Dean began coaching when his son made the local team, “he had just turned 9 and joined the Nepean Redskins (now known as the Eagles). This eventually led to my taking on the role of club president and a board member of the NCAFA.”
In 2005, Dean became the NCAFA president. “I took on the presidency roles as I felt I could add value to their respective organizations. With the Eagles, it was to consolidate the four tackle levels into a more efficient program, while adding cheerleading, flag football and a girls touch programs. With NCAFA, it was to reshape and grow football, add girls touch, expand to other geographies, as well as stabilize and grow our financial base.” says Dean.
Dean says that his favourite thing about his position is “the ability to affect change. No change can be made without getting the buy-in of the membership. I enjoy working with the board members and building consensus as we move our sport forward.”
Dean says he has had many rewarding moments, but that created many benefits was “the removal of weight limits in 2007. This decision removed a system which limited participants from playing with their peers and unfairly stigmatized those who were ‘over’ weight. We now have players on the field who come in all shapes and sizes and we have become the inclusive sport football was always meant to be.”
Dean, and NCAFA, face a variety of challenges to the sport, the main challenge is “NCAFA’s ability to remain flexible and focused. This will especially be the case in dealing with a significant amount of proposed changes coming from Football Canada. The best way to deal with situations like this is from within. To that end, I have been asked by the OFA to chair a committee to review the FC ‘s proposed changes and make recommendations in turn.”
“On a final note, it should be clear to all that a strong NCAFA is imperative to ensuring football continues to thrive in the region. We have entered a phase where I see a stronger NCAFA emerging. With partnerships like that with the REDBLACKS and the efforts of many committed volunteers, I see a very bright future for the NCAFA and the sport of football.” says Dean.
Here are some things that others in Ottawa's football community have to say about Dean:
"When you're young playing sports your coaches are your mentors. They provide guidance and advice for you along your athletic career. However, when you're older having mentors and advocates is equally important, and Steve has come to be a great mentor and friend to me over the years. Like the coaches you remember and are grateful for, I am truly grateful to have known and learned many lessons from Steve". - Jesse Card
“I had the pleasure of working with Steve Dean on the Board of Governors for the National Capital Amateur Football Association (NCAFA) for several years. I found him to be a man of boundless energy, integrity and honesty, with a sincere desire to do what was best for the players at all ages across the league. Under his leadership, NCAFA grew to become the largest amateur tackle football program in the province. Steve always had time for you no matter what the issue. In the football community, I consider him to be a true leader with a clear vision. On a personal level, I consider him to be a friend.” - Jim Wagdin