It's interesting to see the places CIS alumni wind up. Last week, I did a short sports feature for the Langley Times on Dana Matheson, the new coach of Langley's midget (16-18-year-olds) football team. I was expecting him to be a stereotypical guy who had grown up in minor football, maybe played a little junior, maybe picked up a cup of coffee in the CIS, and was now coaching kids to stay involved in the game. Instead, he turned out to be a former star offensive lineman for the St. Mary's Huskies who was part of their back-to-back Vanier Cups in 2001 and 2002, and a fascinating character to boot.
One of the most interesting aspects of Matheson's story to me was how he grew up in Langley, then promptly went across the country to play university football before returning to his hometown to coach. Apparently, Canada West teams don't always snap up the recruits in their backyards. Matheson spent time coaching two local junior teams on his return, but then shifted to teenagers to give him more time to run his own business (he works as a freight broker, arranging for trucking shipments and such).
Also, the photo Matheson sent me was of him standing in the Seattle Seahawks locker room, just outside quarterback Matt Hasselbeck's locker, so of course, I had to get the story behind that. It turns out that a football buddy of his from St. Mary's, Steve Morley, was with the Seahawks last year and invited Matheson down to train with him at the team's training facility in the off-season. In another CIS connection, Morley is now playing for the Saskatchewan Roughriders (he's currently on their list of reserves). It just goes to show that you never know where a university sports career will take you. So be nice to those minor football coaches: they just might turn out to have Vanier Cups on their resume.
Related: Football experience from sea to sea [Langley Times, August 8, 2008].