Football: Windsor coach's son puts 'diss' in dysfunctional

The other night, The Comedy Network aired The Simpsons Halloween episode where Homer says, "Kill my boss? Do I dare live out the American dream?"

Suffice to say, Windsor offensive lineman Matt Morencie, understandably pent-up after an overtime loss and reports about his father Mike Morencie, being relieved as Windsor's coach, did the next best thing: Calling out a superior.
"After the game, Lancers offensive lineman Matt Morencie was upset with athletic director Gord Grace, who criticized the team in a Windsor Star column by Bob Duff.

"Grace said the future of coach Mike Morencie, Matt's father, was under review after a third straight losing season.

" 'That shows what kind of leadership we have (under Grace) and it’s not very good,' Morencie told Cogeco TV. 'He doesn't care about us. Hopefully, we proved something to him and our fans.' "
The elder Morencie also fell back on the old Bobby Knight standby, allegedly telling a Cogeco TV interviewer the critics could kiss a certain part of his anatomy. Everyone is emotional after a game, especially considering the odd way the game ended, but CIS and OUA sportspeople are expected to show some decorum in post-game interviews.

It's best to update Friday's post (below the jump) and spare the snark. Everyone rates some compassion, although one wonders how the situation could have deteriorated past the point of repair.

The heart of the matter is there is no argument for letting Mike Morencie return next season. It's been at a point of diminishing returns since 2007 and Year One with a new coach sounds better than the same ol', same ol'. It's just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic to shuffle a few assistant coaches or change some of the schemes.

It was reported last season in the Windsor paper Morencie was likely a goner is his team didn't go 5-3. They didn't get it done and, well, coaching is a results-oriented line of work.

From Oct. 16: Ask the Duffer — UBC's Goveia in mix to replace Morencie at Windsor

The winds of change in southwestern Ontario seem to have picked up.

Long story short, the handwriting is on the wall when the hometown columnist finds it necessary to point out the coach is a "solid citizen." Did anyone ever suggest otherwise about Mike Morencie? His teams just have not won. Just ask the Duffer:
"... word in CIS football circles is that the Lancers are on the lookout for a new coach, with three names prominently mentioned.

"At the top of that list is UBC head football coach Ted Goveia, an assistant on (Windsor director of athletics Gord) Grace’s staff when he was head coach at Mount Allison in the mid-1990s. Goveia is also connected in Ontario, having coached the Burlington Braves of the Ontario Football Conference from 1998-2000.

"Laurier offensive co-ordinator Ryan Pyear and Western linebacker coach Mickey Donovan are also in the discussion.

"While not wanting to talk about the program’s future with the current season in operational mode, it’s clear Grace isn’t pleased with its direction, which looks to be reverse.

" ... Windsor wants to embrace this team.

"There were 3,147 in attendance at the home opener against Toronto and 4,100 when Western came to town.

"But as the losses mounted, just 583 showed up to see Windsor play Queen’s."

Lancers' losing ways may cost Morencie his job (Bob Duff, Windsor Star)
Windsor of change; nominations open for Morencie's successor (Oct. 2)
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  1. Morencie's post-game interview on the local Windsor station after the loss tonight was up there with the Queen's-Western ending for most compelling moment this season. If you can somehow get a copy of this, Neate, it would totally be worth the effort.

    He started the interview by telling the reporter "The critics can kiss my ass" and shortly after that became really emotional in talking about it being his son's final home game, full out crying. He was also hugging all of his staff on tv as the game ended- almost like it is a complete done deal that he's gone.

    His son was interviewed after him and said of Gord Grace - "He obviously doesn't believe in us" and " The day started off bad - It wasn't fun to wake up today and see that in the paper"

  2. Question:
    Why would a team intent on fixing its losing ways would even consider hiring a coach from another losing program like UBC?
    Because Ted Goviea is a buddy of Gord Grace.

  3. So Gord Grace is only buddies with one football coach?

  4. Goviea is a good coach in an impossible situation.

    Bob Philip, the AD at UBC doesn't see football in the big picture of his NCAA "vision". So he's starving it for funds and basic support.

    The department has had serious discussions about moving the program to UBC-Okanagan in Kelowna to wash their hands of it.

    He's a better coach and overall planner than what his advesaries at Simon Fraser give him credit for.

  5. Sorry....but Ted Goviea is not my fulltime coach hire. I think he would be a fine fulltime assistant hire. I like Mickey Donovan also...he's American and could tap into the Detroit market.

    How about going after Jacques Chapdelaine? Make him an offer that he can't refuse. He would make Windsor an instant contender.

  6. Why are we taking a kid to task for his sentiment for his father. I would have been worried about the kid if he didn't defend his father when asked about the issue. One of the most important aspects of sport that fans, administrations, and media miss is the importance of solidarity. Without solidarity you can't move mountains or dig canals. Without solidarity and the steely resolve it can generate this wouldn't be much of a world to live in.

  7. Fair enough, but he could have defended his father better than that, say something like, "People outside the team don't know the whole story." Saying, "That shows what can kind of leadership we have," is more like buck-passing.

