Football: Annual 'Mike Morencie must go' column filed ... but Windsor needs to change football culture, not just its coach

In what's become almost an annual tradition, Windsor director of athletcs Gord Grace has probably just received his "If I've lost Cronkite" moment ... again.

Bob Duff, the southwest Ontario sportswriting institution, has said Lancers head football coach Mike Morencie should be dispatched post-haste. This has come up in the past. Duff is not a hard-liner vis-à-vis Lancers football, having fallen into line with what many have said for years. There is no stay-the-course argument.
"The Lancers are left with no choice but to replace coach Mike Morencie, whose contract with the school is up.

The future of the program may very well be at stake.

Under Morencie's 13 years of leadership, there's been one winning season, one playoff victory, and an overall mark of 34-68-1.

Physically, the Lancers lack the depth of talent and size to compete with the majority of OUA teams.

While other Lancer programs have turned the corner -- both basketball teams are national powers, the women's hockey team is nationally-ranked for the first time, and the men's hockey squad is ever-improving -- the football program, the marquee sport of a school's athletic department -- is sinking.

They are 10-22 over the past four seasons, three of them ending 2-6 including this year.

Toronto, once such a dismal program that it was nearly dissolved, won three games this season, one more than Windsor. Only 0-8 York, another program on death watch, rates worse than the Lancers in Ontario. (A Windsor newspaper)
It is actually 9-23 if anyone gives a flying rat's rear end.

A couple bullet point dealies.
  • You may draw a parallel between Windsor's situation and the other OUA coaching change, Rob Smart parting with Queen's men's basketball team. (Does this make Windsor men's hoops coach Chris Oliver the OUA's Kevin Bacon, since he preceded Smart and his program outshines the grid Lancers?)

    In both cases, it is about changing more than a coach. Some would say Windsor has become conditioned to accept being a football also-ran. That is not about to change without decisive action, otherwise we'll be writing the same things about Morencie's successor in a few years.

    The program needs a bigger budget to be competitive, pure and simple.

  • The argument about football being the marquee sport, isn't that contestable?

    The Lancers sometimes draw 2,000 fans for a hoops game, which is actually larger than some of their football crowd. It's glib as all get out, but it is a little similar to the state of Carleton's team when Drew Love folded it in 1999 ... there has been a lot of clinging to a no-longer-relevant modicum of success (Windsor was last good in the '70s, Carleton was decent in the mid-'80s).

    Now Carleton is likely resurrecting football. Perhaps Windsor should at least do a honest appraisal, although of course we hope football continues.

  • It has been said a hundred times, but no wants Mike Morencie to be out of work. He's always had the utmost integrity and he cares about his players:

  • No doubt you've already heard the theory Grace might end up coaching the team. Usual suspects among the assistant coach ranks such as Guelph's Kevin MacNeil and Western's Mickey Donovan will probably come up as well.

  • As for a sexier candidate, we don't know what a CFL special teams coach makes, but if it is doable, why not go hard after former Guelph coach Kyle Walters?

    Anyone who got Guelph to a Yates Cup has a good CV for winning at a similar-sized OUA school. He knows the turf.

  • Queen's assistant head coach Pat Tracey always comes up in these discussions. Queen's should break the bank to keep him, says the guy who does not have to sign the cheques.

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  1. Go get Kyle Walters or Pat Tracey.

  2. Easy, young grasshopper ... first they gotta get MM out for reals.

  3. I'm not in a position to support or malign Mike Morencie as I have no involvement with the Lancer program but I do know the man and he's a decent person.

    The anonymous nature of the internet allows too many to be far too bold and obnoxious at times.

    The AD at Windsor will do what the believe is both politically correct and best for the program.

    Personal attacks against Morencie aren't necessary.

  4. Thanks for the reminder. No one here has made a personal attack yet and we hope that holds.