Coach of the Year

Canadian Running - - GOLDEN SHOE AWARDS -

Leg­endary coach John Fitzger­ald, who pro­foundly inf lu­enced the lives of hun­dreds of young Cana­dian ath­letes both on the track and off, died sud­denly of an aor­tic aneurysm on Oct. 26, 2018, with his wife, Lor­raine, by his side.

In his 20s, Fitzger­ald be­came a na­tion­ally-ranked marathon run­ner but soon found him­self grav­i­tat­ing to­wards coach­ing. His ath­letes in­cluded five-time Olympian race­walker Tim Ber­rett, Pan Am Games sil­ver medal­list Ann Peel, and Cana­dian na­tional team marathoner Ja­son War­ick to name a few. Af­ter set­tling in Saskatchewan, F it zger a ld em­ployed a c a r ing a nd un­ort ho­dox ap­proach to coach­ing hun­dreds of youths and young adults over the years, which once in­volved shov­el­ling a layer of snow off the ice on a frozen north­ern Saskatchewan lake with Tim Ber­rett, in or­der to cre­ate an 800-me­tre loop for a two-hour in­ter­val train­ing ses­sion.

In the words of Tim Ber­rett: “Once we did his work­outs, we felt we could do any­thing…He pre­pared us to be good peo­ple that con­trib­uted, that pro­duced, in life.”

Fit zger­ald was in­ducted into the Ath­let­ics Canada Hall of Fame this past Au­gust.

Read more about Fitzger­ald on p.52.

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