The award marks the first time a Redeemer coach has received a CCAA Coach of the Year honour. It is a fitting end to the season and to the mentoring career of Harris, who expects to step down before next season.
Harris has brought stability and success to Redeemer’s volleyball program for the past five years. His calm and mentally tough teams have been built on excellent ball control and an intelligent approach to the game.
Harris’ recognition is the first time since 2005 that an Ontario Colleges Athletic Association coach has won the men’s volleyball national Coach of the Year Award and only the fifth time in the awards history that the winner has come from the OCAA.
Harris had been nominated for the award before. In 2009-10, he was OCAA Coach of the Year.
Harris was honoured to receive the award. “Given the number of excellent coaches who work in the CCAA, winning this award is a great honour and completely unexpected”.
Asked about the significance of the award he said, “It means that we did some very, very good things in our program this season, that we played this game we love with passion, precision, and purpose. It means that I was able to work with outstanding, coachable young men and an excellent co-coach.
“This award belongs to the 16 of us who shared a vision and worked tirelessly towards building the team we became.”
Athletic Director Dave Mantel applauded Wayne for his time and impact as a member of the Royals coaching staff.
“Every student-athlete that we’ve asked, has praised Wayne for his leadership, knowledge, and attitude towards them,” said Mantel. “Wayne is always respectful of everyone and demanded the same from his team – something which both Wayne and everyone associated with Redeemer is very proud of. We are very thankful for the time, effort, and care that Wayne has invested in to the program.
“He is a special man and his regular appearances on our campus will be greatly missed”
With Harris stepping down from head coaching duties, this gold standard of coaching will pass to assistant coach Brad Douwes, who has studied the game under Harris’s guidance for the past three seasons.
“Brad’s energy and attention to detail, along with his knowledge were also key contributions to the team and are a big part of why the team has excelled,” noted Mantel.
Redeemer’s men’s volleyball program is not likely to fall off from its current level of excellence. Harris will continue to support the program while Douwes takes over the official coaching duties next year.
“Wayne’s built a very strong program at Redeemer,” says Ray Sarkis, CCAA men’s volleyball convenor. “The Redeemer Royals have risen to the top thanks to his coaching experience and great recruiting, and they’ve enjoyed great results this year.”
The squad ranked as high as second place in the CCAA national rankings, qualified for the OCAA provincial championships, and took home a bronze medal. The Royals finished with a 14-4 record which included a record-breaking 11 game win streak.
Harris is a National Coaching Certificate Program certified coach with over 30 years experience. He’s earned three OCAA provincial medals in the last five years, and his goal as a coach is to have every player committed to the team. He finishes his Redeemer coaching career with a record of 57 wins against 29 loses in just five OCAA seasons.
His players have earned 11 All-Stars, three All-Canadians and one Player of the Year. He led and 8-10 team to an OCAA Silver Medal and he took a 5-6 team in 2007-08 to 12-4 in 2008-09 in his first year coaching.
Other candidates for the 2013 CCAA men’s volleyball coach of the year were Nathan Bennett of the Capilano Blues, Justin Lynch of the UKC Blue Devils, Steven Russell of the Medicine Hat Rattlers, and Paul Tamburrini of the Griffons de l’Outaouais.
The 2013 CCAA Ironwood Wealth Management Group Men’s Volleyball National Championship takes place March 7-9 at Niagara College in Welland, Ont.