University of Calgary secondary coach Marcello Rapini is the 2017 U Sports recipient of the Gino Fracas Award as U Sports Volunteer Coach of the Year. Rapini will be in Hamilton, ON., to receive the award as part of Vanier Cup festivities on Thursday. Rapini has been the Canada West Conference nominee the past two years.
Dinos Head Coach, and former Gino Fracas Volunteer Coach of the Year, Wayne Harris states, “Marcello is very passionate, you can’t find a more passionate coach out there. He sets high expectations for everyone. He is most deserving of this honour.”
Rapini began his involvement with the Dinos football program in 1985 and a member of two Vanier Cup championship teams. His contributions to the team continued after his playing career carving a niche as one of the team’s most respected position coaches. He began his coaching career as secondary coach in the early 1990’s and was involved for four seasons before business commitments forced him to step away. Rapini returned to the fold in 2006 and has been with the program since.
Currently Vice-President of Marketing for Perpetual Energy in Calgary, Marcello makes time for football despite a demanding career in the oil and gas industry. He rarely misses a team meeting, film session, or practice despite his position at Perpetual, often taking his vacation to coach at fall training camp.
Marcello is also one of the rare coaches whose players “play for him” and has the unique ability to inspire his athletes. He prides himself on teaching players the proper technique, the ability to communicate and react to the situation presented on the field.
Marcello’s intensity and passion on the field is matched by his commitment off the field. He is dedicated to providing career opportunities for Dinos student-athletes playing a huge role in helping young graduates transition into the business community. In addition he is involved helping current players find suitable summer employment through his contacts with the downtown business community.
This past year Marcello developed a program called LENDING LEADERS recruiting donors to help defray operating costs of the football program that has raised in excess of $150,000.
Marcello’s contributions have not gone unnoticed within the Dinos family. In April 2010 Marcello received the Dinos 5th Quarter Distinguished Alumni Award for his unwavering contribution to the program. Two years later the Marcello Rapini Award was established.
This endowed award at the University of Calgary is awarded annually to a deserving defensive back and was funded by business and personal associates of Rapini in recognition of his vast contribution to the program.