Coaches are being recognized this week for the role they play in athletes’ lives both on and off the field.
National Coaches Week runs Sept. 23-30, and offered a chance for a former Rider to say thanks.
Gene Makowsky is now the Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport, but has been led by many coaches throughout his career.
He told the 980 CJME Morning Show Tuesday he has memorable experiences with coaches dating back to his days in high school, including Tom Sergeant.
“He was a real positive influence on me, he was a very intense person as we all know,” Makowsky said, adding one moment that sticks out followed a rough game he had as a long snapper.
“I thought I cost us the game, but he took it upon himself to talk to me about it and to help me with my long snapping. He did some extra work on that area and that was a big important part in me being able to play at the next level.”
When it came to his pro career, Makowsky said Ken Miller played an important role.
“He was just a real good person and someone I like to model myself after as a coach,” he said. “I still think about the concepts he talked about, how you want to be a thoroughbred rather than a donkey.”
Makowsky now coaches his sons, one in in the Regina Minor Football league and the other at Miller High School.
He said coaching is a great way to give back to the community and be a positive influence in kids’ lives.
“You realize you are a role model, an example, and kids look up to you. They certainly listen to what you say.”