Lavoie named CCAA Cross-Country Running Coach of the Year

Lavoie named CCAA Cross-Country Running Coach of the Year

Olivier Lavoie of the Nordiques de Lionel-Groulx is the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Cross-Country Running Coach of the Year.

Lavoie received the award this evening during the CCAA All-Canadian Banquet at the 2018 CCAA Cross-Country Running National Championships, hosted by Seneca College in Toronto, ON.

“In my mind, Olivier and his team at Lionel-Groulx preside over the flagship Cross-Country Running program in the entire CCAA,” said Bill Corcoran, CCAA Cross-Country Running Convenor. “The Coach of the Year award is richly deserved.”

The women’s team at Lionel-Groulx placed first overall in the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ) standings and captured their fifth consecutive provincial championship. Meanwhile, the men’s team were second overall and finished just off the podium at the RSEQ Cross-Country Running Championships.

The women’s team continues to show consistency and depth and are always looking to improve while also recruiting better student-athletes. This week in Toronto, they’ll look to defend their CCAA National Championship crown. On the men’s side, the program continues to progress at full speed.

Lavoie prepares his student-athletes by respecting the Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) framework. His goal, beyond the physical training, is to instill values in the athletes, such as respect, mutual support, honesty, teamwork and perseverance, while encouraging them to pursue ambitious goals.

The Nordiques, thanks to a partnership with the Club d'athlétisme Corsaire-Chaparral, are now training year-round with excellent facilities and qualified coaches such as Lavoie, who also named the CCAA Cross-Country Running Coach of the Year award in 2016.

This season, as part of the CCAA Female Apprentice Coach Program, Lavoie mentored apprentice Frédérique Cyr-Deschênes, a former student-athlete at Lionel-Groulx.

CCAA Coach of the Year winners receive a customized ring provided by Jostens Canada, the Official Ring Supplier of the CCAA National Championship Awards Banquet. 


Kari Elliott


Ryan Gagnon


Red Deer Kings & Queens


Mohawk Mountaineers

Elliott guided the Kings and Queens to silver-medal performances at the ACAC Cross-Country Running Championships. Since taking on the role of head coach at Red Deer in 2016, she has focused on growing the depth of the program by recruiting excellent graduating high school athletes and developing student-athletes from a multi-sport background. Elliott has also enriched the RDC program by bringing in experts in mental health, nutrition and strength and conditioning. She is a certified personal trainer and also an accomplished competitive runner.


Gagnon, a former runner at Mohawk, led the Mountaineers to three medals at the OCAA Cross-Country Running Championships. In his first season as head coach at Mohawk, Gagnon’s approach has been to take bits of his experience as a varsity runner and combine them with his educational background. As a new coach with a nearly entirely new roster – with the exception of two veterans – Gagnon’s goal was to develop and foster an environment which student-athletes could develop not just as students and athletes but as individuals.