University of Calgary

Dinos scholarship

Feb. 25, 2009

New Dinos scholarship honours legendary coach

The inaugural recipient of the Gary Deman – St. Francis High School Athletic Award will be running back Steven Lumbala.
The inaugural recipient of the Gary Deman – St. Francis High School Athletic Award will be running back Steven Lumbala.
The Gary Deman – St. Francis High School Athletic Award will give a Dinos football or men’s basketball player who attended St. Francis the opportunity to pursue their academic and athletic dreams.

Named in honour of longtime St. Francis football and men’s basketball coach Gary Deman, the endowed award was funded by several alumni of the legendary Browns program and will be presented annually.

“It’s really an honour for us to name this scholarship after one of the legends in Calgary high school sports,” said Kevin Boyles, director of athletics at the University of Calgary. “Awards like this help us keep the best local athletes in Calgary while we pay tribute to individuals who have left such a permanent mark on sport in our city.”

Born in Trochu, Alta., Gary moved to Calgary in 1939 and graduated from what is now St. Mary’s High School. He received his BEd from the University of Alberta and his BA in Honors from the University of Calgary before beginning his teaching career. He coached at St. Francis for 32 consecutive years before retiring in 1993.

During his tenure as coach, he led his teams 14 Calgary city championships in football in his last 22 seasons, along with one provincial title, and his basketball teams were six-time city champs. A total of 16 of his former players went on to play professional football.

“Coach Deman influenced the lives of many young individuals,” said St. Francis and Dinos alumnus Tony Spoletini, who was instrumental in establishing the award alongside local businessman Frank Mafrica. “By having this award in his name not only perpetuates his contribution for future generations, but assists student-athletes from St. Francis High School to combine their athletic and academic dreams at the University of Calgary.”

The inaugural recipient of the Gary Deman – St. Francis High School Athletic Award will be running back Steven Lumbala, who committed to the Dinos football program for the 2009 season.