Kevin Koe

Kevin Koe (/ˈk/ KOO-ee; born January 11, 1975) is a Canadian curler. Koe is a two-time World champion and four-time Canadian champion. He was the skip of the Canadian men's team at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

Kevin Koe
Born (1975-01-11) January 11, 1975
Team
Curling clubThe Glencoe Club,
Calgary, AB
SkipKevin Koe
ThirdB. J. Neufeld
SecondColton Flasch
LeadBen Hebert
AlternateTed Appelman
Career
Member Association Northwest Territories (1996-1999)
 Alberta (1999-present)
Brier appearances7 (2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019)
World Championship
appearances
4 (2010, 2014, 2016, 2019)
Olympic
appearances
1 (2018)
Top CTRS ranking1st (2015-16, 2018-19)
Grand Slam victories5 (2004 Players', 2012 Masters, 2013 Canadian Open, 2015 Tour Challenge, 2018 Players')

Originally from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, he now resides in Calgary, Alberta and curls out of The Glencoe Club. He learned to curl at the age of six in Inuvik, Northwest Territories.[1]

Career

Junior career

Koe skipped the Northwest Territories/Yukon team at the 1994 Canadian Junior Curling Championships. He led the team, which consisted of his brother Jamie at third, second Mark Whitehead and lead Kevin Whitehead to an 8-3 round robin record, in a three-way tie for first. This gave them a direct spot into the final against Alberta's Colin Davison, whom they lost 6-5 to amidst a controversy involving a burnt rock.

Early men's career in Edmonton

Koe would later leave Yellowknife, to curl in the more competitive province of Alberta, settling in Edmonton.

Koe's early career included skipping Team Alberta at the 2000 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship, with teammates Susan O'Connor, Greg Northcott and Lawnie Goodfellow. He led the team to an 8-3 round robin record, and won both of their playoff games to claim the Canadian Mixed title. His early career on the World Curling Tour included winning the 1999 Dunlop Ford Cash Classic and the 2002 Pointoptical Curling Classic.

From 2003 to 2006 he played third for John Morris, with whom Koe would win his first Grand Slam event, the 2004 Players' Championship. The team played in the 2005 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, going 6-3 in the round robin, and losing in the semifinal. During this time, the team would also win the 2005 Meyers Norris Penny Charity Classic. In 2006, Koe left the Morris rink and formed his own team with Blake MacDonald throwing fourth stones, Koe skipping at third, Carter Rycroft at second and Nolan Thiessen at lead. In their first season together, Koe would win the 2006 Roaming Buffalo Classic.

Up until 2010, Koe had little success in his attempts to win a provincial title on the men's stage, as he and his rink were in the shadows of fellow Edmontonian Kevin Martin, widely considered to be one of the best curlers of all time. In 2007, he almost went to the Brier, but lost in the provincial finals to Kevin Martin. In both the 10th and 11th ends, his team's then-fourth player, Blake MacDonald (Koe skipped and threw third stones) had a draw to the eight-foot to win, but missed on both opportunities. The next season, the team would win the 2007 John Shea Insurance Canada Cup Qualifier.

Two months after winning the Twin Anchors Invitational, the team played in the 2009 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, finishing the round robin with a 4-3 record, missing the playoffs. Later that season, Koe finally won a provincial championship, benefiting from an absent Martin who would be preparing for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Koe went on to win the 2010 Brier, beating Ontario's Glenn Howard in the final. Koe's rink became the first team to come out of the 3 vs. 4 page playoff game to win the Brier, and he became the first rookie skip to win the Brier since Vic Peters in 1992. Koe finished with a 9-2 round robin record at the 2010 Capital One World Men's Curling Championship, finishing second behind Norway. However, in the playoffs, Koe beat Norway twice to claim his first world title.

The season following their World championship, the Koe rink would win three World Curling Tour events, the 2010 Twin Anchors Invitational, the Skookum WCT Cash Spiel and the March 2011 DeKalb Superspiel. They would not repeat their World title however, as they would lose in the final of the 2011 Boston Pizza Cup to Kevin Martin.

Move to Calgary (2011–2014)

Koe moved to Calgary in 2011. At the same time, his long-time fourth, Blake MacDonald, retired, and was replaced by Pat Simmons. Koe returned to the Brier in 2012, for the second time in his career. In doing so, he broke an 18-year drought for the city of Calgary in winning the Alberta provincial championship, representing the city's Glencoe Club. He was helped by the fact that the Olympic champion Kevin Martin rink lost in the semifinal, avoiding a final match-up of province's top two ranked teams. At the 2012 Tim Hortons Brier, Koe led Team Alberta to an 8–3 record. In the playoffs he had to face off against his brother Jamie's team from the Northwest Territories in the 3 vs. 4 game, which he won. He then won the semifinal, before losing to Ontario (skipped by Glenn Howard) in the final. Also that season, Koe won the TSN Skins Game event, pocketing $43,900 for his team.

