Cote to coach Canadian wheelchair rugby

Patrick Cote will take over as head coach, while David Willsie will serve as assistant. 07 Mar 2017
David Willsie of Canada

David Willsie of Canada

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By International Wheelchair Rugby Federation and IPC

“I am excited to be working for such a class organisation and to be able to bring my own unique style to the team,”

The Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association (CWSA) has announced that Patrick Cote will be the new head coach of the Canadian wheelchair rugby national team. David Willsie, a three-time Paralympic Games medallist, will join the staff as assistant coach.

“The combination of technical expertise and experience that Patrick and David bring to their coaching responsibilities will enable them to lead our team back onto the podium in 2020,” said CWSA Chief Executive Officer Catherine Cadieux.

Prior to taking over the head coaching role, Cote amassed over 10 years’ of experience in various roles within wheelchair rugby. He was sport coordinator for the Quebec Wheelchair Sport Association, helping to promote and develop a number of wheelchair sports throughout the province. He was the manager of technical programmes for the CWSA during the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Paralympics, a position he held for six years before being appointed as interim head coach of the wheelchair rugby national team on November 2016.

Cote has received wide acclaim for his technical understanding of wheelchair rugby, in addition to his development and use of data analysis solutions.

“I am very excited and thankful that CWSA puts their trust in me to be part of the programme and lead the Canadian wheelchair rugby national team into the new quadrennial,” Cote said. “I really look forward to the opportunity to work with such a great group of athletes, and to help them reach their full potential as individuals and collectively as a team.”

Willsie has had a long distinguished career in the sport of wheelchair rugby, one that has spanned over 19 years and has seen him earn numerous medals on the international stage. He joins the national coaching team, while continuing to hold the role of player-coach for Ontario Thunder, winners of the last five national Championships.

“I am excited to be working for such a class organisation and to be able to bring my own unique style to the team,” said Willsie.

Paralympic silver medallists from London 2012 and Beijing 2008, Canada are looking to bounce back after missing the podium at Rio 2016; they lost 52-50 to Japan in the bronze medal match.