SAIT's Art O'Dwyer hon­oured by ACAC for coach­ing suc­cess

The Drumheller Mail - - FRONT PAGE - Pa­trick Ko­lafa The Drumheller Mail

For­mer Drumheller vol­ley­ball stand out, now coach of the Women’s SAIT Tro­jans, Art O’Dwyer is The Al­berta Col­leges Ath­letic Con­fer­ence (ACAC) South Divi­sion Coach of the year, end­ing a nearly 30-year-old drought for the SAIT Tro­jans women’s vol­ley­ball pro­gram.

O’Dwyer re­ceived the award last Wed­nes­day evening, Fe­bru­ary 23 at the ACAC Women’s Vol­ley­ball Con­fer­ence Cham­pi­onship ban­quet held in Red Deer.

The win for O’Dwyer makes him the first Tro­jans women’s vol­ley­ball coach ever to earn the hon­our since the ACAC started hand­ing out the award fol­low­ing the 1986/87 sea­son. The team’s sea­son wrapped up last Satur­day night.

“We wound up fourth in the prov­ince that is the high­est the team has fin­ished since the 1980’s,” he said.

In his fifth sea­son on the side­lines for SAIT saw O’Dwyer’s team fin­ish sec- ond place in the ACAC South Divi­sion with a 17-7 record — their high­est win to­tal ever. His team also cracked the Cana­dian Col­le­giate Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion (CCAA) na­tional rank­ings for the first time in the pro­gram’s his­tory, reach­ing as high as No. 5 dur­ing the sea­son. He says he has all but one player re­turn­ing.

O’Dwyer was part of a pow­er­house gen­er­a­tion of vol­ley­ball play­ers from the val­ley, which in­cluded names such as Derek Wade, Glen Farmer Bob Ros­gen and Tony Ros­gen, to name a few.

For­mer high school coach Ian Jones said that in high school, Art was one of the best play­ers in the prov­ince. O’Dwyer went on to Cap­tain the Univer­sity of Cal­gary squad and also played on the ju­nior na­tional team.

“He was an ex­cel­lent player,” said Ian Jones. “We had some very pow­er­ful teams.” O’Dwyer ap­pre­ci­ates the work of his for­mer coach in spark­ing his love for the game. “Ian Jones came to Drumhel le r when I was in Grade 10 or 11. He dove into vol­ley­ball and be­tween him and Howard Ras­mussen, they cre­ated the love of the game, and I have been do­ing it ev­ery since,” said O’ Dwyer.

“When you look at the num­ber of kids from Drumheller that went on to play col­lege or univer­sity, it is pretty im­pres­sive,” he said.

He adds that the coach­ing cli­mate that he thrived in, is what he works to cre­ate for his team.

“It’s all about cre­at­ing a cul­ture of win­ning and work­ing hard, and hav­ing fun at the same time. If you get lucky you get a group of kids who are pas­sion­ate about the game and good things hap­pen,” he said.” I think you have to be lucky to get all of th­ese things at the right spot.”

It’s all about cre­at­ing a cul­ture

of win­ning and work­ing hard, and hav­ing fun at the

same time.”

Art O’Dwyer SAIT Tro­jans Coach

Art O’Dwyer… coach­ing award

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