The Ontario Volleyball Association is proud to announce that Dave McIntyre, head coach of the Kitchener-Waterloo Predators Volleyball Club’s 18U Boys Ubuntu, is the 2022 recipient of the Mike Bugarski Male Coach of the Year Award.
For the past 25 years, Dave McIntyre has been a constant presence in the Kitchener-Waterloo volleyball coaching scene. Waterloo Tigers Volleyball Club, Team Ontario, Wilfred Laurier University, Canadian Junior National Team, and KW Predators mark an extensive and successful coaching resume.
In 2013 with the help of Lisa Watson and Trevor Francis, McIntyre started a team of 8–9-year-old boys and girls. This team would eventually split into Synergy (girls) and Ubuntu (boys). While they were two distinct teams, they are bound by a joint beginning and continue to practice together right up until the Ontario Championships. This season Ubuntu improved on their 2019 silver at Ontario Championships by taking home the championship. At the National Championship they came away 11th of the 32 participating teams.
For Dave, this award is representative of the journey his team has gone on together. “I feel very strongly that this is not an award for Dave McIntyre, it has very little to do with me,” says McIntyre. “I understand you have to have a name attached to it, but that it’s a recognition of the principles of the process that that we that we went through for nine years and that this award I look at it as a culmination and kind of the cherry on top of what has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my whole life.”
His passion for the game and development of his athletes is very ever present when discussing volleyball. “As I've gotten older, being around younger people and the energy, definitely feed off that that energy and I love that component of coaching,” said McIntyre. “I love the technical aspect of volleyball and working with players. I love the challenge that every player is different and no one thing works for everybody. And I love that challenge that you know what might work for one kid and one athlete with a serve receive, it might be something completely different and finding that thing that connects with them that works for them.”
This is the final year for most of Dave’s 18U athletes and almost the full team have committed to play at a higher level all across the country and into the States. Following their final game, the Ubuntu players gathered and held what Dave describes as his most memorable moment of the season. “After we lost our last match at Nationals, watched our girls play who ended up winning nationals and then we went back to the hotel,” said McIntyre. “And had a meeting and we had a gratitude circle at that meeting and that was maybe the most powerful coaching experience I've ever been part of, to listen to those guys talk about what they're grateful for. A bunch of those guys, we've been together for nine years with this team.” Having promised to visit each and every one of them to see them in action, he was reminiscent about his first athlete to play at the next level. “It was actually a very emotional experience watching him play and be on the court. I loved not having to aid and not being a coach, but being a fan felt great. That I could just be a fan of his.”
McIntyre credits his high-school coach Russ Woloshyn as one of his earliest and most notable influences in the game. Five years under his wing as a player, Russ would eventually help get him a job coaching at Laurier. The two still meet up a couple times a month to chat and bounce ideas off one another.
On advice for other coaches, McIntyre impressed that values helped hold his teams together. “Have a set of principles, so things that matter most to you as a coach, and then convey those to your players and then make sure that every action, every reward you give, every piece of feedback it complies with those principles,” explains Dave. “The principles can change over the years, but practice what you preach to them.”
Dave plans to take a short break from coaching and spend part of the year visiting his former athletes when they play around the country before reassessing his next coaching role.
Congratulations Dave on your award and the best of luck in your future coaching endeavours!
Presented annually to an outstanding male coach for his success in the previous season and for his contribution to the development of our sport in Ontario.
History: Mike Bugarski (1936-1992) was a club coach, National Official, Provincial Official’s Chair, clinician, and high school coach. He was a volunteer that unselfishly contributed thousands of hours to the development of athletes and leaders in the sport for more than two decades.