Vallée, Scott-Thomas named OUA Coaches of the Year
HAMILTON, Ont. - Ontario University Athletics (OUA) announced on
Thursday that Windsor Lancers women's basketball head coach Chantal
Vallée and Guelph Gryphons cross-country and track &
field head coach Dave Scott-Thomas are the 2008-09 Fox 40 OUA
Coaches of the Year.
Vallée's club reached new heights in 2008-09. The Lancers finished the regular season with a program-best 21-1 record, their first-ever OUA championship, and made their first-ever appearance at the CIS women's basketball championship. Vallée was named the OUA West coach of the year for her efforts. Windsor was nationally ranked the entire season, climbing as high as No. 2 during the first week of January until the conclusion of the rankings.
Under Vallée's leadership the last four seasons, the team has undergone a tremendous resurgence and is now considered one of the elite programs in Canada. The school hosted their first-ever women's basketball game in 2007-08 following a then program-best 14-8 regular season record. This year's squad finished near the top of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) in almost every team statistical category including second in scoring offence, second in scoring margin, first in rebounding, third in free throw percentage and fourth in field goal percentage.
In their first appearance ever at the CIS national tournament, the Lancers had a strong showing against Canada's best teams as they defeated the Saskatchewan Huskies and eventually placed fourth overall. Three of Vallée's players earned individual honours in 2008-09, as Dranadia Roc (Montreal, Que.) and Alisa Wulff (Pickering, Ont.) were named OUA all-stars, while Iva Peklova (Prague, Czech Republic) was named a CIS tournament all-star.
The Guelph cross-country teams continue to be a national powerhouse under Scott-Thomas' guidance. Guelph swept both the men's and women's OUA and CIS championships in 2008, as Scott-Thomas was named both CIS men's and women's coach of the year in addition to his OUA men's coach of the year award. The men's team has won four straight provincial titles and three consecutive national championships, while the women's team has won five straight OUA crowns and four consecutive CIS banners. Matt Brunsting (Stirling, Ont.) became the first Guelph runner since 1977 to win CIS individual gold and was named CIS cross-country athlete of the year. A total of 10 Gryphons were named OUA all-stars and six were named all-Canadians.
The Gryphons women's track & field team won its first-ever OUA banner in 2008-09, dethroning the four-time champion Windsor Lancers in the progress. Scott-Thomas was rewarded for his team's success, being named OUA women's coach of the year. Guelph narrowly missed winning a second-straight national championship falling short against rival Windsor in the final event. Guelph men's track & field team won a silver at the OUA championship and bronze at the nationals in 2008-09. Lindsay Carson (Cambridge, Ont.), an OUA all-star and all-Canadian in cross-country, won gold in the 1,500 and 3,000 metre races as well as the 4x800m relay at the CIS nationals, and was named CIS female track athlete of the year and OUA's BLG award nominee.
Long-time Brock Badgers wrestling head coach Richard DesChatelets is this year's recipient of the John McManus Award, given to a retired OUA coach with a minimum of seven years experience that exemplifies the highest ideals and qualities of sportsmanship and service while engaged in coaching in university sport.
In 26 seasons, DesChatelets built a wrestling dynasty within OUA and CIS as the Badgers captured 22 provincial championships and 13 national titles. DesChatelets was honoured 20 times in his coaching career at the university level, being named OUA coach of the year 11 times and CIS coach of the year nine times.
Recently retired Lakehead University operations and athletics facilities supervisor Bill Keeler is the J.P. Loosemore Award winner, given to an individual who exemplifies the best in university sport in terms of ethics, integrity and honesty in an administrative role. Keeler was hired at Lakehead in February, 1981 and in his role instilled in the countless students that worked for him and in the student-athletes that he befriended a positive work ethic. Keeler also served on ! the tournament committees for four CIS women's basketball championships and two CIS wrestling championships as well as a tournament chair.
Tim Micallef of The Score Television Network is the 2009 recipient of the OUA Media Award. Micallef has been the voice of University Rush since its debut in September, 2002 and has been extremely supportive volunteering his time to numerous OUA initiatives. He uses his platform to inform a national audience about the tales of OUA and CIS student-athletes and their pursuit of excellence both on and off the field of play.
All five award winners will be honoured on Thursday evening at the Fox 40 Coach of the Year Awards Banquet held at Deerhurst Resort in Huntsvil