As one of the founders of the reborn Sir Wilfrid Laurier C.I football program, Louis Foulidis strongly believes in instilling a work ethic with the boys he coaches.
That means passing along the values and advice he received while a player at West Hill C.I. from his former coach, teacher and mentor Bob Jackson, who passed away last season.
The key was each day you came to practice you brought an ethic with you.
“He said if you show up to work, he rewarded you with playing time. If you showed up day after day and you worked hard, good things would come,” said Foulidis, whose club is currently 2-2.
“And that’s something that I want to pass on to these guys. If you show up to work, regardless if you’re considered the top player or not, good things will come to those who want to work for it”
The Blue Devils head coach expects nothing else.
Foulidis, who is the head of athletics at Laurier, has been the head coach of the football team since its inception seven years ago.
He, along with coach Paul Stoitsiadis were originally coaching at Malvern Collegiate. They decided to start up the football program at Laurier, bringing it back to the school and start from the ground up.
Working from juniors up to the varsity level, with approval from the administration and funding assistance from the son of former Toronto Maple Leafs legend Bobby Baun, Foulidis was able to get young boys back onto the gridiron once again.
Working with these young men and building a football program, he finds one thing above all else to be the most rewarding.
“For us our number one goal is education and the life lessons that they learn on the football field with their team,” said Foulidis. “Is something that they will transfer into a career or something down the road, outside of these doors.
“So what we tell them, we want them to build up from the Grade 9, to 10, to 11. Build up to that student that leaves proud and is in good hands, or good shape to have a successful career somewhere else outside of Laurier Collegiate. So that’s important.”
One of the assistant coaches, Scott Wooder, also expressed Foulidis’s interest and passion towards the boy’s educational success.
“He’s always encouraging school first and I think that’s really important at the high school level because without the grades you really can’t pursue university or higher levels.
“I think he definitely has the right attitude and the guys love coming out and like playing for him,” said Wooder who is into first season with the squad.
His wife currently teaches biology at Laurier.
Although hockey is first passion as a former Pickering Panthers junior, Foulidis truly enjoys coaching football and attributes a lot of his success to the coaches that assist him throughout the year — Wooder, Stoitsiadis, Dominic Calvo and Rob Talevi.
“They make my job a lot easier. These guys are amazing,” said Foulidis.
As the 2013 rolls along, Foulidis will continue to express his passion and tough love to his players in hopes that they will achieve their highest potential.