A local teacher has been given a very prestigious award for his coaching of students at St. Michael Catholic High School in Kemptville. Chris Finner was one of only 13 coaches to be recognized across the Province of Ontario, with the awards being given in Toronto on September 16. The group of coaches was treated to a VIP Blue Jays suite experience and celebration. 

“Mr. Finner received the award for his dedication to finding a place for anyone who supports the team, whether it be on or off the court, and for developing students to be better athletes, teammates, mentors, and leaders,” reads a statement from the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario. “His all-hands-on-deck approach takes school involvement in sport to new heights and has contributed to both the team and individual student athletes’ successes.”

Winners of the Ontario Coaching Excellence Award also receive $500 from Hydro One for reimbursement of purchases they make for their team. 

“I feel very fortunate to have received the award as I know there are many deserving coaches out there, including many great ones in our building here at St. Michael,” said Chris. “It was a superb experience to be able to spend an afternoon with an amazing group of coaches from across the Province at the ceremony. I feel like my batteries are recharged and I’m ready to get back to my athletes this year for yet another great experience.”

Like most great coaches, Chris has had mentors himself along the way which helped to shape his journey as an educator and sports leader. 

“I think coaching is important to me because I was blessed to have some outstanding coaches in elementary school, high school, and as a university athlete,” Chris added. “They were a major positive influence in my life and helped guide me in those crucial formative years. Those coaches set a high standard which has helped me to set goals for my own role as a coach and as a mentor. As the years have passed, I’ve entered a new phase where now many of my former players have progressed into taking on a coaching role. That is more rewarding than I might have predicted. I’m very proud to see the torch passed to the next generation.”

Great job, Chris!


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