The Arctic Lions do not measure success solely by the won-lost record of its teams. The development of the players as athletes, students, and future citizens entrusted to its charge is the true measure, and we are proud of our success on and off the ice. Success is built over periods of time, not overnight. But if the success of our teams on the ice is an indicator of our progress, we feel we are heading in the right direction.
The Northern Alaska Hockey Association was formed in 1991 and skated under the name of the Fairbanks Ice Hawks. The founders believed that there was a need for an organization dedicated entirely to the development of a competition team program for our youth. The goal was to increase the number of area competition teams, seek additional ways to financially support the teams, and to provide the finest coaches available to do the job.
On the organizational side, NAHA's sponsorship came primarily from the Fairbanks Choice Lions Club, and in March of 1995, with the Fairbanks Choice Lions sponsoring the effort, NAHA petitioned Lions Club International for membership as a Lions Club. The petition was approved, and in April of 1995 NAHA was reorganized as a member of Lions Club International. The Hockey Teams adopted new colors and a new name: Arctic Lions. Efforts were initiated to change the official name from NAHA to the Arctic Lions Club. The final approval was received from Lions Club International in February 1996.
In 1995, the Arctic Lions had three teams, a Pee Wee B and Midget A and B teams. In 1996, a fourth team was added. Mark Sanford continued to coach the Midgets, Mark Weber and Bernie Hughes handled our Bantams, Rob Proffitt coached our Pee Wee A team and Cullen Wallace our Pee Wee B team. In 1997, the Arctic Lions added a Junior team, coached by Rob Proffitt, and assisted by Bob Schwark.