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Pat O’Brien Award for Coaches

Pat O’Brien was an Odyssey of the Mind volunteer for over 20 years, including 14 years as coach and several years as a tournament and regional director for the Nova North Region, until his passing in 2018 due to illness. Pat’s favorite message to his teams was simple but one that every team can embrace, “Have fun and no regrets.”

As coaches, Pat and his wife Michelle led their teams through regional, state, and world competitions. In retrospect, their now-adult team members say the lessons they gained from participating in Odyssey are even more memorable than their tournament successes. Lessons such as how to be an independent thinker… that everyone’s thoughts and ideas are valuable… that creativity can be harnessed for everyone’s success… to ask questions… to think critically.

The Nova North Board of Directors honors Pat’s legacy by awarding the Pat O’Brien Award for Coaches to current and past coaches who embrace the spirit and love of creativity and independent thought that he admired.

Team members, parents, school coordinators, and coaches are invited to nominate outstanding coaches for this meaningful award. To be eligible, the nominee must have coached for at least three years, at any level, with at least two of those years in Nova North, Region 9.

To submit your nomination:

Tip: We encourage you to write and edit your nomination in Word or another application so you can copy it into the nomination web form.

  1. Click this link to open the nomination web form.
  2. Enter information about the coach you are nominating:
    • The coach’s full name
    • School (or schools) where he/she coached
    • Which seasons he/she coached.
    • If he/she is coaching this season, which school, division, and problem is the team
    • The nominee’s other involvement with Odyssey of the Mind (For example, as a past participant or school coordinator)
    • Your name and email address (in case the evaluation committee has questions about your nomination)
  3. In your own words, describe why you feel this coach deserves to be honored, such as:
    • How the coach exemplifies/exemplified Pat O’Brien’s coaching style and commitment.
    • What you learned from Odyssey and how this coach helped you learn those skills or lessons.
    • A specific example or anecdote that illustrates how this coach practiced Pat’s coaching approach.

The winner will be announced at the Award Ceremony following the Region 9 tournament.

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