Andy Higgins (1937 - 2019)
CSIO sadly announces the passing of former employee Andy Higgins. A pioneer, Andy worked at CSIO from its inception to 2012, developing the National Coaching Institute (NCI) – known today as the Advanced Coaching Diploma program.
“Andy was instrumental in leading CSIO’s high performance coaching programs and coach education in Canada,” said Debbie Low, CEO of Canadian Sport Institute Ontario. “He was a valued staff member and mentor to so many, both at CSIO and across the sport community.”
As a coach, Andy established the University of Toronto Track Club in 1971 and in 1974 created the first “shared-coach” situation in Canada. Over the years, more coaches were added and by 1983 the model evolved into Canada’s first High Performance Centre for Track and Field, which Andy successfully oversaw for 12 years.
Andy coached at the 1984, 1988, and 1992 Olympics. His Olympian decathletes included David Steen, Michael Smith and Massimo Bertocchi. David Steen’s Olympic Bronze was Canada’s first ever in the decathlon event.
Andy’s legacy includes being a founding member and past president of the Canadian Professional Coaches Association and the driving force behind the Coaches Association of Ontario. One would be hard-pressed to find a Canadian coach whose career hasn’t been influenced by Andy. His book, “Best Coaches, Best Practices,” is considered essential reading for sports mentors.
In 2001 Andy was inducted into the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame as a coach.
Andy will truly be missed by CSIO and the Canadian sport community.