The magic that extends beyond Centennial Stadium

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Aug 18,2014(ISN) – VICTORIA – A recent nominee as Sport BC Female Coach of the Year, a 2013 Canada West recipient as women’s coach of the year and Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame inductee, the University of Victoria’s women’s soccer head coach Tracy David is much more than a soccer pioneer and enthusiast. Entering her 13th season with the Vikes, David takes the time to share her experiences and passion in the midst of a bustling pre-season schedule.

Tradition and sustaining relationships are two important things for this veteran coach.

“The birthday cake idea emerged from my memories when I played for the University of Alberta,” says David. “I was never home for my birthday and it would get lonely at times. No one really cared or even knew it was your birthday. So I started baking for my girls that were in the same boat. If your birthday is during the season I bake a dessert, and trust me, the girls are quick to remind me their birthday is coming up. Now it’s just something we do. If your birthday is in the summer, well…sorry.”

The Vikes women’s soccer team also hosts an annual alumni event consisting of an afternoon game and dinner. Rain or shine these ladies play every year rekindling the spirit of Vikes women’s soccer. Underlining the alumni event are values David continually instills in each of her athletes.

“Tracy fostered a sense of passion and competitiveness in all of us,” says Vikes women’s soccer alumna Liz Hansen. “There is always a sense of willingness and accountability to win when we play; something that I think most of us still have.”

David also recognizes the importance of camaraderie, a quality that stems from her relationship with Vikes men’s soccer head coach and husband, Bruce Wilson.

“It’s been a long time since the men’s and women’s soccer teams travelled together,” reflects David. “We’ve always had different Canada West schedules making it difficult for the two teams to interact. I think it’s important for the men and women’s teams to communicate. Unless you are a local kid, you really don’t know one another well. That’s why Bruce and I have a yearly BBQ at our place. It brings everyone together. Also, being married makes it easier for us to do things like this, it’s natural.”

Working side-by-side this husband and wife duo are a Centennial Stadium force. “Tracy, I’m going!” is a common phrase you hear in the halls of the McKinnon building. But their passion for the sport and each other bind this duo together.

“What I’ve learned and admire most about Bruce is how consistent he is with everyone and everything,” says David. “If his star player isn’t performing he’s off the field and on the bench. As a coach you always want your athletes to perform their best, but everyone has an off day and sometimes we can be too forgiving. With Bruce, it doesn’t matter who you are, if you aren’t performing, someone else gets a shot. He is honest with his players and I think they respect that about him. You know exactly where you stand with Bruce.”

As a close-knit team, Tracy isn’t one to leak secrets about her women’s squad, but she did share one little interesting fact.

“My girls love to dress up,” says David with a smile. “It really doesn’t take much for them to dress up or get excited about dressing up. Whether Halloween or just because, they are the best when it comes to costumes!”

Whether it is baking for birthdays, dressing up with the team, coaching, playing or cheering on the men’s team, Tracy David has established herself as an icon within the Vikes family. Be sure to catch David and the Vikes women’s soccer team this season.

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