Marauders’ head wrestling coach pins down provincial coaching award

Miguel Sibal
September 29, 2022
Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

Ahmed Shamiya received the Ontario Coaching Excellence Award for his positive impact on McMaster’s wrestling program

Former student athlete turned coach Ahmed Shamiya was recently presented with the Ontario Coaching Excellence Award by the Coaches Association of Ontario. 

The award recognizes coaches for their impact on athletes, teams and communities. Whether by building inclusive environments or leading their teams to championships, the winners of the award have been shown to be outstanding, dedicated leaders. 

In a press release statement, Jeremy Cross, executive director for the Coaches Association of Ontario, praised Shamiya’s contributions to McMaster University’s wrestling program.  

“We are thrilled to recognize Ahmed [Shamiya] for his dedication and support of athlete development on and off the playing field. Community volunteerism will play a vital role as we continue to recover from the pandemic and coaches like Ahmed are leaders in creating safe, fun and positive spaces for youth to grow as athletes and leaders,” explained Cross. 

"Community volunteerism will play a vital role as we continue to recover from the pandemic and coaches like Ahmed are leaders in creating safe, fun and positive spaces for youth to grow as athletes and leaders,”

Jeremy Cross, Executive Director of ther Coaches Association of Ontario

Shamiya is one of 10 total recipients to receive the award along with fellow Marauder Larissa Byckalo, assistant coach for the women’s volleyball team. In addition to the honours, coaches also received a $500 reimbursement provided by Hydro One to put towards funding for the team.  

Such honours are a part of National Coaches Week, a campaign running from Sep. 17 to Sep. 25 to celebrate coaches across Canada.  

Shamiya was grateful to receive the award for his efforts within the wrestling program and the overall athletics community at McMaster.  

“I love coaching and I love working with athletes on a daily basis. I do this out of love for the support of wrestling but along the way it’s also nice to be recognized for some of the work,” said Shamiya.  

Before his coaching tenure, Shamiya also had received several awards during his time as a McMaster student. 

In his rookie year on the wrestling team, in 2013, Shamiya took home the gold medal after competing in the OUA championship final. His efforts in 2015 helped the Marauders to their first OUA men’s title since 1993.  

After playing under former head coach Nick Cipriano as an athlete, Shamiya assumed head coach duties for the program at the end of the 2019 season. Despite being the youngest head coach in the OUA circuit, Shamiya’s poise and dedication have helped to carry the team to excellence.  

In 2020, his first year as head coach, Shamiya led the men’s wrestling team to a silver medal at the OUA championships. For his efforts, he was also named the OUA Men’s Coach of the Year.  

More recently, Shamiya took both the men and women’s teams to second place finishes at the 2022 OUA finals, which included 10 podium placements by the Marauders. 

As their head coach, one of Shamiya’s biggest goals when working with athletes is to help them develop their mental performance in addition to improving their physical play. 

“Through coaching one thing I’ve learned, and one thing I’m trying to do with my athletes currently, is to try and get them to see themselves as more than they see themselves currently. . . because the only way that you’ll accomplish anything in life is if you believe that you’re the type of person who’s capable of achieving those things,” stated Shamiya.   

His history with the Marauders represents a landmark achievement in the university’s sporting community. With such a decorated background as both an athlete and coach, the future of McMaster’s wrestling team is bound to be bright with Shamiya at its helm. 


  • Miguel Sibal

    Miguel exists as the second rarest thing in the world next to the prospect of living. He prefers writing stories on the sidelines as a way to avoid possible concussions that might happen while writing on a field. To distract himself from an impending quarter life crisis, he enjoys a good jam, thrift and /or poetry writing session, but also doesn’t mind the occasional pun.

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