NFL names Canadian Youth Coach of the Year

NFL names Canadian Youth Coach of the Year

London Ontario’s Dave Hocking has been awarded the 2012 NFL Youth Coach of the Year award.

“Coach Hocking’s tireless dedication to three local football teams and to his community deserves recognition,” said Dan Quinn, Managing Director, NFL Canada. “The NFL Youth Coach of the Year award enables us to put the spotlight on football coaches whose efforts transcend the win-loss column.”

Hocking is a volunteer football coach with two London Minor Football teams (Clarke Road RampageTyke and Atom) and with the John Paul II Catholic Secondary School junior football team. Hocking also founded a ‘Cleats for Kids’ charity (sorting and distributing gently-used sports footwear to those in need) in his community.

He was selected from a shortlist of nine coaches from across Canada to receive the honour. A panel of journalists, Football Canada and NFL officials selected the winners.

“It is one thing to coach but it is another to be a wonderful role model and mentor for so many children and people,” said football parent Angela Philips Osmond in a nomination essay. “Dave spends so much time coaching yet he and his wife also started a charity to provide cleats for kids that can’t afford new ones. His teams also do community cleanups, food drives and clothing drives for a local women’s shelter. His selfless acts inspire others to do more. He is very deserving of this recognition.”

Here is a nice interview and article by London Free Press reporter Dale Carruthes, finding out how Dave Hocking manages to juggle coaching duties with three teams (hint – he doesn’t sleep!)

687 submissions nominating more than 350 different coaches from across Canada were received. In addition to the equipment donation Hocking will be a guest of the NFL at this year’s Vanier Cup celebrations, and will be honoured at the CIS All-Canadian Banquet on Wednesday, November 21, 2012.

Trevor Allen Monaghan, a Wemindji band member who grew up in Ottawa, was named as one of two runners-up for his efforts in introducing Cree youth to football. Monaghan, a former University of Ottawa Gee Gee, has inspired a blossoming 6-a-side football movement amongst aboriginal youth in Northern Quebec. Monaghan’s James Bay Eagles, who represented Football Quebec in a recent Football Canada tournament, will receive $2,000 in new equipment.

“Trevor has great values, and made me realize that if I didn’t go to school I wouldn’t be able to play football once I had graduated from this program that he brought to our community,” said James Bay Eagles player Marc-Julian Beauregard in a nomination essay. “He has impacted my life in a very positive way. Instead of just hanging out in the streets and staying up at night I get ready for the workout he has planned for the whole team. Our whole community looks up to him.”

The Nation’s Daniel Coyle explains the impact of 6-a-side football in Northern Quebec in this February, 2012 article

Russell Ontario’s Nick Longval, a teacher and football coach at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic High School, was named as one of two runners-up and will receive $2,000 in equipment for the name football program. Longval, who also was the spark behind the creation of the Russell Minor Football Association, was nominated by more than 70 students, parents and administrators from his community.

“Coach Longval brought football to Russell back in my first year of high school, and then also started the Russell Minor Football Association,” said Derek Robertson, a defensive end with the Acadia University Axemen and a former player of Longval’s. “He gives everything to football in the community and has changed so many kids lives, myself included. He does so much for so many people and asks for nothing in return. He is an amazing coach and role model.”

Nick Longval spoke with CBC’s Ottawa Morning shortly after being shortlisted for the award

Over the past 14 years the program has contributed more than $170,000 in equipment to deserving programs, and together with Football Canada has put the spotlight on the grassroots-level coaches who are the engines that drive football in Canada. The award is not based on wins and losses. Football players, volunteers, fans, parents, administrators, fellow coaches and even professional athletes submitted short essays recognizing the positive impact a coach in their community has on young players.

“The lasting and positive impact these coaches have is remarkable, not only on the character of the young people they work, but also on the surrounding community,” said Rick Sowieta, Director of Sport, Football Canada. “These volunteer coaches are the engines that drive minor football in Canada and they deserve the recognition.”

Dave Hocking’s November 14 CBC Ontario morning interview starts 12:36 into this podcas ontariomorning_20121114_12300.mp3

NFL Youth Coach of the Year recipients: (all time)

  • 1999: Mike Tanner, Queen Elizabeth High School, Halifax, NS
  • 2000: Mitch Chuvalo, Western TechnicalCommercial High School, Toronto, ON
  • 2001: Paul Normandeau, KelvinHigh School, Winnipeg, MB
  • 2002: Gordon Judges, St. Mary Catholic High School, Pickering, ON
  • 2003: Paul Kerber, Western Canada High School, Calgary, AB
  • 2004: Kevin Campbell, Hammarskjold High School, Thunder Bay, ON
  • 2005: Jeff Yanchus, John F. Ross CVI, Guelph, ON
  • 2006: Dan Del Mastro, Michael Power Catholic Secondary School, Toronto, ON
  • 2007: Jeff Green, Chatham-Kent Secondary, Chatham, ON
  • 2008: Quinn Skelton, Medicine Hat High School, Medicine Hat, AB
  • 2009: Bruce Waddell, Parkwest Outlaws, Shoal Lake, MB
  • 2010: John Svenson, MelvilleComprehensive School, Melville, SK
  • 2011: Rick Gilson, Grande Prairie Composite High School, Grande Prairie, AB
  • 2012: Dave Hocking, London Minor Football Association and John Paul II Catholic Secondary School, London, ON

Dave Hocking