Coaching Association of Canada

Geoff Gowan Award Winners 2012

Victor Zilberman – Wrestling

A Level 5 NCCP certified wrestling coach, Victor Zilberman has been coaching in Canada for over 35 years. He is currently the President of the Quebec Wrestling Federation and has been a member of the Canadian Amateur Wrestling Association (CAWA) Board of Directors for the past five years.

Currently the head coach of the Montreal Wrestling Club, National Training Centre and the Concordia University Wrestling team, he has also been a member of the Canadian coaching staff at five Olympic Games and many World Championships since beginning his coaching career in 1977. Over the years, his athletes have won 15 world and Olympic medals, while the Concordia wrestling team won six consecutive National Championships from 1983 to 1989 and also took home the title in 2011 and 2012.

Victor has also played a role in developing numerous successful Canadian coaches including Reg Larocque, Nick Cipriano, Dominique Choquette, Gia Sissaouri - the current national development team coach, and many others.

A three-time Coach of the Year winner for all sports in Quebec, and Canada’s first 10-time Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Award winner, Victor was also inducted into the CAWA Hall of Fame as a builder in 2008 for his career contributions to the sport of wrestling and was inducted into the Concordia University Hall of Fame as a Builder in Sport in 1998.

David Hart – Water Polo

David Hart has been an integral part of water polo in Canada since the late 1960s and has contributed to the sport as a club coach, national team coach, referee, volunteer, technical director, NCCP program developer, and mentor coach to many of the sports prominent national team coaches.

David represented Canada at four Olympic Games – in 1972 and 1976 as a player, in 1984 as an assistant coach with the men’s team, and in 2000 as an assistant coach with the women’s team. In addition to his high performance contributions, David also created and implemented the Level 1, 2, and 3 technical and practical NCCP water polo programs in the 1970s and also trained and certified between 75% and 85% of all Level 3 water polo coaches in Canada.

In 2001 he created the award-winning “I Love Water Polo (ILWP)” program which was developed to expand the grassroots presence of water polo in the Ottawa region and which helped the Ottawa Titans expand three-fold in a six-year period. In 2009, David and Water Polo Canada agreed to expand the program nationally and to modify it into a four-level learn to/swimming lesson program. The instructor training for the ILWP program was also modified with David’s help into the new NCCP Community Sport-Initiation context.

David is currently a mentor coach with Water Polo Canada, helping to train the next generation of national team coaches, while also working as a talent ID scout – both domestically and internationally.

“Water polo in Canada, specifically the technical coaching expertise of the last four decades, would not have been the same without the lifetime contribution, dedication, and passion of David Hart,” says Ahmed El-Awadi, Executive Director for Water Polo Canada.