Coaches Corner 2017-12-20T17:51:41+00:00


Sonya moved to Medicine Hat in 2009 to begin her career in Health Promotion. Upon arriving in Medicine Hat she immediately sought out coaching opportunities in Athletics and immediately began coaching with the Medicine Hat Panthers. In 2011 she became Head Coach of the Club and has assumed this role ever since.
Sonya is passionate about developing physical literacy skills in children and youth. Her love for track and field and working with emerging athletes shows when she is on the track. Whether you are training for recreational purposes, looking to gain that competitive edge or brand new to the sport – Sonya is sure to instil a love for track and field in you.
Outside of coaching, Sonya enjoys her career in Health Promotion, spending time with her family (husband and babies Jayce & Everly), and doing CrossFit.


NCCP Level 2 Track and Field
NCCP Run/Jump/Throw
NCCP Fundamental Movement Skills
NCCP Sport Coach
Standard first aid + CPR

LEO GAYLE – Assistant Coach

Leo has always loved track and field!  Prior to coming to Canada, he grew up in Jamaica and trained in the 100m, 200m, 400m, triple-long-high jump.  His high school coach was Glen Mills, the same coach as Usain Bolt!  Leo attended the University of the West Indies, where he continued competing.  He was twice Sportsman of the year and three times Champion Male athlete.  His sprinting knowledge will be a fabulous resource for young, upcoming sprinters.  Leo ran the 400m in 46.9, the 200m in 21.2 and the 100m in 10.9!

Leo currently works for Alberta Health Services as an Addictions Counsellor and is busy raising a young family.


DARRYL SMITH – Cross Country Coach + Indoor Coach

My name is Darryl Smith and I have been involved with track and cross country for the past 40 years as an athlete, coach, organiser, dad and administrator. My entire family runs and enjoys the thrill of competition. I have two amazing boys Elias and Gage and an amazing wife Sharleen.
Running and competing go hand in hand for me as a coach and athlete. I run to compete and I compete so I can run. Its the physical challenges that I like as a runner. I want to push myself to go further and harder each time I run.
As a coach, I love the development of the athlete as a runner but most of all the individual. When an athlete truly understands that the competition in not external but an internal battle that is won through grit, hard work and sacrifice. One of my favourite quotes by one of my favourite runners is: “I don’t run to see who is the fastest, I run to see who has the most guts!” Steve PreFontaine
Running has no barriers or limitations. We can run anywhere, at anytime and in any weather. The only limitations that truly exist for us, are the one’s we put on ourselves!
Darryl is a teacher at EBHS, the Panthers Club President and a member of the track community.

NCCP Athletics Sport Coach Certified


SCOTT HOWES – Hurdle Coach

*Scott has been coaching with the Panthers on and off since 2009. 

Scott grew up in North Battleford, Saskatchewan. After graduating from University of Alberta in 1998 he began teaching. Scott has been teaching at Medicine Hat High School since 2001. Currently, Scott is the International Student Coordinator for the Medicine Hat Public Schools District No. 76.

As an athlete, Scott competed in Track and Field at the varsity level and national level. He represented the University of Saskatchewan and Minot State University in High Jump. Scott competed track in North Battleford winning gold medals in High Jump at the Provincial and Summer Games levels. Attended Jr Nationals in Sherbrooke, Quebec in 1993 finishing 5th. Attended Minot State University for Track and Field- won the Indoor State Championship’s clearing 6’6.5” in 1994.

Scott has a love of coaching. He has been coaching multiple sports and specifically track and field athletes helping them to find success.
Scott is married to his lovely wife Ashley and have a beautiful daughter named Peyton.

NCCP Athletics Sport Coach Certified

BROCK HALE – Jumps Coach

I am born and raised in Medicine Hat and have participated in many athletics in this city. From High School basketball, volleyball, soccer and track, as well as 1 year of basketball at the Medicine Hat College. In High School track and field I competed in the 100m, triple jump and long jump. I competed at provincials in both triple jump and long jump.

I currently work as a junior high school teacher and St. Mary’s school. Where I teach French Immersion Phys. Ed. and math, among other things. At my school I also coach basketball and track and field. I love coaching and participating in a variety of sports and athletics.

I love Medicine Hat and have spend most of my life here. I am now raising my family in this great city. I have a wonderful wife, a 5 year old son and a two year old daughter.

I look forward to a great track season.


