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SAIT’s Birky earns Coaching Excellence Award

Marty Birky of the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is the recipient of the 2023 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s (CCAA) Coaching Excellence Award.

The award recognizes coaching contributions to sport and to student-athlete development over a period of at least five years.

Birky guided the host SAIT Trojans to a gold medal at the 2023 CCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship – their first national title in 37 years. Under his guidance, SAIT has captured six consecutive conference championship crowns in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC).

The Trojans had previously announced that Birky would be stepping away after the 2022-23 season to focus on family and his career.

“Since Day 1, Marty has worked to build a family atmosphere on the team, which included finding the right balance between accountability and having fun,” said Pat Boulin, Birky’s long-time assistant coach. “By succeeding in that, he created a high level of trust between the coaches and players and between the players themselves – that was huge in getting us to where we are now.”

During his tenure at SAIT, Birky’s personal efforts closely paralleled with the institution’s continuous improvement initiatives, leading to his own graduation and professional articulation as a lawyer.

Within the Trojans department, Birky actively participated in the rebuilding of the Alumni Booster Club alongside Trojans Women’s Basketball head coach Ranbir Parmar and played an integral role in facilitating the prompt re-establishment of the account’s standing with the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Commission (AGLC).

Additionally, Birky’s legal expertise proved invaluable in launching the John Smith Jr. Memorial Equity and Diversity Award following a traumatic event that occurred in the fall of 2021.

While his decade-long contributions at SAIT differed in nature than perhaps more traditional coaches, his influence was no less impactful. His innovative approach left a lasting impression on the institution and the student-athletes he’s worked with.

The CCAA works in partnership with the Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) and recipients of the CCAA Coaching Excellence Award receive a complimentary ProCoach application/membership.


Rodney Wilson  

Manager, Communications & Events
Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA)

Responsable des communications et événements
Association canadienne du sport collégial (ACSC)

613-937-1508 ext 3 / 613-360-6194