Daniel (Dan) Merizzi
Sport: Multisports Year Inducted: 2004
Look carefully and you will find Daniel “Dan” Merizzi’s soft but firm hand prints over a high school soccer powerhouse called La Citadelle Patriotes.
The Cornwall native who combined a teaching career with coaching helped turn the Patriotes into prolific Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry Champions.
With his energy and ability to motivate young players, Dan became a model high school coach, the kind principals hate to see retire.
He easily earned the respect of his players and had a knack for getting the best out of them.
At La Citadelle, he became a pioneer of the soccer program and the driving force behind its popularity.
He coached the senior boys Patriotes from 1978 to 2004 and was the senior girls mentor from 1990 to 2004.
He also found time to coach the school football team for four years and basketball for two seasons.
In all, his soccer teams won a total of eight SD and G Championships, and three Eastern Ontario Secondary School Association titles.
The senior boys won six SD and G Championships, including back to back honours in 1983-84, and again in 2002 and 2003. They won three Championships in four seasons.
The Patriotes parlayed their SD and G titles into EOSSA Championships in 1994 and 2002.
His senior girls teams won SD and G titles in 1990 and 1995 and captured the EOSSA Championship in 1995.
In 1995, Dan found himself coaching both the girls and boys teams in the prestigious Ontario Championships in Toronto.
Dan bid adieu to his beloved Patriotes when he ended a 31-year teaching career but his love for coaching continues in the community.
He has been coaching minor soccer since 1979. In the winter, he has been coaching minor hockey since 1980.