When Briercrest hired Jamie Ramer as their men's hockey coach for the 2014-15 season they knew that they were hiring a coach who was a great fit for the Briercrest community.
Briercrest Athletic Director Nigel Mullan was excited with how good of a fit Ramer was with Briercrest and the hockey team.
"I am thrilled with Jamie being added to our program as we are adding a quality person that has a great understanding of what we are trying to accomplish with our hockey program," Mullan said. "Jamie has the skill set to care for the individuals and to help them feel valued as they look to contribute to the team. I am confident that Jamie will take his time and make sure every aspect of the program is running in the direction that we are looking for. I am excited that we have a coach coming in here that wants to see a championship won by players that are living out our purpose as followers of Jesus Christ."
Ramer's hockey experience has taken him all over Canada and even overseas.
After serving as a hockey missionary in Sweden from 2000 to 2003 he returned to Canada and continued to work with Hockey Ministries International (HMI) in Ontario where he oversaw and helped grow the chapel ministry presence in the Ontario Hockey League, as well as with teams in the OUA and OHA.
"I played Division 2 hockey for three years in Sweden," Ramer said. "I have spent many years instructing at HMI's summer hockey camps and as a power skating instructor. I have a number of years coaching junior hockey in Sweden and more recently in our local minor hockey association. I have spent a good deal of time working with junior and varsity players to understand both the quality of character, skill and teamwork that it will take to have success on and off the ice."
Before traveling to Sweden, Ramer played hockey at Briercrest for five seasons.
"God used Briercrest in a very significant way in my life," he explained. "I played from 1994-2000 and still have eligibility left if you can figure that one out! While I was initially drawn to the school because of the hockey program I took the opportunity to dig into my faith and the questions that I had at that point in my life. It was a phenomenal experience with staff who taught and truly cared about the students and college community students who made learning fun."
"It was the Briercrest coach - John Bechtold - who really helped me to connect my faith to the game of hockey," Ramer continued. "He also believed in my abilities and helped me to grow as a player. In my second year as a Clipper we took a hockey missions trip to Sweden through Hockey Ministries International. God used that trip in a profound way in our team and in my life as I saw for the first time ways that I could combine my faith with my passion for the game. It has been quite the journey ever since and it seems as it has come full circle again."
Though Ramer has been out of Saskatchewan for a decade and a half he has remained connected to Briercrest.
"Some of my best friends are Clipper alumni so it is always a special thing to keep in touch with those guys," he said. "I have always had an excitement to keep in touch with the program and do what I could to help support the various coaches and great people and players that have been involved over the years. It was certainly a special moment to be back when the new rink was built as it was a dream that we had for many years. I am also excited about the future of the program. It has come a long way since my playing days and to hear the vision to see it continue to move forward is something that I want to be a part of."
Ramer's extensive experience with hockey has helped him develop his coaching philosophy.
"I have a passion to join in what it means to equip and prepare players to engage the world," Ramer explained. "Without getting into too many details of my coaching philosophy, I will say that my approach will both prioritize caring well for our development and growth as people with excellence on the ice. We will prepare to not just compete well but to win."
"It will include earning the trust and building a network of people (coaches, trainers, scouts, financial supporters) and strategic partnerships who are behind what the school and hockey program are about and desire to see it succeed," he continued. "I desire players who want to be a part of 'Briercrest Nation' and willing to play their role in seeing it succeed. It will involve commitment, a willingness to grow and sacrifice but it will be worth it."
"I am excited to come and be a part of the Briercrest community again and specifically to be able to be a part of shaping and leading the next chapter of the Briercrest hockey program," Ramer said. "I have been so inspired to see the volleyball program host and win silver in nationals this year. I would dream of seeing a similar experience for the hockey program."
Ramer is married to Briercrest alumnus Lea-Anne and they have three children.