Junior Grizzlies’ coach suspended from teaching for past incidents

Grizzlies have no concerns with Didmon, say incidents involving underage drinking in the past

Craig Didmon, head coach of the Victoria Grizzlies and a teacher in the Sooke School District, will serve two weeks’ suspension from teaching in June after admitting to professional misconduct between 2012 and 2014 that included drinking with and securing alcohol for underage hockey players.

Didmon, who also ran the Spencer middle school hockey academy in Langford, was disciplined last week by the B.C. Commissioner for Teacher Regulation, after signing a consent resolution agreement in which he admitted to professional misconduct and conduct unbecoming relating to multiple issues.

Those included being absent from school multiple times between Sept. 7, 2012 and Feb. 14, 2014 during instructional time and prep blocks, without the District’s knowledge or permission, in order to attend practices or games with the Grizzlies; and making unauthorized representations on behalf of the District in November 2014, during discussions about a partnership between the Grizzlies, the Pacific Coast Hockey Academy and one of two SD62 schools for which he coached in the hockey academy.

The drinking incidents were said to have occurred between 2012 and December 2013, when Didmon was an assistant coach with the Grizzlies. Some of the underage players who were involved were students in the District, the agreement stated.

While the B.C. Hockey League will be looking into Didmon’s admitted actions during the above time frame, Grizzlies director of operations Jim Swanson said the team has no plans to take any disciplinary action against their head coach.

“I personally have travelled with the team and I know the level of accountability and professionalism we require of everybody,” he said, noting the ownership and management group of the team has changed since the drinking incidents. “We don’t have any concerns with Craig … Under maybe old-school coaching this was the way of doing things. Craig is not an old-school coach.”

Terms of the agreement call for Didmon to complete a course on Applied Ethics from BCIT by May 30.

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

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