2018: PAUL CARSON
Paul Carson has done whatever is required to make the Dinos football program better.
Paul joined the Dinos program in 1984 and after attending high school in both Winnipeg and Calgary. A member of the 1985 and 1988 National Championship teams, Paul is a proud alumnus of the Dinos football program. He was a starter at all three-line positions, capping his career earning Canada West all-star and Canadian Interuniversity Sport second team All-Canadian status at guard in 1988 as Calgary defeated Saint Mary’s University 52-23 in the Vanier Cup.
He was offensive line coach for 11 years, including the 1995 Vanier Cup Championship team and the 1993 team that lost in the Vanier Cup to the University of Toronto. Carson began his coaching career in 1989, coaching until moving to Kelowna in 2000. Even when he lived in Kelowna he assisted the Dinos at training camp on several occasions.
He moved back to Calgary in 2014 and gradually got immersed again with the program despite having a family and new career position. He not only is involved with the management side of the program, but midway through the 2016 season took over as offensive line coach. He is an active Board Member and involved with many of the financial decisions affecting the 5th Quarter and the football program.
In addition to being a player, coach, and alum of the program, “Carss,” as he is fondly known, has served as a mentor for several graduating players in helping them secure employment opportunities.
“When Paul transferred back to Calgary in 2014, he joined 5th Quarter Board of Directors and returned to coaching the offensive line in 2016. Paul is a very deserving recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Award,” states Dinos Head Coach Wayne Harris.
Paul graduated with a major in Economics and is currently employed at TD Wealth in Calgary as Senior Vice President & Branch Manager.
His son, Matt, played five seasons for the Dinos along the offensive line and was drafted by the Toronto Argos of CFL in 2017. His younger son, Sam, is an aspiring young football player at Henry Wise Wood and has assisted equipment manager Johnny Carr during training camp on several occasions. Paul is married to wife Sherry, and in addition to having sons Matt and Sam, has a daughter Lauren.
CONNELLAN FAMILY AWARD
2019: MRS. AURORA SPOLETINI
A person for over decades that has worked behind scene for Dinos football is the 2019 recipient of the Connellan Team (Together Everyone Achieves More) Award. Known to some as Mrs. Spolly, Aurora Spoletini has given her time but most importantly her excellent cuisine and passion to the football team.
Since the opening of Spolumbo’s Deli two decades ago, Aurora has coordinated making sandwiches for the team and/or breakfast wraps on road trips.
For the past several seasons prior to the Thanksgiving break, Mrs. Spoletini has come to the deli before the sun has risen preparing Thanksgiving Day dinner for the team cooking the turkeys and coordinating the sides with the staff.
Her work does not end when the season ends. Each year she coordinated the windup party at the Deli preparing the meal prior to the Christmas break.
In an indirect way she plays a role in recruiting. When recruits come they often are taken to sample her cuisine whether it’s her pasta, meat loaf, or desserts that are set out for recruits and coaches. No one leaves hungry.
She does all this with her patented smile and a love for the Dinos football program.
Mrs. Spoletini, was a vital part of the parents group in the mid 1980’s when her son, Tony, was a member of the team. She still comes to many games. Aurora becomes the first second generation recipient of the Connellan Team Award following in the footsteps of Tony.
The Connellan Award is all about TEAM! Aurora Spoletini epitomizes team. Once a Dino, always a Dino, Aurora Spoletini is that.