Football: Jesse Mills might jet to nation's capital to flee SMU sideshow

Reading between the lines, one gets the impression the Saint Mary's football program should be tended to by people in hazmat suits.

OK, so that is a little alarmist. But what else to think when the long-time flagship program of AUS football has yet to name a head coach and the quarterback is set to pull a Glavic by following his former coach to his new team?

As Monty Mosher reported, SMU might have lost out on hiring on highly regarded former Bishop's head coach Leroy Blugh, whom many would have loved to see "take over the AUS' Goliath" after what he did against long odds in Lennoxville. (Of course, this presumes Blugh, who coached D-line at Queen's, wants to be a head coach again in the worst way, which is a big presumption knowing what the job entails in CIS.) Meantime, both Mosher and Tim Baines are reporting that Mills is contemplating transferring to play for the expansion Carleton Ravens in 2013. Apparently, Carleton coach Steve Sumurah has already informed the appropriate people Mills is intending to transfer in.

Here's Monty:

The university denies that former Bishop’s head coach Leroy Blugh is no longer a candidate to be the new head football coach despite winning the recommendation of the hiring committee last week.

Blugh and former Saint Mary’s quarterback Perry Marchese were the two candidates to earn face-to-face interviews last Monday.

An announcement was expected before now and has led to speculation that that the hiring process hit a roadblock at the senior administration level.

Athletic director Steve Sarty did not immediately return a phone call, but said on the weekend that Blugh remained a candidate for the vacant post.

“The process is ongoing,” university spokesman Steve Proctor said Tuesday. “We haven’t hired anybody. That’s the university position. It’s a personnel matter. When we hire somebody, we’ll make an announcement.” (Halifax Chronicle-Herald)
Mills told Mosher he was "keeping all options open. I contacted Carleton, yes, but I don’t know if I can comment on that exact question at this time." However, he was a little more explicit once Baines got him on the phone. Both Carleton coach Steve Sumurah and the top members of Sooners' executive spoke like this is a fait accompli.

Here's Baines:
Mills grew up a fan of the Huskies and says it was a tough decision to leave, especially after success as a starter in his freshman season.

“I was there watching them all the time as a kid. But the face of the program to me was Coach Sumarah,” he said. “A big part of me playing for Saint Mary’s was committing to Coach Sumarah.

“I want to play for a team where the best intentions are for the football team. I gave Saint Mary’s a bit of a chance (when it announced that Sumarah wouldn’t be back more than two months ago). Maybe they had somebody in mind to coach. But, as it turns out, they had nobody lined up. It just doesn’t seem like they have a plan.” (Ottawa Sun)
Granted, another quarterback, Jack Creighton, was supposed to leave Saint Mary's last year for Guelph and ended up staying in Halifax. Mills completed less than 50 per cent of his aerials while splitting time with Creighton and had a 4:6 touchdown-interception ratio. However, any quarterback who gets extended playing time as a true freshman directly from high school obviously has huge potential.

Starting in 2013 with a quarterback who has experience starting in CIS but is still in the early stages of his eligibility would be a huge win-win for the Ravens.

Meantime, what to make of Saint Mary's? Things are never as bad (or as good) as they seem. Having difficulty landing a coach and having the hometown hotshot QB consider leaving does not look good. One wonders if there's some larger underlying message when a brand-new OUA team looks more appealing to Mills than the top AUS program.

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