Grand River CI hockey legend retires on a high note with WCSSAA titles and OFSAA qualifications

It’s been another amazing year for Grand River legend Brian Millar after coaching yet another OFSAA qualifying boys’ hockey team and a final WCSSAA champions girls’ soccer team in his final year before retirement.

Having taught and coached at Grand River for 34 years, Mr Millar is also the school’s athletic director. He has now coached over a thousand high school games and holds sixteen WCSSAA titles in both hockey and soccer.

In March of this year, he led the Grand River Renegades boys’ hockey team to his tenth OFSAA appearance and has taken home two bronze medals in the past, as well. Just this past month, the GRCI girls’ soccer team won the WCSSAA championships and qualified for OFSAA in June.

Having coached soccer, hockey and cross country, Millar says that he has many great coaching memories, but does not have a particular favourite moment or a sport to coach, although hockey does rank high at the top of the list.

“I do enjoy coaching hockey during a game more since I can be more of an influence as a coach when the game is being played.  The majority of soccer coaching is done in practice. You can have some influence during the game but not as quickly as in hockey.”

After so many years of coaching, there are many things to miss. “I suppose the biggest thing will be engaging with students. Rather than just getting to know the students in the classroom or gym its great to coach and be around the students on the ice rink, field or cross country trails. Celebrating their successes and being there in defeat.”

After successful final seasons for both boys’ hockey and girls’ soccer, both teams winning the WCSSAA finals and moving on to OFSAA, Millar will retire at the end of June, but says that he plans to come back to help coach for Grand River teams in the future.

By Gabby Crowley