Winner of national grassroots program to receive $5,000 in new equipment for their football program; Runners-up to receive $2,000 in new equipment

Toronto, ON – November 10, 2011 − Eight finalists have been named for the 2011 NFL Youth Coach of the Year Award, the NFL announced today. The award, now in its 13th year, is designed to recognize community or high school level coaches across Canada who dedicate themselves to the development of young players both on and off the field.

The following eight youth coaches (coaching organized teams of tackle football players aged 19 or under) are this year’s finalists:

Coach Team/Program/Community
Brian Agnew Moncton Minor Football, Moncton, NB
Roberto Allen Scarborough Minor Football Association, Scarborough, ON
Rick Gilson Grand Prairie Composite High School, Grand Prairie, AB
Joe Karwacki Eastview Secondary School, Barrie, ON
Harry Lumley Herman Secondary School, Windsor, ON
Scott Montgomery Moose JawMinor Football, Moose Jaw, MB
Steven Pahl Twin Cities Minor Tackle Football, Kitchener, ON
Ian Sinclair GSL North Shore Football League, Vancouver, BC

More than 600 submissions nominating more than 400 different coaches from across Canada were received. Football players, volunteers, fans, parents, administrators and fellow coaches submitted short essays recognizing the positive impact a coach in their community has on young players. Nominators were asked to consider how their coach teaches respect, leadership and appreciation for community and the game of football when drafting nominations.

This year’s shortlisted coaches include:

The world’s first bilateral amputee to receive a prosthetic with a state-of-the-art hydraulic hip joint (Coach Joe Karawacki, Barrie, Ontario)

  • The inspiration behind NFL Denver Bronco Orlando Franklin (Coach Roberto Allen, Scarborough, Ontario)
  • An individual who showed remarkable poise when tragedy struck his football team (Coach Rick Gilson, Grand Prairie, Alberta)
  • A member of the 1983 NCAA National Champion Miami Football Hurricanes and BC Sports Hall of Fame (coach Ian Sinclair, North Vancouver, British Columbia

Over the past 13 years the program has contributed more than $150,000 in equipment and facility upgrades to deserving programs, and put the spotlight on the grassroots-level coaches who are the engines that drive football in Canada. Theaward is not based on wins and losses.

“Together with Football Canada the National Football League is proud to recognize the efforts of these eight selfless coaches, said Dan Quinn, Managing Director, NFL Canada. “Their efforts are indicative of what is taking place on thousands of football fields across the country. Without the volunteer efforts of coaches youth football in this country simply wouldn’t happen.”

The winning coach will be selected by a panel of journalists from across Canada, NFL representatives and Football Canada officials. The winner and runners-up will be announced via press release on November 17, 2011 in Toronto.

$5,000 of new football equipment will be donated to the winning coach’s program. Two runners-up schools will each receive $2,000 in equipment.

The winning coach will also win a trip to Vancouver as a guest of the NFL at this year’s Vanier Cup celebrations, and will be honoured at the CIS coaches breakfast – the Vanier Cup Championship Breakfast – on Friday, November 24, 2011, and attend the Vanier Cup, scheduled to be played later that day.

Visit for more details.

Past winners:

  • 1999: Mike Tanner, Queen Elizabeth High School, Halifax, NS
  • 2000: Mitch Chuvalo, Western Technical Commercial High School, Toronto, ON
  • 2001: Paul Normandeau, Kelvin High 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, 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, Melville Comprehensive School, Melville, SK.