Zito claims coach-of-the-year honour from Ottawa Sports Awards

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By Dan Plouffe, originally publish Jan. 15, 2011 in Ottawa This Week
 
A rising talent on the local coaching scene, 29-year-old Jimmy Zito of the Ottawa Fury became one of the youngest people to be honoured as male coach-of-the-year at the annual Ottawa Sports Awards banquet Wednesday, Jan. 19 at Algonquin College.

Zito led the under-15 Fury girls to a Robbie International Soccer Tournament title in Toronto and an appearance in their league finals, while his U17 Fury girls became the first team from the region to ever capture a North American championship when they won the USL’s Super-Y League.

But despite all the hardware his teams accumulated this past season, what Zito cherished the most was seeing numerous players on his team accept NCAA scholarships.

“That’s the most satisfying thing to me. These players get $150,000 education for free in the States and they get to go play soccer,” says the St. Pius X High School grad, emphasizing the importance of helping players develop their individual skills to grow the team. “It’s nice to win – don’t get me wrong – but (advancing players) is what we’re trying to do with the Fury.”

Zito spends at least five or six night a week coaching soccer, and it takes up even more hours when he’s directing the Algonquin men’s team from mid-August to late fall.

“There’s no better place in the world for me to be,” Zito smiles, thanking Fury owner John Pugh for taking a chance six years ago and giving him the opportunity to coach at a young age. “I feel most comfortable on a soccer pitch, either playing on coaching. For me, it’s a holiday every time I’m out there.”

‘,’

A rising talent on the local coaching scene, 29-year-old Jimmy Zito of the Ottawa Fury became one of the youngest people to be honoured as male coach-of-the-year at the annual Ottawa Sports Awards banquet Wednesday, Jan. 19 at Algonquin College.
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