Portage Collegiate Trojans' head football coach is grateful for the recognition she's receiving after her first year with the reigns.

Jill Fast took over as the Trojans' head coach in the 2021 season after being a linebacker coach at PCI for several years prior. Last week she was given a Female Coach of the Year award.

"I was very honoured and pleasantly surprised to be named the Female Coach of the Year by the Manitoba Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Council," says Fast.

Sport Manitoba's annual awards night was combined with the Manitoba Aboriginal Sports and Recreation Council's award ceremony for what was called the Night of Champions. Fast was given her award at the event, and says it felt very prestigious.

"It was a big deal to be a part of the Night of Champions," says Fast. "I had no idea what to expect at first, but after seeing the program and the inductions into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, I felt very special."

Fast led PCI to a record of 2-4 this season, with all but one of their losses being within 10 points. Her team averaged over 135 rushing yards a game and forced nearly two turnovers per contest as well. The first-year head coach gives an enormous amount of credit to the people around her.

"I'm very thankful for everyone who is a part of the program. A program like this is more than one person. So, even though the award was for coach of the year, it takes everyone to have a successful program like this," Fast continues. "I love working with everyone in the program."

The award winner gives credit to her players as well for the steps they took to improve all season.