The last of his generation of trainers, Coach Ernie ‘Gillie’ Edison Seymour, GGM has retired from the Department of Sports (DOS) following an impressive 26-year tenure.
The Gold Medal of Merit and Pioneer of Sports recipient stepped down recently, leaving behind a strong record of training youth and senior football teams to league and divisional success.
Director of Sports, Kurt Hyde said: “Coach Gillie is a one-of a kind coach. He added a level of depth and expertise to his job that will be hard to match.
“On behalf of the Department of Sports and the Ministry of Youth & Sports, we appreciate his contributions to the development of sports on a district and national level, and wish him every success in his retirement.”
After a quarter century of training and conditioning players, Coach Gillie said: “I leave a career I’ve enjoyed having achieved much more than I’d ever dreamed possible.
“I have so many highlights to look back on and players that I am honoured to have helped reach their full potential on and off the pitch.”
Coach Gillie was selected for the national team at just 17 years old, and spent the succeeding 15 years honing his skills, playing against international teams like Dominique, Antigua and Guadeloupe. The centre forward got his first break in sports management when he was handpicked by the former Technical Director, Winston Chung. As Assistant Coach, Coach Gillie was tasked with training and conditioning his former national side teammates.
As a founder of Cayman Athletic Sports Club (CASC) (2006), the 65-year-old, is still a dynamic force in local club football and plans to continue coaching. The Head Coach/Technical Director built a club that has produced an U15 team that went undefeated for three seasons, guided CASC’s teams to earn awards in all the youth divisions, as well as winning the Men’s FA Cup and Charity Shield.
Coach Gillie explains that the club’s achievements always tied in with his work with the Department of Sports as it was instrumental in helping support the local league and divisional structure that underpins football to this day.
Coach Gillie uses the four pillars of football coaching to enhance player development, which are the physical, technical, tactical and psychological. He believes this method has produced the numerous accomplishments his players have earned, including national side caps, MVP and top goal scorer awards.
Since retiring, Coach Gillie continues to manage CASC’s youth and senior teams, as well as working with Red Bay Primary School like he previously did with George Town Primary School. On the sidelines for the last 40 years, he continues to volunteer up to five times a week, field marking for internationals and league matches.
Off the pitch, Coach Gillie enjoys tending to his flowers and fruit trees and is currently clearing a hot pepper patch in his yard. He has also been a keen crabber since childhood, and likes hunting for large cliff crabs in North Side or Breakers when they are in season.
In summing up the retiree’s impact, Assistant Director of Sports, Flynn Bush said: “Coach Gillie’s most lasting legacy, and one which the entire Department can take pride in, is the difference he made to the lives of some of his less advantaged players.
“The structure, sense of discipline and example he instilled in them as their coach has helped many young boys develop their characters and work ethic, putting them onto a trajectory for success as men in later life,” he explained.