Three-time Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association Coach of the Year Maxime Barabé was inducted into the CCAA Hall of Fame in the Coach Category.
Barabé guided François-Xavier Garneau to three consecutive CCAA National Championship crowns in Women’s Soccer from 2002-04. He was named CCAA Women’s Soccer Coach of the Year in 2002, 2003 and 2005.
During his time at Garneau, the Élans earned a total of five National Championship medals – including silver in 2000 and 2005.
“Maxime instigated the Élans’ Division 1 women’s soccer program,” said Éric Lavigne, Assistant Director at Cégep Garneau. “Under his leadership, the team improved year after year and through exceptional performances, they laid the foundation of a program that would become the most decorated women’s soccer team in Canada.”
Since 2000, Garneau has captured an incredible 10 gold, three silver and a bronze medal in CCAA Women’s Soccer.
“It was a great privilege to be involved with Garneau and the CCAA,” said Barabé. “I started the outdoor women’s soccer program in 1999 and the Cégep now has 10 national titles and is the undefeated Quebec champion since 2002 – it is without a doubt the best collegiate women’s soccer program in Canada, which makes me very proud.”
Barabé fondly remembers the daily interactions with his student-athletes at Garneau along with the competitive training sessions where he pushed his players to work hard for the full 90 minutes of a game. Even still, they always found plenty of time to talk and laugh together.
“I still re-read with emotion the cards that the girls would give me at the end of the season,” said Barabé. “These were bright, motivated, hard-working young women and nothing can replace the feeling of being part of a tightly knit, successful group of people that look out for each other and don’t want to disappoint their peers.”
Barabé recalls a wild 2002 CCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship, hosted by Dawson College. The Montreal region was hit with so much snow that Garneau had to play its first two games indoors at SoccerPlexe Catalogna.
The Championship final was eventually played outdoors – in beautiful weather – and approximately 200 people travelled from Quebec City to watch the Élans take on University College of the Cariboo. To the dismay of the partisan crowd, UCC leveled the score at 1-1 in the 88th minute to send the game to overtime.
With Garneau looking to complete the perfect season, Barabé decided to use midfielder Marie-Claude Villeneuve as a striker for one of the only times that season. She scored the winning goal in the 97th minute with a beautiful 20-yard strike.
“We were national champions for the first time, in front of our fans and it was an absolutely fantastic moment,” said Barabé. “On a personal level, I had finally won a national title, after losing in the final a few times in my career, including with Garneau in 2000.”
Barabé will be inducted into the CCAA Hall of Fame alongside fellow Garneau head coach Oliver Caron (Women’s Volleyball).
“These two passionate coaches spent over 10 years developing the Élans’ program in their respective disciplines,” said Lavigne. “Each in their own way, they helped shape the future of sport at Cégep Garneau.”