Portland Jr. Winterhawks

In Memory of Bobby Freeland

Robert Freeland, better known as Coach Bobby to all who knew him, left a profound positive image in everything that he touched. He was the ultimate player, coach, friend, father and husband. He passed away peacefully in June 2006.

Coach Bobby was born in Fairbanks, Alaska and moved at a young age to Portland, Oregon. He played competitive hockey for the Portland Amateur Hockey Association as a youth and later played two seasons at Saint Johns University in Minnesota where he graduated after his second season of hockey eligibility.

In 1987 Coach Bobby returned home to coach youth hockey for the Portland Junior Hawks Youth Hockey Association. He was involved in all aspects of the association from the grass-roots programs through the competitive hockey teams. From 2000 to his sudden passing in 2006 he was the Hockey Director at Valley Ice Arena in Portland. Coach Bobby was a USA Hockey Pacific District Select Player Evaluator from 1995 to 2005 and was very instrumental in developing the selection system that is still used in the Pacific District. Because of the fair process that each player receives throughout the program, several other USA Hockey Districts have adopted this system. He was a coach for five USA Hockey National Festivals in addition to coaching several girls’ teams that represented the Northwest Pacific District. Bobby was also elected to the Oregon State Hockey Association and served for ten years including four years as Vice-President.

Bobby was the General Manager of the Portland Pioneers Junior Hockey Club from 2000 through the 2005 season. Two of those years he was also an assistant coach including the 2004 season when the Pioneers won the Cascade Cup Championship. During the 2005/06 season he was the coach of the Eugene Generals Junior B team. In their inaugural season, the Generals far exceeded expectations of an expansion team. There is no question that Bobby had a great deal of influence on their early success.

Bobby was always looking for ways to “grow the game” in any way he could. We honor his enduring legacy each season by awarding the Bobby Freeland Cup to our Portland Jr Winterhawks Metro Division Champions in Squirts (10U), Peewees (12U) & Bantams (14U).