Field Hockey Canada > Hall of Fame Class of 2021 – John Sacre

Hall of Fame Class of 2021 – John Sacre

August 24, 2022 | Field Hockey Canada |

John Sacre is a world class coach at all levels of the game

In the coaches category for this year’s Hall of Fame, Field Hockey Canada honours a leader who’s excelled at all levels of the Canadian field hockey system. John Sacre has served as a player and coach for Field Hockey Canada. He participated in four Pan American Games, two World Cup qualifiers, the Commonwealth Games, one World Cup, and three Junior World Cup Qualifiers.

“It’s an honour when I look at the other recipients to be in sort of the class of people who I’ve had the good fortune of working with,” said Sacre.

Sacre was born in Toronto but grew up in Tsawwassen. He, alongside his friend, was introduced to field hockey when his dad found an advertisement about it in the local newspaper.

“He saw a local advertisement in the paper for field hockey. So he said ‘well you guys are playing road hockey, do you think you want to play field hockey?’ We had never heard of field hockey but we said we will give it a go,” said Sacre.

Sacre then joined the Falcons Field Hockey Club, and has been hooked into the game ever since. As the years went on, he began to notice he had a lot of promise in the sport.

“We had at the time some national team players that were coming out to our training. When I was like 14, we’d normally train together,” said Sacre. “As I started to get better, I started to think I can kind of do this.”

While playing for the Falcons, Sacre was also able to get a glimpse at what it was like to coach. “You were just expected to put back into the sport and back into the club,” said Sacre. “When you’re a young 16 year old, the culture of the club was you’re going to coach the younger kids below you.”

When he was 18 years old, Sacre was a part of the inaugural U-21 national team. He was part of an impressive group of young players who were eventually called up to the national team. The confidence of players like Sacre helped the team finally get over the hump and win Canada their first field hockey gold medal at the 1983 Pan American Games.

“There’s just no way we were going to lose that game. I don’t know how, why, or what but I just remember it wasn’t going to happen on that one day,” said Sacre. Sacre then capped off his playing career by winning another gold medal at the 1987 Pan American Games before transitioning into coaching for Field Hockey BC

His work with Field Hockey BC built a foundation for him to climb up the coaching ranks at the national level. Sacre was initially brought on as a development coach but then took on roles as the head coach for the junior team, assistant coach for the senior team, and the senior team’s interim head coach as the years went on.

“I think it was a fantastic feeling knowing that you put in all the work, the hours, and the sacrifices for the athletes. When you finally get to that kind of success, it’s a very gratifying feeling.”

After his time with the national team, Sacre returned to coaching at the provincial level while working with Field Hockey BC. He also coached at the club level for teams like the Surrey Sharks, Surrey Lions, and the Meraloma women’s field hockey club.

“I’ve worked with I don’t know how many athletes, 200-300. You know, it’s more than just what’s going on on the pitch. It’s how we’ve helped them off the pitch as well that matters,” said Sacre. Sacre added that he continues to stay involved in coaching at the grassroots level because of the like minded people he gets to work with.

“It’s because I enjoy really working with motivated people that want to have success, but that also want to enjoy the environment,” said Sacre. “If you can help mold the culture and you’re working with individuals, and being part of a team, it’s a fantastic feeling.”

When looking back on his career Sacre hopes he left a legacy full of passion and dedication to the game. He gives much credit to his family for being supportive along his journey.