De Man, Gary – 2012

De Man, Gary – 2012

Gary De Man

Football Builder, Calgary

2012 Achievement Award


Gary De Man was a teacher, coach, and mentor at St. Francis High School in Calgary for 32 consecutive years from 1962 until he retired in 1993.  He led his football teams to 14 City Championships in his last 22 seasons, and one provincial title.  Sixteen of his former players went on to play professional football.  His basketball teams won six City Championships.  Gary started the St. Francis Invitational Boys Basketball Tournament – inviting teams from Western Canada and the United States.


As a person, “Coach” De Man is an icon for St. Francis High School.  His most important legacy will be the profound influence he had on the students, teaching them integrity, pride, leadership, and academic excellence.  He also had a positive influence on his colleagues, other coaches.  His philosophy of coaching and of life will benefit individuals, families and the community for years to come.


Gary De Man earned numerous honours throughout the years including the Alberta Achievement Award for Excellence in Community Service in 1981, the Alberta Amateur Football Coach of the Year in 1971, 1981, and 1986, and the 3M Coach of the Year for Alberta in 1992.  He was given a life membership by Football Alberta in 1993.