© Herald Photo by Dave Leaderhouse
Bob Coffin will be one of two builders being added to the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame when that group holds its annual induction banquet on April 26 in the Ches Leach Room at the Art Hauser Centre. Coffin has been a huge influence in the resurgence of minor football in Prince Albert and for a number of years was also involved in high school track and field and wrestling.
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of profiles on the 2014 class of inductees going into the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame on April 26. A gala banquet will be held in the Ches Leach Room at the Art Hauser Centre to acknowledge their contributions to sport in Prince Albert.
Almost 15 years ago Prince Albert was given an asset to its sporting community that continues to pay huge dividends to this day in a number of activities.
Bob Coffin has left a huge footprint in minor football, track and field and wrestling circles since arriving in Prince Albert around the turn of the century and because of his tireless work in those activities he is being inducted in the builder’s category when the Prince Albert Sports Hall of Fame honours its 2014 class of inductees on April 26.
“It’s pretty humbling,” admitted Coffin recently. “It means a lot to me. Guys like Larry Haylor and Tom Chad (former University of Saskatchewan football greats) they are from here. It was a big surprise I’ll tell you.”
Coffin grew up in Colonsay and moved on to the University of Saskatchewan where he was a standout defensive back with the Huskies – he still holds the school record for career interceptions – along with excelling in track and field during his five years at college.
Armed with his physical education degree Coffin embarked on a long career in the Saskatoon school system and also began his association with minor sports which carried over to Prince Albert when he made the move here. Coffin says getting involved in coaching and organizing was an easy choice.
“It’s my turn to work with others,” says Coffin. “When I was growing up in Colonsay there was always someone coming out and helping with the organizing. I want to help create opportunities for the next generation coming up.”
While working as a vice-principle at Carlton Comprehensive High School, Coffin was a part of numerous organizing committees for track and field championships and wrestling meets while also coaching both the senior and junior football squads.
It is when he retired from teaching that he really started to volunteer his time as he directed his focus on the formation of the River Rider football program and he has also been diligent in helping the Prince Albert Football Officials Association get some teeth as that group has grown to become independent of support out of Saskatoon and has attained a high level of proficiency on its own.
Coffin, who also served for nine years on the Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association executive and feels he got a good view of what was needed in the province, say he has no plans to slow down.
“That’s not part of my DNA,” laughs Coffin. “My parents were highly involved and it helps so many others.”
“By giving them (young people) an opportunity it means they are doing productive and positive things,” adds Coffin.
It appears that others feel Coffin is succeeding in achieving that goal as one part of the brief biography released at the press conference that introduced this year’s inductees stated: “”Bob has not only helped to build and revive a sustainable football program in a hockey town, but he has built the morale of those clubs by making every player, coach and parent feel that they are the ones most important to the organization’s success. He has been a builder of more than an organization as he has built confidence, perseverance and passion within the hearts of many young athletes in and around the Prince Albert area.”
A huge crowd is expected to say thanks to Coffin and the others – Josef Tesar Jr., Ryan Roznowsky, Ward Howat, Pat Regel, Amanda Dunn, 1972 West Hill Flyers and the Prince Albert Sports Council – when the formal induction takes place in the Ches Leach Lounge at the Art Hauser Centre.
Tickets for the event can be purchased at Community Services in City Hall or by contacting Ellen Grewcock at 306-980-6242 or Derek Smith at 306-980-6116.