Coaches Spotlight: Joseph McDonough

Next up in the coaches spotlight is Joseph McDonough. Joseph is currently a teacher in Thunder Bay, Ontario who began coaching after graduating from Lakehead University. Coaching has since been a big commitment for him, as he is now involved in coaching Track & Field at a local high school, for the Lakehead University team, and sprints/hurdles for Lakehead Running Club.

His favourite thing about coaching is the athletes. “Every season they find ways to challenge me which ultimately fuels my desire to grow as both a coach and teacher. People always ask me why I coach as much as I do and the answer has always been simple — watching athletes become a team, grow and succeed fills me with a sense of joy!” he says.

We had the opportunity to discuss Joseph’s recent coaching certification process, and we are thrilled to share some of his feedback on the experience.

We asked Joseph to explain and be open of his expectations upon entering the pathway, his rationale for upgrading, the support along the way and how the overall certification journey went.

Q: Pathway expectations?

“I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I didn’t think contacting Athletics Ontario or Evaluator would be as easy as it was. The feedback and turnaround time on emails were great. Everyone involved was helpful and made navigating the process a lot easier. ”

Q: Why did you decide to upgrade?
“I decided to upgrade to help our region. Up here in North Western Ontario, we don’t have as many opportunities/ pathways for athletes in Track and Field, so I felt obligated to upgrade in order to help fill that void and help the sport. Also, I felt having a higher qualification would help my career professionally.”
Q: Did you feel supported throughout the process? 
“John and Brant were extremely helpful along the way. I sent in probably over a dozen emails to them throughout my process, and they answered promptly each time, allowing me to progress at the speed I wanted to. Everyone involved was very supportive and the entire process was a positive one. I would recommend anyone thinking about doing their levels, do it! It’s a very user friendly process, and I look forward to completing my next level soon!”
Q: How was the overall certification process?
“The certification process was great. It was a bit different for me, as I completed the process during the quarantine period, so I was sending a lot of emails to my evaluator and to Athletics Ontario for clarification. Luckily for me, everyone was responding to my questions right away and cleared up any confusion I had. I felt extremely prepared for the various steps in the certification process, as the coaching advisor assigned to me prepared me very well. I feel like everyone involved helps ensure that you are as prepared as possible for the final certification steps and sets you up for success by asking appropriate questions and quickly responding to anything you send in!”
He concluded with the following statement: “Special thanks to all of the athletes I coach, every year I’ve grown more as a coach and I always find motivation from the hard work they put in. Without my team, I wouldn’t be where I am today — thanks a lot, team!”


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