2013, the University of Manitoba honoured him by re-naming its campus rink the Wayne Fleming Arena.
Fleming is a member of the Bison Hockey Hall of Fame and the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.