After five years of coaching the Warrior Football program at the University of Waterloo, Head Coach Dennis McPhee has resigned from his coaching position and will be leaving the University.
“We wish Coach McPhee the best with his future endeavours and thank him for his contributions to the Warrior Football program,” said Bob Copeland, University of Waterloo Athletics Director.
Copeland said the change in leadership comes at a time when the Department of Athletics program is evolving according to a strategic direction built around core values and goals that best position the school for success in interuniversity sports.
Continuity for the football team will be provided by a strong line-up of assistant coaches including Assistant Head Coach Joe Paopao, longstanding Assistant Coach Marshall Bingeman, and Assistant Coach Kani Kauahi, all of whom will be on the sidelines guiding the Warriors through the 2012 season.
McPhee's reasons for leaving aren't given. Copeland's quoted in The Record as part of this passage:
McPhee, a fiery competitor with a temper to match, is thought to have left the school because of an impasse with UW’s senior administration on how the team can vie in an increasingly competitive Ontario University Athletics conference.
UW’s athletic director Bob Copeland confirmed McPhee’s choice followed lengthy discussions with senior management.
“His decision was definitely tied into the department’s and team’s year-end review. Whenever you conduct a review, it is a time for reflection and Dennis had the opportunity (to do that).
“He’s made his decision because it’s the best course of action for himself and his family and the program.”
(Wait, "increasingly competitive"? There's a whole post to be written on that word choice, but let's stick to the topic at hand.)
I don't know what will happen to Waterloo football any more than you do. I probably know less. But wording like "a strategic direction built around core values and goals that best position the school for success in interuniversity sports" does not usually mean "hey, let's take money from other teams and give it to the winless one that brought us so much bad publicity."
Even before last year's troubles, the Warriors weren't serious contenders. And Waterloo, at least in the 2009-10 academic year, was one of the least successful among all schools offering all the major sports, not just bad at football. I'm glad the school is talking, somewhat, about the future of the program — not as an alumnus (a non-donating alumnus, at that), but as a follower of CIS who would, frankly, like to have fewer irrelevant games.
Some of us, including myself, were incorrect to say Waterloo wouldn't play football again after last year. (Though, if you wanted to be cruel, you could say we haven't been proven wrong yet.) But maybe the story's changed now. It's unfortunate if current and future players lose those roster spots, but, really, it's hard to argue that axing football would be the wrong move.