First word on Spring practice

Coaching makes a difference.  And continuity in coaching seems to be paying dividends.  For the first time since 2009 Guelph is preparing for the 2012 season without any changes among its head coach, and offensive and defensive coordinators.  In Spring 2011 the Gryphons’ offense practiced without knowing exactly what type of offense they would be running in the fall.   On both offense and defense the Gryphons are working on the same systems and the same plays they used last season.  The run game in particular, is looking positive with these players having a year together under this system.

Neil Lumsden instructing RB Corey Davidson on pass blocking

Joining Head Coach Stuart Lang, DC Kevin MacNeill and OC Todd Galloway are most of their regular assistants and an impressive group of guest coaches.  Already a familiar face on campus, Neil Lumsden is back for his third straight spring camp, again working with the team’s running backs.  Lang and Lumsden were teammates with the Edmonton Eskimoes during their glory years.  Two others who sport some of those same Grey Cup rings are also helping out.  Hank Ilesic is working with the kickers and long snappers and Gregg Butler is working with the defensive backs.  Ilesic played 19 seasons in the CFL and one in the NFL, earning All Star status 4 times.  Butler won 3 Grey Cups and was a CFL All Star in 3 of his 4 years.  He also coached DBs for 9 seasons with 4 different CFL teams, 5 if you include the Baltimore Stallions.

Also, helping with the DBs is another former CFLer, Jerry Philip, who is better known these days for his work with the Burlington Stampeders and Nelson Lords.  Another coach with Burlington connections is Adam Grandy who is helping with the linebackers.  Grandy coaches with the Varsity Stampeders and MM Robinson High School.  Former UofT Offensive Coordinator John Engel is working with the Gryphon quarterbacks.

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