In the 2019 – 2020 season, the GTHL enrolled approximately 36,000 kids, playing on approximately 2,250 teams. That’s allot of teams and head coaches! Every year, one of these head coaches rises to the top. We are extremely proud and honoured to announce to you, that the GTHL Board of Directors has awarded the GTHL Coach of the Year to the Terriers own, James DeSanto.
James led his Peewee AA team to the Pro Hockey Life 1st Place regular season Championship, the Mississauga Early Bird Championship and the Georgina Silver Stick Regional Championship.
But more than wins and banners, James is the epitome of what a minor sports coach should be. Yes, his teams have always ranked very highly among their peers since James started coaching, but you don’t measure greatness by the number of wins. You measure it by the life experiences that you encounter along the way. You measure it by leadership, mentorship, character, and outstanding moral contributions. James embodies these traits, and he embraces the Terrier Motto of, “Do It for The Kids.” Everything he does for his players and parents is all about excelling, both on and off the ice.
Over the seasons, James has challenged his players to set and reach goals. One of those many goals is having “fun!” So much so, that he once promised to shave off his ever-present beard if they met a certain challenge.
They of course did and off came the beard. He looked a little weird without it, but thankfully it grew back extremely fast! Then he said he would let them duct tape him to a pole if they met yet another challenge. They did! He stood on a chair against a post, and after countless circles and endless rolls of tape, they removed the chair. He forgot to tell them how long they should leave him suspended on the pole. We think they retaliated for the challenging practice earlier in the day… mission accomplished!
This year, James was the mastermind for his team’s entry into the nationwide Peewee Chevrolet Good Deeds Contest. His team’s entry won the Ontario competition and then placed fourth in the country, by introducing, equipping and teaching 18 new immigrant kids to our great game. An outstanding accomplishment!
He now hosts weekly Zoom meetings with his team and parents and produced a great team video to help his kids and families through these uncertain Covid-19 times.
When he’s not coaching his daughter or his son, he spends his professional time as co-owner of two Physio Therapy Clinics and is on staff at Velocity Sports Medicine and Training Centre in Port Credit.
James, you are well loved and admired in the Terrier community, and we’re proud to have you as part of our family!