Meet our MINI PROGRAM Coach – Mashere Gayle   

My involvement and love in track and field began as early as kindergarten when I participated in sport day. The love further matured into high school, where I competed in various track and field events locally and internationally. These included the following:

1996- CAC Games Gold medalist
1996- Carifta Games Gold and Silver medalist
1997- World Junior Pan-American Games Gold medalist

My area of specialty was the 800m and to a lesser extent 400m and 1600m.

In 1997 I was awarded a full scholarship to the University of New Orleans where I was an active member of the track team and won numerous track and field titles. A year later I was transfer to the University of Missouri, where I accomplish the following:

1998- SMSU track and field All-American record holder
1999- NCAA All-American
2000-2003, Missouri Valley Conference record holder

Certification: Masters in Communication
Certification in Sport management
NCCP Athletics Sport Coach certified.

AMANDA WEILER – Assistant Coach + Throws Coach

Amanda received an Honours BSc in Neuroscience from the University of Lethbridge and moved to Medicine Hat in 2017. She trained and competed for the U of L Pronghorns track and field team as a hammer and weight thrower for five years. She is a five-time Canada West Championships competitor and five-time Academic All-Canadian Award recipient. As a Pronghorn athlete, she was a volunteer coach at various schools and club programs in Lethbridge and surrounding area.
In her spare time, Amanda enjoys hiking and spending time in the mountains. She is very passionate about health and fitness and is excited to share this passion with the Panthers Track and Field club.

JAELYNN FUNK – Assistant Coach

Hi! I’m Jaelynn Funk! I am excited to join the panther family! I have always had a passion for track and field. I ran sprints, relays and hurdles through out high school going to provincials each year. After I graduated high school I still had the craving to be at the track for the last 5 years I have on and off I have coached track with Hat High. Fitness and sports have always been a part of my life. I am also currently coaching basketball and bocce ball for the Special Olympics, basketball at Herald school and a program called FUNdamentals where we teach children with disabilities physical literacy skills through basic sports. I am the Chair of the Special Olympics here in Medicine Hat and a teacher at Mother Teresa School! I am able to adapt my coaching and teaching to all people of all abilities and levels. I am a strong believer of having a positive growth mindset meaning we learn and grow from our mistakes to make us better. We are always learning, growing and strengthening. I am looking forward to see the children I coach to grow!

MIKE GURSKI – Assistant Coach

Mike is originally from Swift Current, moving to Medicine Hat to attend the MHC. Mike graduated in 2019 with an Education degree. Mike played for the Rattlers Men’s soccer team through his years at the Medicine Hat college; having played soccer his entire life. He also has a long history of coaching – youth soccer head coach and assistant at just about every age level. Mike loves sport and wellness not only for the competitive aspect, but also as a great opportunity for personal growth. He loves coaching with the Panthers Track Club.

Mike Orsini – Assistant Coach

I grew up in Toronto and played many sports with a focus on hockey, soccer and tennis. Over the years, I have had the privilege of coaching all three sports, which I thoroughly enjoyed. As a coach, I was able to positively impact others, helping them develop their skills and abilities not only as athletes but also as people.

I competed in track and cross-country growing up and stepped away from it for a number of years. In 2013, I moved to Medicine Hat. It was then that I did my first 10km race in Calgary on two days notice and with no training and was humbled by the experience. Since then I’ve rediscovered my love of running and have competed in events from 5km to 50km, including several marathons and a Boston-marathon qualifying time. I have won a few local 10km races and won a 50km race in Victoria, BC. I have also become involved in triathlons and have completed several events from sprint distance all the way to a full ironman in Whistler, BC.

I am passionate about athletics and look forward to continuing to grow as an athlete and a person and I am excited about the opportunity to be part of the Panthers Track Club.


ETHAN HICKS – Assistant Coach

Ethan is currently enrolled in the Criminal Justice program at the Medicine Hat College. He has been a sprinter for the past 5 years, running the 100m and 200m sprints with personal bests of 11.24 and 22.45 seconds respectively. He has competed provincially twice, getting 3rd in the 100m and 4th in the 200m last year. He also recieved 1st place for the 200m at the Calgary Outdoor Dino Meet in that same year. Sprinting is my passion and I can’t wait to give back as an assistant coach.

NCCP Athletics Sport Coach Certified

CASSIE FISCHER – Assistant Coach


Cassie graduated in 2018 from Medicine Hat high school and is taking some additional classes while she plans her future.
Cassie has been competing in track since grade 7. She’s completed in two provincials while in high school.
Cassie is also a nationally ranked wrestler, a tremendous fastball player (and now a coach!) and has participated in other sports with a competitive spirit since she was a little kid.

Cassie is very eager and excited to work with kids and teach them to throw!!

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