Koe finally won his first Grand Slam title as a skip at the 2012 Masters. After going 3–2 in the group stage, he led his team to three straight playoff wins to claim the title. Also that season, he won the 2012 Canad Inns Prairie Classic and the 2012 Cactus Pheasant Classic. The next season, Koe won another slam title at the 2013 Canadian Open of Curling, losing just one game in the process. The next month, Team Koe played in the 2013 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, but finished with a 2–5 record, missing the playoffs. On the tour, the team won the 2013 Prestige Hotels & Resorts Curling Classic.

Koe's rink won their second provincial title in 2014, finally defeating Kevin Martin in the final. At the 2014 Brier Koe's rink won their second Canadian championship, defeating John Morris' British Columbia rink 10–5 in the final.[2] Koe's rink then went on to represent Canada at the 2014 World Men's Curling Championship. After finishing the round robin in 2nd place with an 8-3 record, the team collapsed in the playoffs, losing all three of their games, including the bronze medal game, settling for fourth place.

A new team (2014-2018)

Koe's win at the 2014 Brier gave his team an automatic bye (as Team Canada) at the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier, following a rule change by the Canadian Curling Association. However, Koe announced that he was leaving his team to form a new team to prepare for the 2018 Olympics in South Korea[3], leaving him ineligible to represent Team Canada at the 2015 Brier. Somewhat ironically, Koe's former teammates recruited 2014 runner-up Morris to skip Team Canada for the 2015 Brier. Koe's new team consisted of lead Ben Hebert and third Marc Kennedy who had previously played on the 2010 Olympic champion Kevin Martin rink and second Brent Laing from Ontario who had left the Glenn Howard rink. With his new team, Koe successfully repeated as Albertan champion in the 2015 Boston Pizza Cup, which qualified him to represent Alberta at the 2015 Tim Hortons Brier. There, he led his new team to a 6-5 record, missing the playoffs. On the tour, his new team won the Direct Horizontal Drilling Fall Classic and the Karuizawa International Curling Championship.

Koe and his new rink found more success in the 2015-16 season. The team began the season by winning the inaugural GSOC Tour Challenge Grand Slam event. They would also win the 2015 Canada Cup of Curling and would go on to win the 2016 Boston Pizza Cup, sending their team to that year's Brier. After going 8-3 at the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier, Koe and his foursome railed off three straight victories in the playoffs (again having to come out of the 3 vs. 4 game), defeating Newfoundland and Labrador's Brad Gushue in the final. The team would represent Canada at the 2016 World Men's Curling Championship, losing just one game en route to winning the gold medal. Koe led Canada to a 5-3 win over Denmark, skipped by Rasmus Stjerne, in the final. On the tour, the team won the Direct Horizontal Drilling Fall Classic again and the Mercure Perth Masters. They would finish the season in first place on the World Curling Tour Order of Merit rankings and in the CTRS standings.

Koe's win at the 2016 Brier qualified the team to represent Team Canada at the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier. Koe again led his team to an 8-3 round robin record, and again had to fight through the 3 vs. 4 game and the semifinals in the playoffs to make it to the final, where he faced Brad Gushue in a re-match of the 2016 Brier. However, Gushue and his Newfoundland rink would win the re-match in front of a partisan home crowd. Earlier in the year, Koe would win the 2017 Pinty's All-Star Curling Skins Game, winning $71,000 for his team. On the tour, the team would win the AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic and the Red Deer Curling Classic.

Later in the year, Team Koe played in the 2017 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials, leading his team to a 7-1 round robin record, which put him in the final against Mike McEwen. Koe would get the better of McEwen, qualifying his rink to represent Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympics, where the team placed fourth overall after losing the semi final match to Team Shuster of the United States and falling short in the bronze medal match versus Switzerland[4]. On April 15th, 2018, Koe won the Player's Championship Grand Slam of Curling event with a 6-2 victory over Niklas Edin of Sweden.

After the season, Kennedy and Laing left the team and were replaced with B. J. Neufeld and Colton Flasch.

Post Olympics (2018-present)

Koe and his new team began the 2018-19 curling season by winning the first leg of the Curling World Cup, defeating Norway's Steffen Walstad in the final. In provincial playdowns, the Koe rink lost two of their first three games at the 2019 Boston Pizza Cup, before winning five straight games to claim the Alberta championship. The team represented Alberta at the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier, and went undefeated in the entire tournament, winning the event by beating their provincial rivals, Team Brendan Bottcher who were the Wild Card entry. They went on to represent Canada at the 2019 World Men's Curling Championship, finishing the round robin with a 9-3 record. They battled through the playoffs to play Team Sweden's Niklas Edin rink in the final, losing 7-2. In Grand Slam play, the team failed to win any slams, but did make it to three finals. Despite the lack of any event wins, their strong play was good enough to award them with the Pinty's Cup for the season's best Slam team.[5] The team ended the season in the Grand Final of the Curling World Cup, where they beat the host Chinese team (Zou Qiang).

