Maurice “Mort” Giles (1944 – )

Sport: Volleyball
Position: Coach, Official
Year of Induction: 2007

About

Over the last 25 years, the Municipality of Chatham-Kent has become a powerhouse in high school volleyball in Ontario. Chatham-Kent teams have won 2 OFSAA “AAA” Boys Championships, 1 OFSAA Girls “AAA” Championship, 7 OFSAA “AA” Boys Championships, 5 OFSAA “AA” Girls Championships, 2 OFSAA “A” Boys Championships, and many more silver and bronze medals at various levels of OFSAA competition. The person credited with setting the seeds for this dominance is retired teacher and coach, Mort Giles. Mort was raised in Rodney, Ontario and came to Kent County to begin teaching in 1965. Throughout his 35 years of coaching in Merlin, Blenheim, and John McGregor, he maintained a high level of excellence winning OFSAA medals in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Mort raised the competitive bar in volleyball and his former players, notably Dale Lahey, Randy Bartlett, and Jim Smyth, have followed in his footsteps maintaining that high level of excellence.

Career Highlights
  • 1965-80 – taught at Merlin District High School – coached basketball winning 12 Kent and 2 SWOSSAA Championships, badminton winning 6 Kent and 1 SWOSSAA Championships, and volleyball winning 23 Kent, 13 SWOSSAA, and 3 OFSAA Championships – in addition, at OFSAA volleyball, was runner- up 3 times and tied for third 3 times prior to OFSAA granting medals for these positions
  • 1980-84 – when Merlin High School closed, moved to Blenheim District High School – coached boys volleyball (4 Kent, 2 SWOSSAA Championships, 1 OFSAA bronze medal) and girls volleyball (2 Kent, 1 SWOSSAA Championship)
  • 1984-99 – moved to John McGregor Secondary School as assistant head and later head of physical education department – responsible for volleyball program and, for most years coached boys and girls teams at all levels, midget through senior – senior boys won 5 Kent and 2 SWOSSAA Championships and 1 OFSAA 4th place medal – senior girls won 5 Kent and 3 SWOSSAA Championships and 1 OFSAA bronze and 1 OFSAA 4th place
  • In addition – has been involved with the Tim Horton’s Volleyball Kent Camp for elementary and secondary players for the past 21 years, the last 16 as co-director – for past 25 years has been a “Provincial” rated volleyball official – has co- convened 4 OFSAA volleyball tournaments hosted by Chatham

Awards & Recognitions

Mort has been recognized many times for his contributions, including 1969 and 1973 Ted Day Coaching Award presented by the News Media of Kent County, 1978 Canadian Merit Award, 1997 OFSAA Award for Leadership in School Sport, and 1998 Robinson-Bruette Special Contribution Award from John McGregor Secondary School.

Mort lives in London with his wife, Liz, and he continues to referee volleyball and to instruct in volleyball camps.

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