Main page content begins here

Howie Draper, BPE, MA

Howie Draper

Sports Builder

He had to think twice before accepting the challenge — but now Howie Draper, Head Coach of the University of Alberta Pandas, is known for building and maintaining the most successful women’s hockey team in Canada. Howie had played five seasons with the University of Alberta Golden Bears as he was earning his physical education degree. He got his start coaching in 1990 with the Midget AAA Maple Leaf Athletic Club and also coached in Australia. In 1997, he was asked to head up the new University of Alberta Pandas.

“When Ian Reade asked me to coach them, it was a shock. I pondered it a few days and thought it was a great opportunity to do something I love – work with people – and to do something from the bottom up. The opportunity to develop a program with the potential to be as rewarding for young people as the one I experienced was too good to turn down so I said ‘Let’s go for it!”

The Pandas won their first national championship in 2000, just three years after the program was created. Howie has coached the team to seven Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championships — more wins than by any other University of Alberta coach in any sport and more than any other women’s hockey team in the history of CIS. Howie has also scored two CIS silver medals, 12 Canada West titles and three CIS Coach of the Year awards. The Pandas didn’t lose a regular season game between 2000 and 2005, racking up 86 consecutive wins.

Howie is also a tireless volunteer, and has acted as guest instructor, evaluator, and Head Coach of Team Alberta’s U18 program. He was Head Coach of the Canadian Team that won gold at the 2013 Universiade in Trentino, Italy, and coached Team Alberta to gold and bronze on two separate trips to the Canada Winter Games.

“I came out of the Golden Bears Hockey environment where sharing in both the wins and failures was always emphasized. It’s a very collaborative model. I’m fortunate enough to have benefitted from great players and assistant coaches who possessed strengths I didn’t have. As a group we were able to do some amazing things.”

Dianne Greenough

Dianne Greenough

Sports Builder

When Dianne Greenough began teaching at Victoria School in the late 1970s, she expected to be coaching her favourite sports, volleyball and basketball. Instead, noting a need to engage the girls at what was then a rather rough-edged school, she started a dance program. While at a dance competition in Los Angeles, the girls were taken with acrobatic cheerleading. Dianne launched a cheer program at Vic in 1980.

Over the next three decades, Dianne led Vic’s cheer teams to win 26 city and 26 provincial titles — and more than 200 championship trophies from Australia, Mexico, Japan, the US and Canada. In 1983, Dianne was instrumental in having cheerleading recognized as a sport by the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association, which inducted her into its Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

Dianne is now in her 20th season as head coach of the Edmonton Eskimos Cheer Team, widely considered the best cheer team in the CFL. In 1997, she launched the popular Cheer Extravaganza, an annual Grey Cup event that showcases all the CFL cheer teams. Dianne has produced and choreographed a variety of opening and closing ceremonies, including the 2005 World Masters Games, the 2001 World Track & Field Championships, the Canadian Finals Rodeo, the Queen’s visit for Alberta’s Centennial, and the 1997 and 2002 Grey Cups.

In 2010, Dianne, along with husband Jim and Leanne Livingston, opened Perfect Storm Athletics. With more than 800 members of all ages and abilities, Perfect Storm is one of the largest All-Star cheerleading gyms in North America. Members take cheer, dance, gymnastics and fitness classes, and may join competitive or recreational cheer teams. In the first two years, Dianne’s teams have placed fourth or fifth in the world!

“For me, cheerleading has always been a vehicle to teach youth life skills and take them on a journey that can change their lives. It has been an amazing opportunity to teach trust, commitment, responsibility, integrity, leadership, teamwork and so much more. Seeing these young people become successful adults in the community, and knowing the confidence they develop from this sport, is a source of great pride."

Billy Moores

Mr. Billy Moores

Sports Builder

When he was 16, Billy Moores arrived in Edmonton from British Columbia to play in the Oil Kings organization and has been at home in Edmonton and in hockey ever since.

