I made it to Alumni Stadium yesterday afternoon and caught most of practice #4. [Check back later today for a report.] There is no doubt about it, it does have a professional feel when you walk in there. In part it is the fast-paced style of practice that Coach Lang runs with a clock/timer, horn, no standing around, players hustling from one area to the next. Add to that a film crew of 7 with 4 or 5 cameras recording virtually everything. A large team of trainers. Girls recording stats – yes, practice stats. Ball boys everywhere. A John Deere Gator plus a couple of golf carts. Top it off with lots of coaches.
Guelph starts off with a large coaching staff – 17 last year. It is supplemented by a large number of guest coaches. One of the new faces this year is an old Gryphon – Barry Pyear, a former UofG running back and 1971 grad is helping out. In recent years he has coached RBs at WLU. More recent grads who are helping out thru training camping camp include John Casasanta and Steve O’Brien. Former QB Justin Dunk was out on the field but as an observer not a coach. Former CFLer Mike Samples was back again helping Brian Cluff with the d-line. Guelph Bears head coach Jeremy MacLeod is working with defensive coaches and there are a number of high school coaches from around Ontario helping out.
Another thing you see all around the field are the latest in coaching aids. A whole variety of equipment most of which I don’t even know the names of. But it all has a purpose in the teaching and refining of football skills. Also new is a device from Riddell that can be placed on helmets to measure impacts. It comes with a hand-held monitor and can provide information for use in preventing concussions. Check out a snippet of video of d-lineman using a LEVI sled here. ->> Sorry folks I can’t get the link right but you can find it at http://instagram.com/gryphonfootball
You add all these things together with the new turf, the video scoreboard and the enhancements to the stadium for the CFL Ticats and it is a very impressive environment. That is not lost on the top recruiting prospects who are visiting the campus this summer. It will be a great environment for football this fall. I’m excited!