Physician and former hockey coach named Distinguished Friend



EDMONTON – Dr. Garnet Cummings, former coach of the Ooks men’s hockey team, current executive director of the Brain Care Centre and long-time NAIT supporter, has been named the polytechnic’s 2015 Distinguished Friend of the Institute.

Born and raised in Edmonton, Cummings earned his Physical Education degree from the University of Alberta before coming to NAIT in 1967, where he taught and later coached until 1974. He went on to pursue his medical degree from the University of Calgary.

Cummings was the chief of emergency at the Royal Alexandra Hospital and medical director of STARS Air Ambulance in Edmonton until a 1998 motor vehicle accident left him with a brain injury. Today, Cummings is executive director of the Brain Care Centre and a member of the Royal Alexandra Hospital’s board of directors. The Brain Care Centre is a non-profit organization that offers programs and services at no cost to adults who have sustained a brain injury.


  • Potential candidates for the Distinguished Friend of the Institute are individuals or organizations that have demonstrated a commitment to the welfare and advancement of NAIT through volunteer services, endowments or other activities that benefit the institute.
  • Cummings coached the Ooks men’s hockey team for six seasons (1968-76) leading the team to a first place finish and two league titles.
  • He also helped establish NAIT’s youth hockey camps in the 1970s, served as the team’s physician for two years in the 1980s and was first president of the Ooks Hockey Alumni Association.
  • When Cummings was coaching, NAIT did not have its own arena. Practices were held from midnight to 2 a.m. at a community rink.
  • Cummings is a former member of the NAIT Board of Governors.
  • The Distinguished Friend of the Institute award was established in 1985.


Dr. Glenn Feltham, NAIT president and CEO

“Dr. Cummings has had a significant impact on athletics at NAIT, on the many players he coached and on healthcare in Alberta. I am so pleased we can honour and recognize him for the foundation he built and his ongoing commitment to men’s hockey through the Ooks Hockey Alumni Association.”

Dr. Garnet Cummings, 2014 recipient, Distinguished Friend of the Institute award

“Sport teaches you how to handle adversity. Not every shift is wonderful. You learn to deal with those things and support the players around you. It primes you to handle the real adversities of life. There will always be another day and you’ll do better.”


Distinguished Friend of the Institute:

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