Dave Cooper, University of Toronto Women's Team Head Coach was honoured with a 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award from Squash Ontario and his recognition was circulated around the University! Read full story written below:
The award recognized Cooper’s 18 years as head coach of the University of Toronto Varsity Blues Women’s Squash team from 1998-2015 and his contribution to Squash Canada for growing and hosting the Canadian University Squash Championships a record 12 times.
“During my time as the Varsity Blues Women’s Squash coach, I was so lucky to work with over 150 outstanding student athletes. I experienced as much enjoyment from the team winning four OUA Championships as to when the team battled hard to win the bronze medal,” said Cooper. “From 2003 to 2005 we won three back to back OUA Championships and went unbeaten against all Ontario teams. We also took on the best squash schools in the USA and won!”
In those 18 years the team also played against the best women’s club teams in Toronto and won the A division of the Toronto and District Women’s League in 2015.
“I feel this award is not only for me but for my assistant coaches, Izumi Matsuda and Karlene Headley-Cooper, who coached the team at different times over the years. We always tried to put the players at the centre of our program and develop them as individual student athletes and persons.”
Executive Director of Squash Ontario Jamie Nicholls described Cooper as a passionate and dedicated leader of university squash in Ontario.
“With one of the top coaching resumes in our province’s history, including 5-time coach of the year, 5-time OUA champion and 14 podium finishes since 1998, Dave's impact stretches far beyond his on-court results,” said Nicholls.
“By being a strong role model and setting examples of consistent effort, professionalism and commitment to the process, his program has year after year produced quality individuals who excel not only in athletics but have been successful in all aspects of their lives. He has raised the bar for University squash in Ontario and significantly contributed to the growth and development of our sport.”
Lolly D. Gillen, president of Squash Canada, praised Cooper’s unwavering passion and efforts in his work with squash players entering college and beyond.
“Dave has become an icon Canadian figure in University squash and Squash Canada congratulates him on receiving the 2016 Squash Ontario Outstanding Achievement Award, which he so richly deserved,” she said.
“I am happy to see that Dave has been recognized for his service to all levels of the squash community,” said Beth Ali, executive director of athletics and co-curricular physical activity at the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education. “His efforts have impacted athletes at many levels and this recognition is richly deserved.”