In the last minutes before all olive branches are retracted, I thought we would revisit one of my favorite Ken Hitchcock tales:
According to the Kelowna Daily Courier, a 14-year-old boy shoplifted three pairs of shorts from Cruzwear Unlimited on Bernard Avenue, the “largest swimwear store in Western Canada.” Cruzwear employee Sherrie Lessare grabbed the boy’s backpack as he attempted to flee the store, and called for help.
Hitchcock, who vacations in Kelowna, was sitting in a parked car and sprung to action when he saw the struggle. Hitchcock and a motorcyclist pinned the shoplifter against a window.
From the Daily Courier (not available online):
The motorcyclist grabbed the teen’s arm, but he broke away. Hitchcock straight-armed him against the window as he struggled. He continued holding the boy until members of Downtown On Call arrived. They banned the youth from the store and told him he’d face a trespassing charge if he returned.
Hitchcock returned to the store 30 minutes later to check on Lessare. “There are awesome people out there,” she said.
Lessare had no idea who Hitchcock was. She described him as “distinguished,” tanned, wearing walking shorts and expensive white runners.
It’s true: Lessare didn’t know a guy with 533 career coaching victories, a Stanley Cup ring with the Dallas Stars and a gold medal from the Vancouver Olympics had thwarted a thief at her store. Even after she was told about his career, it didn’t register: When her co-workers later asked about Hitchcock, Lessare told them he was “a head coach in the NFL … Ken something.”