As both an educator and a coach, Brian Walser has never lost sight of the importance of helping children to learn and grow. “Coach” Walser never felt winning was the ultimate goal – fair play and having fun were far more important. His approach to coaching was rooted in learning the fundamentals of the sport. Practise and more practise but never repetitious – practices must always be unique and fun. The formula has suited him well, as he helped to lead two Midland teams to medal wins at national lacrosse finals. As the assistant coach who focused on skill development and fitness, Walser witnessed the Midland Peewee Braves capture a silver medal at the Canadian finals in 1982.
The following year, the same team captured the national gold. The gold-medal team was induct-ed into the Midland Sports Hall of Fame in 1998 and the silver-medal team in 2002. Building on the training they received from Walser, many of his players – including his own children Nicki, Naomi and Chris – went on to become outstanding athletes, winning provincial championships, and playing for junior, senior and university teams. Walser’s coaching interests do not end on the lacrosse field. While teaching at Huron Park Public School; Brian coached junior boys basketball, junior girls basketball and cross-country running. It was during his time at Huron Park that he developed a unique game called mini-basketball, a game through which young children are introduced to basketball regardless of their skill level. Once he had started the cross-country running program at the school, Walser went on to organize and run the Area 3 competition, held every year in Little Lake Park.
Chosen as Teacher of the Year in Simcoe County in 1998-1999, Walser was recognized by his peers as a valuable contributor to the education system. “Brian leads by example. He has proven his dedication to sport by the countless hours he has spent developing and training young athletes,” said Midland Minor Lacrosse Association secretary/treasurer Lorraine Smith, who nominated Walser for induction into the Midland Sports Hall of Fame. Walser continues his involvement in sports and other forms of recreation as an active participant in acting, curling, lawn bowling, and ice hockey.
“Brian leads by example. He has proven his dedication to sport by the countless hours he has spent developing and training young athletes.” Midland Minor Lacrosse Association secretary / treasurer Lorraine Smith