Sunday morning thoughts – Dec 9/12

This week I have caught up on some reading of my favourite NCAA blogs and websites – tigernet.comShakin the Southland & Tomahawk Nation. Rumours, opinions and news about the NCAA coaching carousel was unavoidable. Not so much here in Canada. There isn’t enough media covering CIS and OUA football. Much of what goes on in the offseason goes unreported. You may remember that was one of the reasons I started this blog.

Currently there are, at least theoretically, three head coaching openings in the OUA this off-season – Laurier, Ottawa and Waterloo – though it appears that interim HC Joe Paopao will remain the man in charge of the Warriors. [I’ve never understood why the UW Athletic Department is so backward when it comes to sharing good news.]

Coaching @ 2012 Yates CupAnyways, the names of several Gryphon assistants have figured prominently in the rumours. Kevin MacNeill and Todd Galloway have been linked to the Laurier job, while some people are suggesting that Neil Lumsden is a leading candidate for the Ottawa opening. From my point of view, this is a good thing. It puts Guelph in good company as many of the other names thrown out there come from the top flight programs – McMaster [DC Knox, OC Behie], Western [OL Bertoia, DC McPhee] & Queen’s [DC Tracey].

In his first press conference, the day he was hired, Stu Lang said he wanted Guelph to become an incubator for coaches. He wanted other OUA programs to look at Gryphon coordinators when they are seeking new head coaches and Guelph position coaches when they are looking for coordinators. It would disappointing to lose a valuable assistant but Coach Lang has already shown that he can build a strong staff. Replacing a coach or two wouldn’t be an insurmountable task even though another year of staff continuity would be great.

In fact, a job on the Guelph staff is as attractive an opportunity as it has ever been. Its not hard to imagine that there would be lots of candidates who would like to work with the advantages that Guelph is building in terms of facilities, young talent, solid coaching staff, competitive salaries, family atmoshpere, support systems, et cetera. So while I would love to see the entire staff return intact I see no reason to fret if that doesn’t happen. I would wish any assistant landing a HC job in the OUA the very best.

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It is nice to see that Christine Rivet of the Kitchener-Waterloo Record seems to be staying on top of Laurier’s search for a replacement for Gary Jeffries.  Her stories are here, here and here. This latest story should please Gryphon fans with apparent assurances that OC Galloway will be remaining in Guelph.

Todd Galloway, the whiz-kid offensive co-ordinator for the Guelph Gryphons, said on Friday he did not apply for Laurier’s vacant head coaching job.

The former Hawk receiver and assistant coach said he plans to finish what the Gryphons started this season when they made a surprise appearance in the Yates Cup final.

“I like it here. My plan is to stay,” Galloway, 31, said from his office at Guelph’s newly-refurbished Alumni Stadium.

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The above article also makes mention of a disciplinary action taken against the Gryphons by the OUA. A fine of $1500 and a one game suspension for the HC for using a third means of communication between the stands and the sidelines at the York game. My first thought – Okay, its something minor, pay the fine and move on. Then I read the actual rule – 6.8.1. Guelph violated neither the specifics outlined in the rule nor the original intent of the rule. The worst you can say is that Guelph didn’t observe the standard practice that may have been observed for decades. But an organization like the OUA ought not to be punishing people for not following common practices, especially when their rules don’t expressly prohibit it. In fact, this rule is so out-of-date that it ought to be significantly revised if not scrapped. It was probably written before cell phones were invented or wireless communication was a widespread reality.

Every coach on the sidelines of an OUA game who has a cell phone/smart phone/laptop with him is potentially violating the rules. Does anyone think that not a single photo has ever been sent from the spotter’s booth to a sideline Ipad or laptop? That would be communications by a means in addition to the two headsets provided. There is no way that isn’t happening. It goes on at high school and OVFL games. The OUA really needs to get into the 21st century when it comes to technology and communications.

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