From the Guelph Mercury, a feature on Nick FitzGibbon, who will participate in the 99th Grey Cup along with another former Gryphon, Kyle Walters:
“It’s crazy how the world works and how things kind of work out,” (Nick FitzGibbon) said. “I didn’t know if I was ever going to play football again once I finished my fifth year at Guelph. And here I am getting ready to play in the Grey Cup – I’m just taking it all in.”
Number 33 for the Bombers is listed as a back-up running back and has steadily improved in his special teams role since his arrival in the Manitoba capital. He plays on punt and kick-off returns.
“He provides us with depth,” Bombers special teams coordinator and former Gryphon head coach, Kyle Walters said. “The more guys you have that can play special teams at a high level and do what they’re supposed to do, the better it is for the team.”
“He’s been a reliable contributor on special teams which is very valuable.”
Read the full article: Guelph’s Grey Cup connection living ‘a dream’ in suiting up for CFL championship
FitzGibbon was a Gryphon offensive assistant coach this season until he signed with the Bombers. He was one of three Gryphons playing in the CFL in 2011. All three – Nick, Ryan Bomben & Rob Maver – were part of the 2006 Recruiting Class which I regard as the best in recent memory. Though I do think that the 2011 Recruiting Class may end up being just as good.
Trivia Question: Who was the last former Gryphon to win a Grey Cup ring?
* * *
Another championship will also take place this weekend in Vancouver – the Vanier Cup. The McMaster Marauders will take on the Laval Rouge et Or. The game will be on TSN Friday @ 9 pm. Official Vanier Cup website.
Laval is favoured over McMaster but I think the Marauders have a legitimate shot at winning it. There is a detailed head-to-head look at the two teams here.
Interesting fact?! Do you know the last time McMaster was trailing in a game after the first quarter? September 24 @ Guelph – where the Gryphons held the lead from the opening score until 1:21 remained in the 3rd Q. The only other time that happened this season was in the Marauders’ only loss – Sept 12 to Western.
* * *
There is plenty happening around the OUA this offseason.
♦ Most recent big news? Dennis McPhee has “resigned” as the head coach of the Waterloo Warriors.
McPhee, a fiery competitor with a temper to match, is thought to have left the school because of an impasse with UW’s senior administration on how the team can vie in an increasingly competitive Ontario University Athletics conference.
Full story in the K-W Record: UW football coach McPhee resigns
CTV news video: Dennis McPhee resigns
♦ It doesn’t appear major changes are happening at Laurier in spite of the headline in a previous K-W Record article: Changes a brewing for gridiron Hawks following playoff flop
The Golden Hawks’ recruiting coordinator may be the only one to get the axe.
♦ The University of Windsor won’t announce their new Head Coach until early December but it is quite likely to be the interim HC Joe D’Amore.
♦ I haven’t heard anything about the hiring of a new Head Coach at the University of Toronto. I was talking to OC John Engel at a recent high school playoff game but didn’t think to ask him. I ran into the interim HC Greg Gary at a game just the week before. I wouldn’t be surprised if that staff remained the same for 2012.
♦ One school that is making waves in the OUA coaching scene isn’t even in the league yet – Carleton University. For months rumours have persisted that Queen’s HC Pat Sheahan would take over the job of preparing the Ravens to re-enter the OUA in 2013. That presumably would lead to Guelph grad, and current Queen’s DC coordinator, Pat Tracey becoming the Golden Gaels new HC.