Names are interesting: they are unique to everyone and usually carry some sort of story along with them. Not everyone likes their name, but everyone wants to be called something (and that even includes “The Artist Formerly Known as Prince!”). As I’ve grown up, I’ve been called a multitude of things – Bird, Birdy, Birdman, Big Bird (ironic considering my short stature) among other, more personal, pseudonyms. Virtually all of the names that people have addressed me as were invented by people other than me. “Coachoiseau” is a rare exception to this rule and this name, like most, carries a story with it…
A big reason for “coachoiseau’s” inception was due to a simple marketing need. As I was starting to use Twitter to brand myself as a young football coach, I was looking for a handle that would allow me to represent myself as a) a coach (obviously…) and b) a person who was strongly rooted in the predominantly French province of Quebec, Canada.
For those who don’t know me personally, I have spent the last five years studying at McGill University in the bustling downtown core of Montreal, the largest French-speaking city on the North American continent. While I don’t speak tremendously great French (although I have improved recently), I’ve lived in the city for most of these last five years and it is the city that I currently call my official place of residence. The city has treated me very well and I can see the possibility settling there for a while as a very real possibility indeed. As a young recruiter who now works nationally to find and bring talented student-athletes to McGill’s Football Program (where I am serving as a graduate assistant coach), I am in a position where I should represent the environment around me appropriately and accordingly. Hence, from a personal marketing standpoint, the name “coachoiseau” was a logical choice.
The name has an even stronger source of inspiration behind it however. The very first football coach I met, Michel Leveille, is the man I credit with starting me up and igniting my love for this game. He is Quebecois himself, although he has been living on the West Coast in the Lower Mainland of BC for many years now. I worked for him for the first three years of my high school career, and when I left him notes on his Phys. Ed teacher’s desk, I would often sign the notes “Michel Oiseau,” simply as an inside remark on his French-Canadian background. It was a fun little thing I did – little did I know that the name “Oiseau” would come back into my life in such a dynamic and useful way. Why not pay tribute to the man who coaxed you into begining a magnificent journey, who showed you the starting point of the Yellow Brick Road? It was just too easy: it made too much sense! I couldn’t turn myself away from the idea, and so out of necessity, and remembrance, “coachoiseau” was born J