Coaching Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2019 Football Alberta Award Winners!

Harold Ferguson Officials Award

Dave Bliele - Grande Prairie Football Association

Dave is one of the foot soldiers of officiating in Alberta.  In the Grande Prairie area he does every conceivable level of play from Pee-Wee to High School to senior men’s and women’s.  Considered a leader by the GPFOA he is a local clinic instructor and also provides on-field training for new officials.  Dave is always the go to guy for the big games having officiated last year in all Provincial Level games held in Grande Prairie at the minor and high school levels.  He was also awarded the Grande Prairie Sports Councils Official of the Year for 2019 and its out pleasure to continue with accolades and name him the 2019 winner of the Harold Ferguson Official of the Year

Novice Coach of the Year

Veronica Oczkowski - Lethbridge Jr. Bantam Cougars

In her second year of coaching , Veronica has made quite an impression on the Cougar’s program.  After spending 2018 instructing the quarterbacks for their Pee-Wee team, Veronica moved up to the Bantam Cougars in 2019 with the same duties.  The results were impressive as the Cougar QB’s averaged 177 passing yards a game with a 54% completion average and 2.2 TD’s a game.  The Cougars led the Southern Alberta Minor Football Association in passing yardage and their QB was named Rookie of the Year in Division B.  All of this was done while Veronica was still operating as the starting QB of the Lethbridge Steel of the WWFL.  Very impressive and the marks of a great future for Veronica Oczkowski, the winner of the 2019 Novice Coach of the Year.

Atom/Peewee Coach of the Year

John Flinn - Sylvan Lake Bears - Peewee

A great year for the Bears as they claimed their second championship in a row.  Head Coach John Flynn has lead the Bears for the past 10 years and is well regarded in both the Sylvan Lake and Central Alberta areas as a quality coach who radiates the love of the game to his players.  This year the team adapted to their lower numbers and joined the 9-Man division of the Central Alberta Pee-Wee League and ran the board undefeated.  A truly impressive example of not only adapting to a different level but also keeping the level of excellence demonstrated by the Bears under his direction in previous years.  A great coaching job indeed and we are proud to name John Flynn as the Atom/Pee-Wee Coach of the Year for 2019.

Bantam Coach of the Year

Greg Wilson - Calgary Wildcats

Greg has been the head coach of the Bantam Calgary Wildcats since 2002.  Over than time he has lead the Wildcats to four Calgary Division I Championships including this past year in 2019.  Even though the Wildcats lost out in the Provincial Semi-Finals to the Sherwood Park Rams, Greg was undefeated in Calgary Bantam league play and the playoffs.  He is known as a coach who makes sure all of his players contribute with meaningful minutes, and thus creates a wonderful team atmosphere with no complaints.  Greg was also selected by the Calgary Officials Association as the Bantam Coach of the Year and tied for the Brock Jacobs Award for Calgary Bantam’s Coach of the Year.  It is for all of this that we honor Greg Wilson as the Football Alberta Bantam Coach of the Year.

Frank Morris Tier I High School Coach of the Year Award

Cody Ehrmann - Henry Wise Wood Warriors (Calgary)

A busy man in 2019, Cody served as head coach for both the Jr. and Sr. teams at Henry Wise Wood High School.  Cody also spent his summer as the defensive coordinator for Team Alberta U18 which came home with the bronze medal from the Football Canada Cup.  His fall season with the Warriors saw him lead the Senior team to a third place finish in Calgary Division I while his Junior team advanced to the Division I Championship Game.  The best part of this award for Cody was that the nomination came from his players.  Committed to be better football players as well as better students and citizens, these characteristics are said to be instilled in them by Coach Ehrmann and they were proud to submit his nomination.  Just as proud as we are in bestowing the Frank Morris Tier I Coach of the Year Award to him for 2019.

Laurie Robertson Memorial Tier II High School Coach of the Year Award

Matt Hassett - Holy Trinity Academy Knights (Okotoks)

For 17 years, Matt Hassett has been the only head coach the HTA Knights have ever known.  Over his years he has served at the Provincial Level on the Team Alberta Hawaii team and as the District Rep for the Rockyview/Foothills area of the province.  As head coach of the Knights, he has constantly built a winning program that has gone from the Tier IV level up to the past two seasons that have seen the Knights advance to the Provincial Tier II Final.  Although they were unsuccessful in achieving their final goal in 2018, this past 2019 season they left no doubt, going 11-0 with wins over Cardston and Bert Church to get to the Alberta Bowl where they dispatched the Austin O’Brien Crusaders 35-3 to win their first ever Provincial Title.  A true program builder and excellent coach its our honor to bestow the 2019 Laurie Robertson Tier II Coach of the Year Award to Matt Hassett.

Tier III High School Coach of the Year Award

Chad Hill - Sturgeon Spirits (Sturgeon County)

For a program only two years old, the Sturgeon Spirits have made a big mark so far, lead by their head coach Chad Hill.  In 2018, Sturgeon advanced to the Division III Final in the Metro Edmonton League.  In 2019, the Spirits kicked it up a notch and moved up to the Metro Edmonton’s Division II League and once again only dropped a single game during the regular season finishing with a 5-1 record.  Although they lost in the Div. II semi-finals they did qualify for ASAA Provincials at the Tier III level, making it the Big Dance in only their second year of existence.  They began with a quarterfinal game vs. Whitecourt where they won their programs first ever Provincial level game 27-13 over the Cats.  In the Northern Final the following weekend they lost to the juggernaut from Holy Rosary to end their season but quite an accomplishment for a second year program.  Chad has worked tirelessly to build a great program at Sturgeon and the results speak for themselves.  He is a worthy winner of the Tier III Coach of the Year for 2019.

