More on coaching – Part 3

Derma tweet

I saw the above Tweet from Coach Alex Derma earlier today. He is in South Bend, Indiana this weekend for a coaching clinic at the University of Notre Dame. If I’m not mistaken, Stu Lang, Todd Galloway and Mike MacDonald were at that same clinic two years ago.

Last year the offensive coaches went to the University of West Virginia to check out Dana Holgorsen’s ideas. A few years ago they were in Oregon to learn what they could from Chip Kelly. For the most part, the defensive staff has been going to Nick Saban’s coaching clinics at the University of Alabama.


Gryphon coaches watching a Bama practice two weeks ago

Last year the Gryphon coaching staff spent a day in Hamilton meeting one-on-one with Kent Austin and his Tiger-Cats coaching staff. I really wasn’t going out on a limb last month when I wrote, … the Gryphon staff is doing more in terms of professional development than almost any other team in the CIS. Continued P.D. helps to keep things fresh. 

There are several reasons for that … a very dedicated coaching staff, plenty of full-time coaches, and leadership from the head coach. First that was Stu Lang, and now Kevin MacNeill. The emphasis from the top means making sure that professional development doesn’t get lost among all the budget priorities.

Sports writer Rob Massey, previously with the Guelph Mercury, has a story on the recent trip to Alabama by Guelph coaches …

The OUA champion Gryphons will turn to a few things they picked up from the NCAA champion Alabama Crimson Tide this fall.
Seven members of the Gryphon staff travelled to Tuscaloosa, Ala., for the Crimson Tide’s annual coaching clinic hosted by Alabama head coach Nick Saban and his coaching staff April 7 to 9 on the University of Alabama campus.
“It was an unbelievable experience,” Gryphon offensive coordinator Todd Galloway said. “They were national champions this year so they’re a pretty good school to learn from and get better.”
The Alabama clinic has been a fixture on the Gryphon coaching calendar for the last four years with various coaches representing the Gryphs each year. Joining Galloway this year were offensive line coach Mike MacDonald, defensive coaches Adam Grandy and Devin Kavanagh and special forces coach John Casasanta.
“A lot translates. We take some of it, the Xs and Os, and see if we can translate it to what we do, but the speakers they get is what I love so it’s more than Xs and Os,” Galloway said. “I learned a lot about football in general and leadership and all that kind of stuff on top of it: their points of view and how to be successful and how to do it right.”
Speakers at this year’s clinic included former Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy, former Florida and South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, former Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer, former Buffalo Bills general manager Bill Polian and current Philadelphia Eagles offensive line coach Jeff Stoutland along with members of Alabama’s coaching staff.

Read the full story on the Gryphon Football Team App. If you’re not already familiar with or using the Team App, you need to check it out. More and more Gryphon Football news and content will be coming via that app.

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Next weekend the Gryphon Football program host their own Coaches Clinic. It will be a great opportunity for football coaches to see how Gryphon coaches do things and what they have picked up from other places. I’m heading to Guelph for the Saturday portion of the clinic. If I thought I were going to coach football again any time soon, I would make sure to be there for the Sunday portion too – i.e. Football Canada Safe Contact certification.

It is great to see the Gryphon program embrace the Safe Contact program. More than 20 Gryphon football coaches – the entire staff! – got certified last month. Again, I think it is safe to say that is something that probably puts them ahead of almost every other CIS program.

GF Coaches clinic

You can check out the clinic highlights and schedule here. I used that link to register as well. “Day of” registration is only cash or cheque. As I’ve mentioned previously, Matt Nesbitt is Gryphon Football’s Director of Camps. He is also the Director and organizer of these clinics. Direct registration questions and group registrations to him at

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