A group of Harry Hooge students recently had the opportunity to learn some football fundamentals from a legendary coach.
Bill Cole, who was part of the well-respected Notre Dame Jugglers’ high school football program in Vancouver for nearly 60 years as both a player and coach, visited the school in late November and led a pair of football clinics for groups of Grade 4/5 and Grade 6/7 students.
“The kids had a real blast and learned so much during the clinics,” said vice-principal Elena Di Giovanni. “Coach Cole is a legend in BC football. He’s coached players like former BC Lion great Lui Passaglia and so many others. He has such passion for the sport.”
After the clinic, Giovanni heard from one excited Grade 7 student who said, “The coach taught us how to make teams that were fair, so we are going to play these teams at lunch now!”
The recently retired coach also taught the students the rules of the game and provided other valuable tips on passing, catching and running plays. Other comments from students included, “He seemed like he literally knows everything there is to know about football” and “You can tell he’s coached kids. He knew how to make it fun, when to give us pointers, and how to talk to us.”
Cole’s varsity Notre Dame teams won 14 provincial championships and his 1968 team was recently inducted into the BC Football Hall of Fame.
“Although officially retired as of this fall, my Dad can still be found on the football field at almost every Juggler game. Football will always be a part of his life, in some form or another,” said Harry Hooge teacher Jessica Algate, who helped arrange the visit to the school.