Football Nova Scotia announces provincial under-17 coaching staff

Football Nova Scotia has announced the coaching staff for the provincial under-17 team, which will compete at the Wilson Cup Challenge in Montreal, Quebec from July 7th to 14th, 2013.

Chris Valardo will serve as head coach for the team.  Recently, Valardo was named the head coach of the Auburn Drive Eagles of the Nova Scotia Student Athletic Federation Football League (NSSAFFL).  The Football Nova Scotia Vice President of High Performance began his coaching career as head coach of the Saint John Greyhounds of the New Brunswick High School Football League (NBHSFL) and would remain with the team for nine years as the head coach (1990-1998).  In 2004, Valardo was the head coach of the Fall River Dragons Minor Football Program.  Up until 2012, he coached the peewee and bantam teams.  During his time there, the team was three time Tier 1 provincial finalists.  Moreover, he served in roles as both offensive coordinator (2010) and defensive coordinator (2011) of the Lockview Dragons of the NSSAFFL. In 2010, the Dragons were Tier 1 semi-finalists.

For the last few years, Valardo has been the head coach of numerous Nova Scotia provincial teams.  In 2009, he guided the under-17 provincial squad to undefeated record at the Wilson Cup Challenge in Quebec.  Under his instruction in 2010, Team Nova Scotia’s under-18 squad finished fourth place at the Football Canada Cup tournament, which was hosted in Wolfville.  Additionally, Valardo led Team Nova Scotia’s under-16’s squad to a bronze medal at the Red River Cup in Brandon, Manitoba.  The last two years, he was the head coach of the provincial under-17 teams that participated in the Wilson Cup Challenges in Quebec. Valardo is a Level 3 technical certified coach.

Team NS under-17

Offensive coordinator for the team is Gord Beattie, who currently is offensive line coach of the NSSAFFL’s Citadel Phoenix and the midget Halifax Argos of the Nova Scotia Indoor Spring League. Previous to these two positions, Beattie previously coached with the Saint Mary’s Huskies for 11 seasons – mainly under head coach Steve Sumarah. During his tenure, the Huskies made five Vanier Cup appearances and won two consecutive national championships (2001, 2002).  As a player, Beattie suited up for two AUS teams:  Acadia Axemen and St. FX X-Men.

As for the defensive coordinator, Len Gurr comes over from Ontario to assume this position.  Currently, Gurr is the head coach of Saint Andrew’s College Saints of the Conference of Independent Schools Athletic Association (CISAA) in Aurora, Ontario.  The Saints are coming off a second consecutive CISAA championship title.  Previous to the Saints, Gurr was an offensive assistant coach with Catholic Central Crusaders in London, Ontario.  During his time there, the Crusaders won the London ‘A’ Division Championship in 2003. Other coaching stints include offensive coordinator/associate head coach of the Medway Cowboys, defensive coordinator of London Falcons of the Ontario Varsity Football League (OVFL), head coach/offensive coordinator of York Storm of the OVFL and assistant head coach/defensive coordinator of Forest City Thunderbirds of the Ontario Football Conference (OFC).  As a player, Gurr played for CIS squad, Western Mustangs. Last year, Gurr was an assistant coach of Team Ontario East at the 2012 Football Canada Cup in London, Ontario.

The provincial under-17 team roster will be announced on May 22nd, 2013.

Positional Coaches:

Special Teams coordinator:  Keith Skiffington (Dalhousie Tigers: AFL)
Defensive line coach:  Steve Melanson (Horton Griffins:  NSSAFFL)
Defensive backs coach:  Peter Fitzgerald (Sir John A MacDonald:  NSSAFFL)
Running backs coach:  Larry Preistnall (Central Kings Gators:  NSSAFFL)
Receivers/Quarterbacks coach:  Mike Carroll (St. Andrew’s College Saints: CISAA – Ontario)
General Manager:  John Patterson


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