Billy’s career as player and coach spans four decades from minor through international ranks, leading to his position as Director, Coaching Development and Special Projects, with the Edmonton Oilers. He worked with the coaching staffs of the Oilers; its American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Oklahoma City Barons; the ECHL’s Bakersfield Condors; and the World Hockey League’s (WHL) Edmonton Oil Kings.

At the University of Alberta, Billy played for the Golden Bears and returned as an assistant coach under Clare Drake, becoming Head Coach upon Drake’s retirement. He led the Bears to five Canadian Interuniversity Athletics Union (CIAU) national championship tournaments and to two University Cup victories. The team won five Canada West Conference titles and never finished lower than second.

Billy was named Canada West Hockey Coach of the Year four times and CIAU Coach of the Year twice. Billy spent a year as Coach-General Manager of the Regina Pats, coached for two years in Japan, and was Assistant Coach for the National Hockey League’s (NHL) New York Rangers before joining the Oilers as Assistant Coach in 2000. In 2009, Billy became the Senior Director of Player Development for the Oilers and in 2013 was appointed Director of Coaching Development and Special Projects. He also served as an assistant coach for Canadian national teams in several international tournaments.

Beyond Billy’s accomplishments as a hockey coach, some say an even greater accomplishment was the impact he had as a junior high school teacher for 16 years, during which time he played a prominent role in the development of the innovative Donnan and Vimy Ridge sport schools. These schools combine athletics and education with a focus on the development of the whole person. Many of the young people who were taught by or played for Billy have moved into leadership roles in the Edmonton community.

“I always felt that my job as a teacher or coach was to establish and build on core values, and help young people reach their potential. For me, it was not just about winning or losing, it was about the process and helping them strive to do their best. I always felt privileged to work with young people.”

The University Ringette Team Coaches: Robert J. Bailey,

Paul Hotke, Bonnie L. Peters, John P. Romyn

University Ringette Team Coaches: Robert J. Bailey, Paul Hotke, Bonnie L. Peters, John P. Romyn

Sports Builders

In 2002, the daughters of four parent/ringette coaches in St. Albert were heading for the University of Alberta and presumably the end of their ringette careers.

“There weren’t too many opportunities for girls to play back then. We thought, ‘OK we need a place for them to play. We should start a university team.’ Once they graduated, we just continued on.”

Today, more than two dozen university teams participate in the Canadian University and College Ringette League (CURL) as a result of what the 'Ringette 4' – Robert Bailey, Paul Hotke, Bonnie Peters and John Romyn – started. Not only did they co-found CURL, but the four coaches are also more heavily involved than ever in developing university ringette in Edmonton and across Canada. The University Ringette team won its fourth consecutive Canadian National University Ringette Championship in January 2015.

Equally significant is the team’s off-ice activity. Its motto is ‘Excellence in academics, athletics and community service.’ The coaches expect academic achievement by everyone on the team. To minimize the need for team members to work while studying, they established a scholarship program which is now worth more than $50,000 annually.

The coaches have also instilled the concept of giving back to the community. Each year, the team’s 18 members plan, organize and run a three-day event, Ringette Scores on Cancer, to raise money for cancer research at the Cross Cancer Institute. The event, which involves approximately 400 ringette players ages 8 to 16, has raised more than half a million dollars for cancer research over six years.

In 2012, the University Ringette team received the National Philanthropy award for its efforts. The team also runs a school visitation program and hosts summer ringette camps and clinics to help develop the skills of younger ringette players.

“Each year brings new things and the team is a little bit different. Really, it’s the girls that motivate us to keep going."

For More Information

Salute to Excellence Awards

PO Box 2359
Edmonton AB  T5J 2R7



Fax 780-577-3525

End of page content. Please choose between the following five options:

Back to main menu Back to current page menu and content View current page breadcrumb Back to site search Continue to page footer content