Coldstream’s Dean Francks first had coaching problems when he was a college student in Lower Mainland in 1996-97.
After school, the self-described “athlete of all sports” would travel to Langley and coach the senior boys’ basketball team at what was then Langley’s only secondary school, HD Stafford (now the Secondary School).
While his two daughters, Tyler and Christine, were Greater Vernon athletes, both in school and in the community, Franks earned whatever credentials he needed, often behind or on the bench.
His volunteer work culminates in 2022-23, when his youngest child, Kristen, graduates from Kal Secondary School. The father-daughter duo won the BC High School Girls AA Volleyball Championship in Merritt, while Franks led Cal’s high school girls’ basketball team to a 2-2 record in the provincial finals, an impressive achievement, Because more than half the roster is made up of junior players.
Francks, 52, executive director of the North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society (NOYFSS) by day and volunteer coach by night and weekends, was named one of three recipients of the BC Schools Sports Excellence Award.
The honor recognizes outstanding coaches and their outstanding contributions to the sport and athletes. Recipients continue to guide student-athletes to success through a philosophy of fair play and sportsmanship, while demonstrating values consistent with BC School Sports.
“Being recognized means a lot,” Franks said. “It was a great year, the girls’ volleyball team won everything and we had six 10th grade girls qualify for the provincial girls’ volleyball team to keep up the basketball tradition in Kal.
“I love mentoring kids.”
Whether he will return to Kal as a community coach for the 2023-24 season remains to be seen. Kristen is heading to New Westminster to play basketball for the Douglas Academy Royals, while eldest daughter Taylor has finished her post-secondary volleyball career with the Chargers at Victoria Camosun College.
“I think I’m done,” he said with a laugh. “A lot of people have been asking me to coach again.”
Francks will receive the provincial honors at a special gala in Whistler on Friday, May 12.
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Awards Local Sports North Okanagan Region