McMaster announced on Thursday (April 24) that Steve Alfano is the winner of the third annual McMaster High School Football Achievement Award. Alfano was chosen from a group of nominees from schools in the Halton/Hamilton-Wentworth/Niagara and Haldimand school boards.
The criteria for the award includes; long term coaching commitment, classroom dedication and ability to prepare student-athletes to compete in football programs at the elite level.
Steve Alfano was a member of the McMaster football team from 1988 to 1989 playing for McMaster head coaches, Bernie Custis (1988) and Steve Bruno (1989).
Alfano spent 5 years as the defensive coordinator for Cayuga Secondary School (Cayuga, ON) contributing to 3 Halimand championships and a Haldimand-Norfolk title.
Steve transferred to St. Jean de Brebeuf Secondary School (Hamilton, ON) to take over the head coaching duties, inheriting a struggling program in terms of number of players, discipline and win-loss record.
His first order of business was to build his staff, and was able to bring defensive coordinator, Mike Lance (a member of the Waterloo Warriors from 1986-1990) from McKinnon Park Secondary School in Caledonia, and younger brother Anthony (a quarterback at McMaster from 1988-92) from the elementary school system in Oakville, as the offensive coordinator.
In his first three years as head coach, Alfano would play, in games, the student-athletes that attended practice, were respectful to the coaching staff, and performed in the classroom.
His philosophy would hurt the team in the short term as the Brebeuf Braves posted a 2-16 record in Alfano’s first three years at the helm.
In the longer term, Alfano’s philosophy of instilling discipline and commitment would see the team flourish.
Over the next 6 seasons, the Brebeuf Braves enjoyed 38-13 record including 3 consecutive city championships (2003, 2004, 2005), a Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference (GHAC) championship (2003) and a Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) silver medal (2004).
Coach Alfano has also been active in assisting players move to the next level and play university football. There are currently 6 Brebeuf Braves playing in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) football programs including McMaster football team members; John Hartnett and Carm Porco.
McMaster Head Coach, Stefan Ptaszek commented that “Coach Alfano and his staff contribute greatly to the development of the sport of football in the Greater Hamilton area. Steve and the entire Alfano family are tremendous supporters of the McMaster football program.”
The recipient of the High School Football Coaching Achievement Award will receive $1,000.00 in athletic equipment and will be recognized at the 11th Annual McMaster Football Gala Dinner on Thursday May 1, 2008.