In what he termed, “a total surprise,” Curtis Baillie has been named Male Coach of the Year by the East Central District Athletics Association, along with the Saskatchewan High School Athletics Association. Baillie, coach of the Canora Composite School senior girls basketball team, received the award at the 2019 Canora Composite School graduation exercises from Shannon Leson, Good Spirit School Division representative.
“I am sure most of you here today are aware that our senior girls basketball team made it to the provincial level called Hoopla in Saskatoon,” said Leson. “The team took silver and was awarded the sportsmanship banner as well. This is a true testament to the hard work and dedication that was instilled in the team members by their head coach.”
2019 graduates Jill Gulka, Felicity Mydonick and Mackenzie Gulka were on that team for three seasons, and this year served as captains for a group which compiled a season-long record of 26 wins and only two losses.
“Mr. Baillie has developed us into the team that we are today,” the captains said. “We could not have won all the tournaments this season or have placed second at HOOPLA without all the knowledge, sportsmanship, and team skills that he has taught us over the years. He wanted the absolute best for our team and took care of us girls inside and outside of the gym.
“Mr. Baillie spent countless hours with our basketball team during practice and on the road, constantly thinking up defensive and offensive plays that we may need, or thinking of ways to better us as a team. By doing this he gave up a lot of time he could have spent with his family and our team could never thank him enough.
“He was not just an amazing coach on the court but also off, he made sure we all kept up with our grades and if we needed help, to bring school work to tournaments, as one of the other girls would be able to help. He also made sure we ate right, and took injuries very seriously as he always told us, “It's just a game, you have your whole life yet; don’t hurt yourself badly now.”
“Without all his hard work and dedication there is no possible way we would all be where we are today. Mr. Baillie has changed the image of Canora basketball and definitely has shaped us into the individuals we are today through the sport that we all love.
“Throughout the years that we were taught and coached by Mr. Bailee it was clear that he has a soft spot for sports, not just basketball. He is also passionate about every sport he coaches and made sure he was always the best coach he could possibly be. We think Mr. Bailee truly deserves this award,” the captains concluded.