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High School Sport Coaching and Volunteer Awards Presented

L to R: Chris Gudziunas, Kelly Taylor, Robert Dinsdale, & Denis Marinelli

L to R: Chris Gudziunas, Kelly Taylor, Robert Dinsdale, & Denis Marinelli

The Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association presented their annual High School Sport Coaching and Volunteer Awards on Monday, June 19, at its annual general meeting which is being held in Brandon, Manitoba.


Kelly Taylor of Sanford Collegiate was presented with the Nick Laping Leadership Award. 

He has had a teaching career of 34 years and in 1991 he started teaching and coaching at Sanford Collegiate. For the past 26 years he has coached a variety of teams in volleyball, golf, badminton, basketball and track and field, where his teams have made many provincial appearances.

For the last 12 years he has coached varsity girls’ volleyball and in 2009 they won the AAA Provincial Championships.  Kelly has been a leader in the school and the community of Sanford. He has hosted many provincial championships, wild card games, and inter-zone games and many tournaments in a variety of sports. He has also been a part of the Zone IV executive for many years with the last 5 years being our Zone IV president.

Kelly was greatly impacted by Nick’s commitment to sports and the community when he first met him at a basketball camp when he was in grade 6. In 1975 Kelly went to John Taylor Collegiate where he was taught and coached by Nick. Kelly respected Nick’s intensity, and competitive nature in practices and games. He liked that he always pushed them to play with intensity in practice but always had a friendly out going nature.


Robert Dinsdale of Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School in Brandon was presented the Frank L. McKinnon Award for his outstanding volunteerism in high school sport.

Over the past five years, Robert has proven to students, co-coaches, colleagues and parents that he has a clear vision for Crocus Plain's football program, and his dedication and willingness has proven he is an exceptional coach. 

If you ask players or parents what they like about being a part of the Plainsmen Football Team, they will tell you that it is the feeling that you are part of a family, not just a team. This means that players are not only taught skills specific to football, they are also taught skills to increase their moral intelligence, soft skills, work ethic in sports and academics, and to overall just be a good citizen. Robert always incorporates these important skills into team speeches, practice plans, off season team building activities or individual meetings with players.

In the past couple of years Crocus Plains has lost two coaches, one of which suddenly passed away. Robert not only stepped up to take the head coaching position, but took the program to the next level in terms of professionalism and clearly defining what it means to be a Plainsman. The amount of time and the way he spends that time reminds us of Coach John Wooden's pyramid of success. Coach Wooden was one of the first coaches to teach things such as loyalty, friendship, industriousness, integrity, self-control, and condition, which he theorized all led to competitive greatness. Robert fits the modern-day model of Coach Wooden, which speaks volumes as to why he is an exceptional coach.


The 2016-2017 Grey Cup Legacy High School Coach of the Year was awarded to Denis Marinelli of College St. Norbert Collegiate in Winnipeg.  

Denis has been coaching for a total of 32 years in total (track & field each year, badminton each year, volleyball and/or basketball each year over a 32-year period). As a member of the South Central Athletic Council (SCAC), Denis has served as VP, AAA basketball convener, and as treasurer several times over the past 32 years. He has been the school's representative at SCAC meetings each year, and is a very well-respected committee member, often out-spoken to ensure that all decisions made are in the best interest of student athletes.

Denis has attained his Level 1 in NCCP in Volleyball and Level 1 & 2 in basketball, and serves as a mentor for all coaches at College St. Norbert Collegiate, regularly observing practices and assisting coaches with developing yearly plans for their teams.

Denis' contributions as a coach and physical education teacher at College St. Norbert Collegiate cannot only be measured by his championships and clinics attended. Denis is a true "teacher" in all aspects of his life. As a coach, he believes in teaching his athletes about the various facets of competition, teamwork, disappointment and success. His demeanor both during practice and competition should serve as a model for all coaches. He always demonstrates sportsmanship, is gentle with his athletes while pushing them to be there very best. Regardless of an athlete's talent, Denis always finds a way to involve everyone, and each of his athletes shows improvement and development. 

As Denis retires from teaching this June, he leaves behind a legacy at College St. Norbert Collegiate that includes these elements that make a great coach, teacher, mentor and friend to our community.


Receiving Certificates of Recognition for their long-time contribution to high school sport were: Marc Gaudet of MacGregor Collegiate, Lee Stewart from Warren Collegiate, J.J. Ross from St. James-Assiniboia School Division, and Grant McManes from Louis Riel School Division.

Over 130 teacher coaches and administrators have been in Brandon on June 19 and 20 to attend the MHSAA annual general meeting to discuss policies and philosophies pertaining to high school sport in Manitoba.


Categories: Crocus Plains, Sanford, St. Norbert