Lloyd Percival: Coach and Visionary
Author: Gary Mossman
They called him ‘Coach’, but Lloyd Percival was much more. He introduced modern track and field to Canada, produced a blueprint for radically changing the way hockey was played, built the world’s first modern fitness club, inspired and contributed to government policy on sport, and was instrumental in the success of Canada’s best amateur and professional athletes. However, he was a radical, an iconoclast, and a thorn in the side of the authorities in amateur and professional sports for almost four decades.
Percival has been compared to Marshall McLuhan for his willingness “to look at things people took for granted”. Respected around the world, Percival’s controversial prescriptions for change made “the stepfather of Russian hockey” a “prophet without honour” in his homeland. The story of Lloyd Percival is the story of sport and fitness in Canada during an era of profound change, a story of the man most responsible for those changes and of his enduring legacy.
“A must read book about a man who was ahead of his time and influenced hockey in North America and the entire world. Percival’s Hockey Handbook changed the on and off ice culture of coaching hockey at every level.”
~ Lou Lamoriello, President and General Manager, New Jersey Devils
“A fantastic read and contribution to an understanding of the development of sport in Canada during the ‘Golden years’ of the 1960’s and 1970’s. For me Lloyd Percival was the equivalent of today’s Richard Branson, hugely creative and visionary.”
~ Dr. Roger Jackson, Olympic gold medalist and founding CEO of Own The Podium, Vancouver 2010
“Percival and I saw eye to eye from the beginning. A lot of the things he recommended I found I had been doing instinctively and I got a big kick out of Percival being able to tell me why I was doing them right.”
~ Gordie Howe, ‘Mr. Hockey’
“Every Saturday at 12:15 when we were young lads my mother made sausages and toast for my brother and me and we listened to ‘Ace’ Percival on Sports College. I don’t agree with everything he said, but he sure was ahead of his time.”
~ Don Cherry, Television commentator and former NHL coach
“Percival was a hard man to forget. Even during the summer you would remember something he had taught you and you would work on it.”
~ ‘Red’ Kelly, Hockey Hall of Fame inductee and former NHL coach
“A nice tribute to a hockey brother. Percival was ahead of his time. Most of his beliefs became reality and he left a wonderful legacy – the great Soviet coach, Tarasov, admired his thinking and used his ideas.”
~ Lou Vairo, Former Director of Coaching Education. USA Hockey, and coach of the 1984 USA Olympic Team