Back in Black with Bert - Chris Bertoia Returns as Football Head Coach

Friday, August 21, 2015

Coach in locker room

Written by Chris Bertoia (BA '05)

Time sure flies, it’s been fifteen years since I graduated from our great institution.  It’s interesting to reflect back on those days.  During my University days I enjoyed everything about the University of Waterloo (insert Fed Hall & The Bomber).  I have never been mistaken for a high academic achiever; nonetheless, I’ve always had an ability to “get by” which at that point in my life seemed like a great plan!  Fortunately, I was able to succeed in gaining a BA in Sociology with a Legal Studies Option.  On top of the great education, I had the privilege to be a member of two provincial Yates Cup Championships and a team that competed in four straight championship games.  My experience at Waterloo was amazing!

My life has come full circle these past 8 months as the new Head Football Coach for the Waterloo Warriors.  I don’t know if it’s actual flashbacks of specific games, roaming through the SLC, Arts Lecture Hall or catching a b-ball game at the PAC, but it’s more the memories of growing up here; in my five years it was a great community.  So many people helped mentor me when I didn’t even realize it, and I’m grateful for their caring, persistence, tough love and interest.

My belief in Attitude and Effort has afforded me the great opportunity of landing my dream job.  I don’t have a story of financial success for you; I have a story of choosing Vocation over Job.  Leaving a very good career to chase a dream ten years ago wasn’t seen by most as a bright decision.  Critical decisions are tough, but when your father who is near death and means the world to you suggests that happiness is more important than doing what people think you’re supposed to do, go chase your dreams kid. Be happy and have no regrets.  Choosing to pursue a career in coaching was a decision from the heart, it’s what I always wanted to do, I’m happy I did it, I really enjoy it.

It’s humbling to be in charge of re-building your alma mater’s football program.  It’s an extremely exciting time for me.  I can relate better with our players because I have sat in the same chairs, went to the same classes, and represented the same university and football program.  I’m proud to have a great job and to be able to do what I love, at a place I love, with people that are amazing to work with. It’s all good.

Team picture
The 2015 season is fast approaching, and we have some unbelievably great kids who are working their tails off.  I couldn’t be happier for the way they’ve embraced the changes.  We’re going to rely on each other.  We’re going to go through some tough battles, and we aren’t going to ask the players to do anything we aren’t willing to do ourselves.  As coaches, we’re going to be right there with them.  We’re going to build our program not on X’s and O’s, but on relationships, because I believe those will last longer and make us stronger on Saturday afternoons.

We are trying to rebuild this program - WE NEED YOUR HELP! We need you on campus and at our games (get your Alumni Big Ticket to watch home games for free). If we play in your area, come to the game.  If you can’t get here, write us a letter that we can share with the team.  If you see a potential recruit in your area, let us know, and if you can support the program financially, please do so.

We have a lot of work to do to get this program to an OUA Championship level.  Your help and support will be a big part of turning this program around.  Be a part of building the “Bandwagon,” don’t just jump on it! 

From one proud alumnus to another!

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