New offensive line coach Mike MacDonald has found the assistants he wants to help him mold the line of the future at the University of Guelph. They are both guys with strong local connections.
Back on the Gryphon sidelines and the practice field will be Chris Portwood. Portwood was previously an OL assistant coach at Guelph under John Malinowsky in 2006 & 2007. Originally Portwood arrived at Guelph as a tight end prospect in 1996, in time to be part of the last Yates Cup winning team. In 1997 Portwood crossed over to the dark side spending a season as a defensive end. From 1998 through 2000 Portwood was a starter at offensive tackle where he earned OUA Allstar honours in his final season. Between 2000 and 2005 Portwood coached minor football in Guelph and Brampton. He played his high school football at Mississauga’s Lorne Park Secondary School.
Guelph native Zach Pollari will be assisting with the offensive line during training camp. Pollari began his football career at Guelph’s Centenial CVI. He also played in the OVFL with the Guelph Bears. Pollari played his collegiate ball at Western and he was drafted by the Toronto Argonauts in 2009. Pollari will work with the team’s tackles while learning the coaching ropes under the guidance of Mike MacDonald.
Update: Portwood’s coaching role was limited because of a demanding work schedule. Pollari remained with the team throughout the season as an assistant OL coach. Nick Woehl moved from player to Graduate Assistant this season. Woehl was a spotter in the booth on game days & worked with the scout team OL.