The Centennial Tigers are pleased to announce the appointment of Destry Gillette as head coach for the club’s inaugural season.
Coach Gillette, an American, and who, like many current Tiger players, lives near the Centennial area, is excited to get back into the game, albeit in a different role than he’s used to.
He played his entire footy career with the Denver Bulldogs, beginning in 2000, and won multiple flags during the Bulldogs’ USAFL championship reign. This marks his first return to the game after multiple knee surgeries and retirements. His 6’3” stature made him a great marking target, and he was known for creating contests on the ball and in the air.
“Footy was introduced to me late in life, and I truly feel it is the best sport ever,” said Coach Gillette. “I am pleased to be given an opportunity to coach and share my experiences and insight with the Tigers during their inaugural season. I will always be a Denver Bulldogs alumni and supporter in heart and soul, but look forward to sharing, teaching and challenging this team to be their best.”
Part of his vision is to help the women learn each others’ strengths and areas needing improvement and support; getting the women physically fit individually and as a team; and fostering a strong internal team atmosphere.
The Tigers’ Board and veterans will work with Coach Gillette to build out a month-by-month plan leading up to the team’s first participation at USAFL Nationals in October. The club hopes to get a number of games in throughout the season, including at least one or–hopefully–multiple matches against cross-town rivals the Denver Bulldogs. By competing in multiple sanctioned games, versus inter-squad scrimmages, both teams’ skill levels and game knowledge can improve.
“I have the utmost respect for all teams and players who participate in this sport,” Coach Gillette added. “It takes loads of personal sacrifice, desire, time, and determination to be successful at it. All those who commit to it should be rewarded with a shared dedication and support from their teammates and coaches. I believe the Tiger players who get rostered will really push themselves and their teammates to represent their new club with determination, effort, and grit. It will make for a successful first year.”
With the women’s game being relatively new in the U.S., finding a head coach can be difficult—especially finding a coach who meshes well with the club’s vision. “Destry came highly recommended by a good friend who is huge advocate of the growing the game,” said President Sara Rohner. “When Destry replied he was interested, I, and my fellow board members, couldn’t contain our excitement. He’s dedicated and ready to step up to the challenge—and that’s exactly what we need from him.”
“We have some veterans, and we have a lot of new folks,” added Rohner. “I believe having a committed head coach to guide the Tigers will help the team get to where we need to be. Destry is an excellent addition. I look forward to working with him in 2020 and hopefully many years to come.”
The Centennial Tigers and Coach Gillette plan to start some fitness training soon and begin official trainings in late March or early April (weather permitting). All upcoming trainings will be posted on the website as well as on the Tigers’ social media accounts.