With a resumé spanning a junior world champion weight lifter, Team BC lacrosse, university hockey and soccer and most recently a player in the WHL, Terry Monture has been coaching youths in Terrace for upwards of 27 years.
He calls it his passion — and it shows.
The list of youths trained by Monture has piled up in the local sports community, with athletes hailing from all skill levels of basketball, lacrosse, weight lifting, badminton, hockey and many other sports.
“He is very determined and he is a leader,” said three-time junior world champion in weight lifting Ernie Mil-homens.
“He will give you the shirt off his back for you to succeed, and he believes in the people he trains,” said Mil-homens, who trained with Monture for five years, and states that Monture is an amazing coach.
On any given weekend, there will be three or four teenagers working out in Monture’s home where walls are adorned with provincial banners and local newspaper articles toting the accomplishments of youths he has trained cover one kitchen wall.
If it is mid-week, Monture will be working with athletes at the local gym, or running basketball practices in the Parkside Elementary school gym.
“I can’t believe the amount of time he puts into kids in our community, and he never asks for a penny,” said Parkside Principal Louise Ormerod, whose daughter trained with Monture and went on to play soccer for the Vancouver Island Mariners for three seasons.
It is a total volunteer effort for Monture, who says he does it because he loves coaching, and feels it was his mission in life.
“That’s all I do, If I am not working, I am either coaching or training somebody,” he said.
Monture explains he can’t even watch a basketball game on TV without analyzing every move and decision made by coaches and players.
“I don’t watch a game like a fan – I’m a coach,” Monture said.
And he has the resumé to prove it.
At 15, Monture was already working as a coach while still a student and player in high school.
He went on to play hockey and football at a Junior A level, and basketball at a college level, before heading into a career with CN rail, where Monture remained, and is the track supervisor from Smithers to Prince Rupert.
In the early 90’s Monture shifted his attention to weight training, something he said would become an instrumental addition to his coaching abilities later on.
“I became a guy that cannot only coach you, I can train you,” he explained.
Monture rounds out his weight training by developing a nutrition plan for athletes based on blood type.
He also tries to pass on lessons he learned in his youth, in an effort to guide youth in the right direction.
“I try to teach them life skills,” he said, adding one of his messages is to get an education and have a passion for your chosen career.
“Thirty five years is a long time to do something if you’re not happy with it,” Monture explained.
He also doesn’t train youths who take part in drinking or drugs, and easily sorts out the dedicated through sheer work ethic.
“I have never said no to anybody…but I put them through a workout and they will never come back,” he explained.
Throughout decades of coaching, Monture’s approach has evolved to a system where he only gives positive feedback.
Anything found lacking in a performance is simply worked into the next practice as a learning point.
“So if you do that you never have to be critical,” Monture said.
Josh Murray is a local River King, who trained with Monture for five summers before and throughout playing NCAA hockey in the U.S.
“Terry was a huge help for me personally,” Murray said, explaining he was already playing Junior A hockey for the Williams Lake Timberwolves when he started working with Monture.
Murray trained with him in the summer between seasons and said Monture was committed to helping achieve his goals on the ice, offering a lot of knowledge about training.
“The season I played in Williams Lake before I met him (Monture) I had 27 points, the next season after a summer of working out with him I had 73 points and was offered a full scholarship, which helped me get my degree,” Murray explained.
Monture has won three Zone 7 coaching awards for his work in lacrosse and was nominated for the Tom Longboat Award, which recognizes First Nations achievement in sports.
He has paid out of his own pocket to help youths afford trips to provincials, as well as supplied equipment such as lacrosse sticks.
Seventeen-year-old Luke Gordon has trained with Monture for five years, and is currently enjoying this hockey season in the Western Hockey League, playing for the Calgary Hitmen.
“He has taught me many things about not only how to play my sport, but also on life,” Gordon said, explaining that some days Monture would meet him at the gym after at 12 hour shift with CN and still show up positive and ready to help.
“Without him, it would have been very hard for me to get to the place where I am now in my hockey and in my life,” Gordon continued.
He remembers winning provincial gold with Monture in lacrosse and said one of the biggest reasons his team won was because of Monture’s coaching.
“He had a way of getting everyone to work as hard as they possibly could, and buy into the systems he had created,” Gordon said. “I have had many great coaches in my life as an athlete, but he is the one who stands out to me, that has taught me the most as an athlete and a person.”