2016 Toledo Hockey Hall of Fame Inductee
Coach & GM - Toledo Goaldiggers (1974-1979, 1984-1985)
August 20, 1923 – November 18, 1992
Archival video footage courtesy of WGTE Public Media
The native of Sarnia, Ontario was named the greatest coach in the 50-plus year history of the International Hockey League. His illustrious coaching career included six seasons with the Toledo Goaldiggers, with two Turner Cup titles for Toledo in 1975 and 1978.
Garvin played as a pro for Philadelphia and Washington of the Eastern Hockey League between 1943 and 1946, as well as with Detroit and Sarnia of the International Hockey League between 1947 and 1951.
After coaching at the junior level for several years, Garvin became a professional coach in 1968 with Port Huron in the IHL. His five seasons behind the bench in Port Huron resulted in two Turner Cup wins and two other finals appearances. That drew the attention of the Detroit Red Wings.
In 1973, Garvin became coach of the Red Wings, but was fired after only 11 games. Detroit’s loss turned into Toledo’s gain, when he was hired as the first coach of the IHL’s expansion franchise, the Toledo Goaldiggers in 1974.
In Toledo, Garvin became an instant hit with the fans for having a tough team on the ice. That included a forward line dubbed “Murder Inc.”, of Willie Trognitz, Doug Mahood and Paul Tantardini. Early struggles that season turned into post-season success, as Garvin guided the team which became known as the “Miracle on Main Street” to winning the Turner Cup in 1975.
Under Garvin, the Goaldiggers lost in the finals in 1977, but won their second Turner Cup in 1978. Following the 1978-79 season, Garvin went on to coach in Muskegon and Flint before coming back in a mid-season coaching change during the 1984-85 season.
Garvin was known as a great promoter of hockey and creating a carnival-like atmosphere at the Toledo Sports Arena. Players and fans expected the unexpected from Garvin, and they got plenty of that during his time in Toledo.