    Sorry, but solidarity should extend to the admin types too, otherwise it might become negative. Ask Greg Marshall if his McMaster teams won four Yates Cups in a row by resenting Therese Quigley, or because they knew she represented their best interests.

    I'm not taking sides, but that us-against-the-world mentality only works in Major League and Sarah Palin Make-Believe Land.

    If I wanted to be snarky, and I don't, I would say the only thing Windsor proved Saturday is it knows ways to lose games that most people never knew existed.

  8. Passion can make people do and say things they would likely filter if they had time to gather their emotions. The interview was conducted at the end of a game; at the conclusion of the kid's final season; with the spector of his father's replacement edging on to the field. Considering all the factors involved I would cut the kid a little slack.

    The us-against-the-world mentality is absolutely used to develop a closeness among teams. It is actually rare that that closeness runs from the top of an organization to the bottom. The do'ers always resent the planners in sport and buisness. There is a long list of ADs or GMs who don't get along with their operational staff.

    I won't pretend to understand what's happening or happened in Windsor but it isn't fair to ridicule the coach and kids while the higher-ups go unscathed. The emotion that spilled out at the end of the game shouldn't be used against the parties. When people fall short of their goals that type of outburst is pretty reasonable. The biggest difference today is that members of the media don't feel the need to protect those they cover. Now, an emotional outburst or faux pas makes a reporter's name. Reporting wasn't always like that.

  9. Who's ridiculing? It's also rich to call a program "doers" when it's had as many winning seasons this decade as York (1).

    No one is trying to make a name with this. Cogeco asked a honest question and got a honest answer; The Star reported it and it was related as "diss in dysfunctional" because it was cheeky, the player did take a shot at Gord Grace (a well-placed one) and Windsor's football program is clearly dysfunctional, based on 12 losing seasons in 13 years.

    Here you have a player and his gut instinct is, "Blame someone else." Maybe he was right, but still ...

    Reporters still protect people to a large extent, take it from someone who works in the field. If reporters fill less need, it's because there's more competition and pressure now that the old media model is broken.

    Agree to disagree on the us-against-the-world idea. It's not a healthful way of thinking, to just believe "you're with us or against us." You all unite behind something because you believe it's right and just, and because success is more fun than sucking. It doesn't mean your opponents are wicked, they just happen to be good people whose aims are in conflict with yours.

  10. David Halberstam wrote a great book, The Summer of 49, in the late 80s or early 90s where he explained how the relationship between media and athletes has changed. He wrote about the kid gloves that were used to handle DiMaggio and later the outright ignoring of Mantle’s alcoholism. I was simply stating the fact that at one time the media protected the athlete when they made mistakes off of the playing field. Now, I'm certainly willing to concede that on-field access has expanded the possibility for an athlete’s transgression to become public knowledge but there is no way that the kid's tirade against AD should be held against him. Like you illustrated, the Lancers have appeared to be dysfunctional for the last couple of year. Look, everyone speaks a little loudly when they are hot under the collar and this is all that incident is, nothing more.

    When I referred to "doers" I was talking about the people who actually physically make products or actually spill their sweat and blood on the playing fields, not the stature of Lancer Football.

    Sager, the us-against-the-world mentality is absolutely essential to team building. Sometimes that type of team building is created to even isolate within organizations. The process is effective in motivating and inspiring personnel, particularly when production and performance is being questioned by higher-ups or outside sources.

    As someone who makes his living in Ottawa I'm surprised that you can't appreciate the power of demonizing your opposition. The federal Liberals did it pretty will during the Chrétien years and today's Conservatives did it well with Dion and now Ignatieff.

  11. Oh, I appreciate the power of demonizing your opposition. And where has that got the country, I ask?

    There's Official Ottawa and the one the rest of us reside in. I'm firmly in the latter. It's actually quite easy to forget this is a capital city, because it ceases to be once you're away from the Hill. Toronto or Kingston would be a better capital.

  12. Point being, I don't think you can use a lumbering dinosaur like Canadian party politics as a good example. That REM line about "Withdrawal in disgust is not apathy" sums where I am with Canadian politics. But we're getting off-topic.

  13. Good God....the team struggled for the last 15 years pretty much...there was no compete level at the end....just get it over with...the program needs to move on to something different...if Gord Grace hires someone he knows.... well he will live with that decision...suffice to say Morencie worked very hard at recruiting and preparing...but it did not work out as he had of luck in the future both Coach and son...I was @ UW in the 80"s when Gino said he had "20-25 players who did not belong" in CIS football" buddies who played said Gino was very upset but even they knew they did not have the talent to compete

  14. I hope Windsor University decides to bring its focus to Ontario or other Canadian cities in recruiting. It will be a little far fetched for US talent to join an 8th placed team with no real hope on the horizon. The football team has been thrown together with way too many locals who are all buddy buddy with the staff/ coaches & media. Good luck Lancers, and to you locals who have had the free and easy ride, Elvis has left the building.