Louise Leroux – 1992 – Coach / Team Official of the Year

Louise Leroux has been a volleyball coach at Barrie Innisdale Secondary School for the past 17 years. During that time, she has coached six Georgian Bay high school championship teams and has assisted in the development of many students as athletes and as people. Leroux’s last two teams have won Georgian Bay high school championships and this past fall, her senior boys’ squad went on to win a surprise silver medal at the Ontario AA high school championships in Bradford/and Alliston. Innisdale went into the Ontario championship rated out of the medals, but Leroux’s steady coaching hand and her players’ enthusiasm allowed them to pull two major upsets and reach the championship game. A teacher for the past 18 years, Leroux found success the very first time she coached volleyball, winning a Georgian Bay title her first year in Barrie. Leroux taught in the Elgin County School Board for one year before moving here. Leroux’s coaching philosophy, is that winning is not as important as setting realistic goals based on the talent and ability of her athletes. She challenges her athletes to achieve, setting reasonable and attainable goals. In this area, she credits another well-known and successful city volleyball coach, Bob Clarke, as her mentor.\In addition to her involvement in athletics, Leroux has also been involved in Girl Guides and at Collier St. United Church. Originally from Ottawa, She is married to Rick Leroux and the couple have two children, 12-year-old Becky and Ben, 10. Leroux plans to take a few years off from coaching now, to spend more time in family pursuits with her children.

Other nominees for the 1992 Coach/Team Official of the Year were:

Jay Lethbridge helped found the Barrie Integrated 3-Pitch League, one of very few leagues in Canada which allow disabled athletes the opportunity to play with so-called ‘able-bodied’ players. His involvement with mentally challenged athletes goes back 14 years, to 1978 when he started coaching a floor hockey team for what soon became known as the Ontario Special Olympics. While Jay is an employee of the Barrie and District ,Association for People with Special Needs, his volunteer involvement after-hours knows almost no bounds. While living in Owen Sound and Brampton, Lethbridge became involved in coaching floor hockey, soccer, track and field, bowling and other sports in the Special Olympics program. He was also involved in organizing the Ontario Special Olympics cross-country skiing and snowshoeing championships in Barrie several years ago. A native of London, Ontario, Jay has lived in Barrio for the past nine years. Four years ago, he helped organize the Barrie Integrated league, based on a league he had seen in action in Mississauga. While the Mississauga league has since broken up, the Barrie loop has prospered. Many volunteers have become involved and this year, the co-ed competitive league will have nine teams and about 180 players from age 16 through 62. At its inception, the fledgling league had four teams and last year it fielded eight squads.

Tom Cowan: If it has something to do with bowling, then Tom Cowan has probably volunteered to do it at some point in his long involvement with the game. The 65-year-old Barrie resident was honored for his decades of contact with five-pin bowling last fall when he was named to the Five-Pin Bowling Hall of Fame at a special induction dinner in Toronto. Cowan has also been recognized as an outstanding volunteer by the Ministry of Tourism and Recreation. The induction into the national hail was a huge honor for Cowan, a retired former Ontario Hydro employee, but it wasn’t his first involvement with halls of fame. He helped found a local five-pin bowling hall of fame in Barrie, and has since been inducted into it. Cowan was also a founder of the Huronia Five-Pin Bowlers’ Association and the Youth Bowling Concil program at Kempview Bowl.

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