Personal life

His brother, Jamie Koe, has represented the Territories in four of the last five Briers, while his sister Kerry has represented the Territories in five of the last six Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Chief Jim Koe of Aklavik,[6] Kevin's grandfather, was the pioneer behind the family's involvement in curling. Kevin's father, Fred, a politician and former skip, participated at the 1999 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship alongside Jamie and Kerry. Fred is part of the Gwich'in First Nations tribe, which connects Kevin to the indigenous community in the Northwest Territories[7]. The Koe family, received a recognition award at the Aboriginal Sports Circle of Northwest Territories awards dinner, for their years of service in the curling community.

Koe, who was born in Edmonton, Alberta,[8] attended École Sir John Franklin High School in Yellowknife, where he was later inducted into the Falcons Hall of Fame,[9] before moving to Alberta to attend the University of Calgary.[10] Koe was the recipient of the 2016 Scott-Mamini Memorial Award, for Male Athlete of the Year, given by the Calgary Booster Club.[11] Koe works as a surface landman for Repsol Canada.[12] He is married[13] and has two children.[14]

Grand Slam record

Key
C Champion
F Lost in Final
SF Lost in Semifinal
QF Lost in Quarterfinals
R16 Lost in the round of 16
Q Did not advance to playoffs
T2 Played in Tier 2 event
DNP Did not participate in event
N/A Not a Grand Slam event that season
Event 2002–03 2003–04 2004–05 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18 2018–19 2019–20
Elite 10 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A SF SF SF SF QF N/A
Masters DNP QF Q QF QF F F F QF QF C QF QF SF Q SF F Q
Tour Challenge N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A C Q Q QF SF
National DNP DNP QF Q F F Q SF Q QF SF QF Q QF QF QF SF QF
Canadian Open DNP DNP SF F SF Q Q Q SF Q QF C SF SF Q SF QF
Players' Q C Q QF DNP SF QF SF SF Q Q QF QF QF QF C F
Champions Cup N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A QF F SF F

Teams

SeasonSkipThirdSecondLeadEvents
1993–94Kevin KoeJamie KoeMark WhiteheadKevin Whitehead1994 CJCC
1994–95Kevin Koe
1996-97Mickey PendergastKevin KoeKevin PendergastBryan Blaylock
1997-98Mickey PendergastKevin KoeKevin PendergastEugene Doherty
1999–00Kevin KoeJohn FergusonScott CrippsJamie Koe
2000–01Kevin KoeJamie KoeScott CrippsMike Westlund2001 Alta.
2001–02Kevin Koe
2002–03Kevin KoeJamie KoeScott CrippsMike Westlund2003 CC
2003–04John MorrisKevin KoeMarc KennedyPaul Moffatt2004 CC, Alta.
2004–05John MorrisKevin KoeMarc KennedyPaul Moffatt2005 CC, Alta.
2005–06John MorrisKevin KoeMarc KennedyPaul Moffatt2005 COCT, 2006 CC, Alta.
2006–07Blake MacDonald (fourth)Kevin Koe (skip)Carter RycroftNolan Thiessen2007 Alta.
2007–08Blake MacDonald (fourth)Kevin Koe (skip)Carter RycroftNolan Thiessen2008 CC, Alta.
2008–09Blake MacDonald (fourth)Kevin Koe (skip)Carter RycroftNolan Thiessen2009 CC, Alta.
2009–10Kevin KoeBlake MacDonaldCarter RycroftNolan Thiessen2009 COCT, 2010 Alta., Brier, WCC
2010–11Kevin KoeBlake MacDonaldCarter RycroftNolan Thiessen2011 Alta., CC
2011–12Kevin KoePat SimmonsCarter RycroftNolan Thiessen2011 CC, 2012 Alta., Brier
2012–13Kevin KoePat SimmonsCarter RycroftNolan Thiessen2012 CC, 2013 Alta.
2013–14Kevin KoePat SimmonsCarter RycroftNolan Thiessen2013 COCT, 2014 Alta., Brier, WCC
2014–15Kevin KoeMarc KennedyBrent LaingBen Hebert2014 CC, 2015 Alta., Brier
2015-16Kevin KoeMarc KennedyBrent LaingBen Hebert2015 CC, 2016 Alta., Brier, WCC
2016-17Kevin KoeMarc KennedyBrent LaingBen Hebert2016 CC, 2017 Brier
2017-18Kevin KoeMarc KennedyBrent LaingBen Hebert2017 COCT, 2018 OG
2018-19Kevin KoeB. J. NeufeldColton FlaschBen Hebert2018 CWC, 2019 Alta., Brier, WCC, CWC
2019-20Kevin KoeB. J. NeufeldColton FlaschBen Hebert

References

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