LEAVING A LEGACY
Updated: May 5, 2018
It seems fitting that the last post for National Coaching Week would highlight the tremendous efforts and talents of former and current Valkyries' head coaches Jeff Yausie and Pat Barry.
The extraordinairy legacy that Jeff Yausie created as the first head coach for the Valkyries came with years of experience. As long-time Saskatoon Hilltops defensive coordinator and linebackers coach, and former CFL player, Yausie saw an opportunity to share football with even more people and jumped at the chance."Women love the game of football and deserve and appreciate the opportunity to play our game."
2017 marked his second appearance as head coach for the Canadian women's national team as well. He’s previously served as Canada’s Senior Women’s National Team head coach at the 2013 Women’s World Championship. Championships seem to follow Yausie, as he led the Valkyries to their fifth WWCFL Championship title in 2016. After his sixth season as head coach, Yausie decided to step aside and allow another leader, Pat Barry to take charge as head coach, “I’ve had an amazing six years with the team and working behind the scenes, I just feel like it’s time for someone else to take the reign”.
In the 2017 season, Yausie continued to coach with the Valkyries as a linebacker coach.
Barry, another Hilltop alum, also played for the Huskies and has coached High school football for many years. He is no stranger to championships either, having coached the defensive backs on National Championship women's Team Saskatchewan in 2016, and as coach with the Valkyries during two of their Championship seasons as well. "The effort and passion of all the elite athletes that we get to coach is inspiring to me. This is some of the most rewarding coaching I have ever done in any sport at any level. The players are so mentally tough that it is a pleasure to expand their football experience and knowledge."
Barry has been recognized for his coaching prowess by the SHSAA, having been awarded the Coach of the Year Award in 2011. He is quick to point to others when speaking about the success of the Valkyries as a team, saying, "the young, enthusiastic and knowledgeable coaching staff makes this a fantastic elite team in our province."
We couldn't really put into words how grateful we are to have had two incredible head coaches during our short time as an organization. It is because of leaders like Coach Yausie and Coach Barry that football has grown and continues to thrive within the province. Opportunities for young girls and women to engage with football at an elite level have opened up as a result of their vision and commitment to sharing knowledge and experience. The Valkyries wouldn't exist as they do today if it wasn't for Jeff Yausie and Pat Barry. For that, we couldn't be more thankful.