SAIT's Art O'Dwyer honoured by ACAC for coaching success
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
Art O’Dwyer SAIT Trojans Coach
Art O’Dwyer… coaching award