Decenber 1, 2018
Fifty years ago, a 25 year old moved to Cape Breton Island who would win the most conference hockey championships of any hockey coach to participate in CCAA nationals and set a record for most appearances by a head coach at CCAA nationals.
In 1968, Dr. Carl "Bucky" Buchanan became the first athletic director of Xavier Junior College, a campus with no athletic facilities in Sydney, Nova Scotia. Though not a Caper by birth, the Sussex, New Brunswick native was at the helm when Xavier Junior College and the Nova Scotia Eastern Institute of Technology amalgamated to form the College of Cape Breton and the athletic teams became the Capers. While serving as athletic director, he was asked in 1980 to promote a local Canada Games bid. He later served as president and chief executive officer of the 1987 Canada Winter Games.
Twenty five years later, Buchanan stepped down as athletic director from what was then Cape Breton University in 1993. In between, he coached the Capers for 17 seasons between 1968 and 1988 and guided the hockey team to 12 conference titles as well as championships in the Eastern Junior 'A' League and the Cape Breton Senior Hockey League. At CCAA nationals, he guided the team to four medals in nine appearances including a gold in 1978.
Though Buchanan started his coaching sojourn at the University of Tennessee and Appalachian State University, his coaching prowess was recognized far beyond the island. In addition being named to coach of the year in the Eastern Junior 'A' Hockey League, the Cape Breton Senior Hockey League and the Nova Scotia College Conference, he received the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association Coaching Award of Excellence in 1986.
Off the ice, Buchanan has a long history of involvement with the Nova Scotia Hockey Association. Positions held include vice-president of development, vice-president of junior hockey, and first vice-president. In 2003, he was the Sydney chair of the World Junior Championships.
Over the years, the Life Member of Hockey Nova Scotia has been recognized with the Gordon Juckes Award in 1996 as well as induction into the Cape Breton Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and the CCAA Hall of Fame in 2015.