The Wismer Foundation and the Wismer Award for High School Coaching Excellence Selection Committee are delighted to announce this year's five finalists for the Award. All five nominees are teachers and coaches and long time contributors to the Hamilton high school coaching scene. Each is a dedicated, innovative, and outstanding member of their respective school board and the Hamilton community. This year's five finalists for the 10th Annual Wismer Award for High School Coaching Excellence are:
Jackie Brown- Sherwood Secondary School• second time nominee and first time finalist• sixteen years coaching, coached field hockey and soccer• Seven consecutive City field hockey championships• admires all coaches she has had the privilege to coach with and against, Janet French, Sandra Valeri and her parents• best coaching moment: The first time we won the city championship after losing 7 in a row!!! There were spectators, parents ex team mates and they just flooded the field after we won. Our first SOSSA was in a torrential downpour -they had to go out on the field and use buckets and shovels to get the water off of the field so they could play. They were losing 1 to 0 with 5 seconds to play and they scored. They went on to win it in overtime. Celebration in the mud and pouring rain was amazing!! We also hosted SOSSA for the first time a few years back and won it on our home field in overtime again. Parents, students, staff went crazy and we went up and down the line high fiving whoever we could find and our mothers were jumping into each other's arms (we have video footage of that as OFSAA was making a coaching video for teachers college) We have never won an OFSAA but funnily enough that is not important, the experience was amazing.
Blaize Di Sabatino- St Thomas More Catholic Secondary School• second time nominee and first time finalist• thirteen years coaching, coached girls senior basketball• five City basketball championships, four GHAC championships, six OFSSA medals, Florida Keswick champions twice, and Disney champions once• admires coach Tom Spironello (her Dad) and Michelle Vesprini• best coaching moment:2012 AAAA OFSAA surrounded by my family, watching Mr. Greg Wood cut down the last piece of net in memory of his daughter and seeing the pride on the faces of the St. Thomas More players knowing we had just accomplished our goal of winning gold in a season dedicated to Sydney Wood.
Peter Luvisa- St Thomas More Catholic Secondary School• first time nominee and first time finalist• twenty four years coaching, coached junior football, track• five City football championships• admires all coaches: He is inspired and motivated to coach with every ounce of energy he has by all coaches who prepare their teams and players well. They are the ones who challenge him to do the best he can in order to compete at their level.• best coaching moment: In 1998 he was coaching the STM junior football team and they were ready to make the final cuts. He made up a list of all those players who would not make the team and presented the list to his assistant coaches- more to give them information than to get feedback, but one of his assistants said he was making a mistake with one of the players on the cut list... and insisted this player should be given a chance. Peter argued that he had no prior experience playing football, he wasn't very strong, he wasn't tall, and he wasn't fast, but still his coach insisted he was making a mistake. On his persistence, he decided to keep him. Mark was sensational. He not only played on the team, he was the starting fullback, starting middle linebacker, and he was on every one of the special teams. He NEVER left the field. In the semi-final game that year, in one of the last plays of the game and with our team winning, Mark broke his collarbone. It was a devastating blow to the team. We made it to the championship, but we were missing our starting middle linebacker. Monday practice came, and there was Mark, dressed in track pants and cleats ready to coach. He became a part of our coaching staff for that last week. We ended up winning the championship. Two years later, after he graduated, his mother wrote me a letter and said her son changed and thanked me for changing him. Before the season he was lost but with the experience playing football Mark began taking university qualifying courses, was accepted, and was playing university football. All I could think of was how important it was to listen to your assistant coaches and to give a kid a chance.
.Anthony Macaluso- Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School• third time nominee and first time finalist• eight years coaching, has coached football, hockey, soccer and track• three City football championships, five City soccer championships, one City hockey championship and has been the finalistin 4 (in 3 different sports: football, hockey, and soccer)• been to OFSAA 3 times, winning 2 medals• been a provincial finalist in the Ontario Varsity Football league (summer rep U19), as well as a soccer referee• admires coach: He was blessed to play so many sports in high school (football, hockey, soccer, golf, rugby, baseball) that it is all those coaches who gave up their time to let him enjoy what he loved to play. It is those teachers who he models himself after and tries to emulate for his students today. Someone gave him the opportunity once, and now he is doing his best to provide them with the same opportunities.• best coaching moment: His second year of coaching football, he won his first high school championship as a coach on an Overtime, game-winning 35 yd field goal. Seeing the players and the student body rush on to the field with so much excitement, really made him feel great, and is truly the best feeling about being a coach. Tied with that feeling, is when their manager (a special needs student) received his championship medal and wore it proudly at school for the next week....and still talks to Anthony about "our win" to this day!
Mike Smith- Highland Secondary School• four time nominee and three time finalist• Fourteen years coaching, coached cross country and track, volleyball, girls hockey, girls soccer• Track - nine consecutive City team titles, one SOSSA girls team title, one OFSAA Champion SG 3000mHamilton Spectator cup twice, Cross Country- Five City championships, 3 SOSSA title, 3 OFSAA titlesOFSAA medalists twice, First Hamilton school to win an OFSAA Girls' title, Girls Hockey City Champions once• admires Alf Cowling (high school coach), Cecelia Carter Smith, ,and John Warwick...always smiling• best coaching moment: The easy answer is every time an athlete accomplishes something they did not think possible and their expression is why you coach. But specifically. When Carise won the 3000m at OFSSA. They had worked on a plan to see that goal accomplished and as they walked to the Athletes centre before the race, he must have been more nervous than her, because she told him not to worry, and when she made her break, as they planned, he knew he didn't need to worry, and when the girls won the OFSAA team title in 2005- it was the school's and Hamilton's first girls' title. Watching the race unfold and seeing everyone of them racing for each other to roll to the title.
Other outstanding coaches nominated this year included: Marc Gaulin-George P Vanier, Stefano Giovannangelli—St Thomas More, Anthony Herrington- Sherwood, Kara Kindree- Sherwood, Annemaree Peters- Sherwood, Andrew Sergi- Cardinal Newman and Erin Walters- St Mary's.The 10th Annual Wismer Award for High School Coaching Excellence will be presented to one of the Final Five nominees at the Wismer Foundation Golf Tournament and Award Presentation Dinner on Tuesday, May 28th at Carlisle Golf and Country Club. To play in the Golf Tournament, to obtain tickets for the Award Dinner, or to learn more please visit the wismerfoundation.org website or call Stacy Wismer at 905 574-3529Tuesday. May 7th 2013
The Wismer Foundation Golf Tournament and Coaching Award Presentation Dinner is the primary FUNDRAISER to support the foundation. This event hosts the presentation of the Wismer Award for High School Coaching Excellence. The tournament is being held on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at Carlisle Golf and Country Club located at 523 Carlisle Road, Carlisle, Ontario.
Nomination deadline for the 15th Annual Wismer Award for High School Coaching Excellence is April 24, 2018. Nominations received after April 24th will be considered for the 2018/19 Award on May 28, 2019.