Football: Mount A loses LaLonde 2 1/2 months before season

It's a damn shame to read at that coach Steve LaLonde is leaving the Mount Allison Mounties, apparently to pursue opportunities in his native United States.

LaLonde, by most accounts, was making some headway at Mount A. Three wins in the past two seasons (including a win over Bishop's in the interlock) is actually a fair leap from 2005, when the cupboard was so bare that the Mounties were outscored 379-23 on the season and got shut out five times in eight games. LaLonde had managed to attract a game-breaking QB and wide receiver, Kelly Hughes and Gary Ross, and his teams played exciting football regardless of the score (they actually scored only seven points less than Vanier Cup champion Manitoba did in the regular season; heck, they scored more points against Saint Mary's than the Bisons did vs. the eastern Huskies in the national championship game, although that's a very glib comparison that should not be taken seriously).

It's perfectly understandable to wonder about a coach who leaves that close to the start of the season, but the facts aren't in yet. (The New Brunswick papers, along with the Halifax Herald, should have more in the next couple days.)

The well-being of the football program at a small school in a community the size of Sackville, N.B., is very dependent on stable coaching (not that it isn't elsewhere, but Ottawa, Western or Saint Mary's faces much shorter odds when it has to find a head football coach). There's legitimate worry about what this might herald for Mount Allison. A guess is that they'd end up with an interim coach for this season. Long-term, the search for a permanent coach is tough, since the ambitious go-getter types who want to be a head coach somewhere-anywhere are often in their 30s and 40s and have to consider their wives' careers and the well-being of young families before they make a move. It's tricky when it's Sackville, N.B., as opposed to Hamilton or Halifax.

The players have apparently been informed by an e-mail, which was posted at the message board:
"On behalf of Jack Drover, Director of Physical Recreation and Athletics, I am writing to inform you that Steve LaLonde, head coach of the Football Mounties, has resigned from his position at Mount Allison. Steve, who is originally from the United States, has decided to return there for personal and professional reasons.

"Steve’s contributions to the Mount Allison Football program have been remarkably positive over the last three seasons and have positioned us for even greater success in the coming season. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours and want to thank him for his accomplishments and hard work on behalf of our Football and overall Athletics programs.

"We will be working to fill this position as soon as possible to prepare for the upcoming season. We have a great team and look forward to seeing you out at Mountie games."
Anyways, if you're interested, keep an eye on the newspaper websites from down East.

LaLonde leaves Mount A (Monty Mosher, Halifax Herald)
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  1. Eventual coach for the Mounties--Dan Laramee. -wants to live in the maritimes. Played at Acadia. Was an assistant coach with Mt A. Met his wife in Sackville,N.B.
    Was Assistant HC with Ottawa, now the same with SMU.

  2. Look no further than Kelly Jeffry, he is an inhouse replacement that has the trust of the team and the coaching staff.

  3. My son plays with MTA and when he opened his email this am there was an important message from Coach Lalonde telling the team he was moving on. My son had difficulty coming to terms with the news and it was a total shock to him. He was a mess. He immediately went to facebook and read the wall posts of some of the team and he felt a lot better. The team need direction right now and hopefully the coaching staff will not leave them in the dark very long.

  4. Jeffrey would seem like a logical caretaker coach for this year... Laramee, huh?

  5. Yup--Laramee as the eventual coach--not this season's caretaker coach. Probably will go to competition after this season. I believe it is Laramee's goal to become a HC of one of the maritime universities, as he and his spouse wish to live in the maritimes. It is the next logical step after you have been an assistant HC for a few seasons, as Dan was at Ottawa and is at SMU this season. Laramee was an assistant coach at Mt A, in the past so he knows what the challenges are.

  6. As mentioned on other posts. It is very unfortunate that the truth didnt come out before he left. If not purely for respect of the school and a very small number associated with it that truth would be heard. The mounties have a hell of a program and one of if not the best coach and man stepping into the job as head coach. Its too bad that such potential was so damaged during the end of Lalondes Reign. As one who went through those issues with the team I turn and Wish the Mounties All the best as there IS a great core of players there. With a coach who stuck to his values and honoured his word in my two years with him Jeffries can and most likely will lead the Mounties to the glory they deserve.

  7. Why would Dan Laramee want to be the HC at Mount A? He is too good of a coach too take control of a weak program like Mount A. I would like to see him spend 5-6 years as DC at SMU then explore some HC options cause im sure a real special one will open up for him down the road.