Coaches Matter

Coaches Matter

For the fifteenth consecutive year the NFL is shining a spotlight on Canada’s most dedicated youth football coaches.

Coaches can be nominated at http://www.nflcoachoftheyear.ca/ until November 4, 2013.

$5,000 of new football equipment will be donated to the winning coach’s program. This year financial services provider BlackRock Canada will also help cement the winning coach’s legacy by awarding bursaries that will assist young football players in the coach’s community who are in financial need.

The very first NFL Youth Coach of the Year was Mike Tanner from Queen Elizabeth High School in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Tanner recently spoke about his role as coach with CBC Radio:

The following are excerpts from past winning submissions:

Jeff Yanchus, John F. Ross CVI in Guelph, Ontario, was named NFL Youth Coach of the Year in 2005. He was nominated by a Colin Dyer, a former player who went on to play at the University of Guelph.

“Coach Yanchus’ greatest talent was seeing when one of us was messing up, telling us in a way we could hear it, and then helping us fix the situation through hard work, character and perseverance,” said Dyer in his nomination essay. “In high school I was suspended more times than I can count . . . but during my University career I have become a Dean’s list student, a University of Guelph football team captain and a student senator. I think that a big reason I have been able to do this is because of the principles that Coach Yanchus instilled within me while I played on his teams.”

In 2010 The National Football League named John Svenson NFL Youth Coach of the Year. In addition to leading the football program at Saskatchewan’s Melville Comprehensive School, Svenson also helped develop local Parkland Pee Wee Football and coached the league’s Melville entry. Svenson was selected from a shortlist of ten community and high school coaches from across Canada to receive the honour. Benny Walchuk, a former player of Coach Svenson’s at Melville Comprehensive, submitted the essay nominating his former coach.

“John Svenson been volunteering his time and effort to the school’s football program for the past 18 years (coaching, repairing equipment, keeping the field in shape) while also helping us as a Guidance Counsellor and Shop teacher,” said Walchuk. “In the summer months he helps coach Team Saskatchewan and organizes games with teams from the United States. If you can find someone that does more for football in their community then hats off to you, because in my opinion there isn’t anyone that does as much as Coach Svenson does for Melville.”

2008 winner Quinn Skelton was nominated by Reed Alexander, a former player in Skelton’s Medicine Hat High School program and at the University of Calgary.

“Not only does Quinn impact the team as a whole, he impacts each player as an individual,” said Alexander in his submission essay.
“Coach always made himself available — whether it was a school, football or personal issue, he was always there with advice. He
was the reason a lot of athletes managed to get through high school.” In his submission Alexander also reference the hundreds of
volunteer hours Skelton has donated to Football Alberta programs, and the numerous Medicine Hat grads who were coached by
Skelton and now play football at the Canadian Junior, Canadian University and professional levels.