Tier IV High School Coach of the Year Award

Kelly Starling - Willow Creek Cobras (Claresholm)

The Tier IV powerhouse from Claresholm finished off a great season with a convincing win over the St. Paul Lions, 47-0, in the Alberta Bowl.  A big reason for that victory was offensive coordinator Kelly Starling.  A member of the Cobra’s coaching staff since 2005 and offensive coordinator since 2012.  Kelly’s offense was remarkable in 2019 as it included an average of 50 points a game during a 7 game win streak that culminated with their third Provincial Tier IV Championship ever with the win at the Alberta Bowl.  During the Provincial playoffs they outscored their opposition 148-7 made all the more impressive by the fact that 3 of his 5 offensive linemen were in Grade 10.  An innovater and excellent strategist, Kelly Starling is the 2019 Tier IV Coach of the Year.

Norm Kimball Coach of the Year Award

Tyler Greenslade - Harry Ainlay Sr. Football

Tyler has been one of the main builders of the Titan powerhouse over the last five years.  A graduate of the Golden Bear Football Program, Tyler has served as an assistant coach, head coach, and Athletic Director at Harry Ainlay in his relatively short time in the profession and the results have been fantastic.  Over the past three years in particular the Titans have won the Metro Edmonton Championship three times, advanced to the Provincial Tier I Championship each year and won the title twice in 2017 and 2019.  He has also been a part of the Team Alberta U16 staff that won two straight Western Regional Championships in 2017 and 2018.  As the Head Coach of the Titans in 2019, things didn’t start so well as they dropped their first exhibition game in Raymond.  After that however, it was off to the races as the Titans did not lose another game and claimed their second ASAA Provincial Tier I Title in the last three years.  While most of their games were blowouts, they dug deep when it counted, including a gutty 11-11 tie with the powerful Salisbury Sabres (which they played with a back-up QB), a hard fought 16-8 win over those same Sabres in the Metro Edmonton Division I Championship Game, and a thrilling 11-10 squeaker over the St. Francis Browns in the Alberta Bowl Final.  A true winner, Tyler Greenslade is the 2019 Norm Kimball Coach of the Year.

Gary Hobson Memorial Award - 2 winners

Kirsten Olsen - Football Alberta

For the past 14 years, Kirsten has been the “Food Lady” for Team Alberta U17, coordinating the purchasing and production of the meals for the team on its annual trip to Hawaii.  Arriving before the team she ensures each room is checked in and stocked with food making arrival a turn key operation for the coaches upon their arrival.  Every day during the team’s stay she continues to replenish the rooms for breakfast and lunch and also prepares a dinner buffet for the team at the end of the day.  Frugal and efficient, its estimated that her efforts keep the cost of meals down to a third of what it would be if this event was catered or the team used restaurants which is no easy trick considering the American dollar exchange and the high cost of food in Hawaii.  At the end of the event, she ensures the rooms are clean and any left-over food is taken back for returns which saves the program money as well.  Kirsten also negotiates the best rate for the teams rental vans.  Along with that, she has also coordinated the SUPERWEEKEND meals for the past four years and assists with the registration process on-site as well.  She has also coordinated lunches during Senior Bowl’s whenever they are held in Edmonton.  On-field she was the driving force behind the start of the Junior High School flag football program in St. Albert in 2017 and served as their General Manager for three seasons.  A tireless volunteer, who savings allow Football Alberta to continue to run the Team Alberta U17 program at a reasonable cost to the participant and has created a flag football option in her own hometown, Kirsten is one of the great unsung contributors to the sport and worthy co-winner of this year Gary Hobson Award.

Dwayne Mandrusiak - Edmonton Eskimos

As the head equipment manager of the Edmonton Eskimos, Dwayne has done an outstanding job with the flagship team of the CFL.  He has also greatly contributed to all aspects of minor and high school football during his time there.  Dwayne started working with the Eskimos while he was still at Queen Elizabeth High School in the 1970’s.  Eventually taking over as the head man he has spent a lifetime equipping some of the best players ever to play the game in Canada.  He has also maintained an open-door policy for amateur football, assisting them at every turn with their equipment needs and advice.  He has worked closely with the elite amateur teams in town to ensure that they have the knowledge and supplies to operate safety and effectively during their seasons.  Many Edmonton area teams owe a part of their success in November during Provincials to Dwayne’s advise on footwear.  In short, Dwayne could have spent his career simply focusing on the Eskimos and their needs, but he has always given back to the amateur community.  For over 45 years, he has been one of the unsung heroes that makes football go in Northern Alberta.  It is for that reason we are proud to announce Dwayne Mandrusiak as co-winner of the Gary Hobson Award for 2019.

Life Membership Award / Hall of Fame

Not Awarded This Year

Football Award Winners 1963 to present

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