When J.P. Asselin was frequently absent from the weekly OUA football coaches' media conference call last fall, it sent strong signals that there was some internal discord with the Ottawa Gee-Gees. It seemed like a silent protest.

Now it's official. In the latest instance of Ottawa director of sports services Luc Gélineau seeing a coach leave of her/his own accord, Asselin is leaving the team where he played before coaching to join the new team in the nation's capital. Tim Baines reported late Wednesday the 29-year-old, who was 13-6 in two seasons at the helm of Ottawa, could become Steve Sumurah's offensive coordinator when the revived Ravens take wing in 2013.

(Update, 12:05 p.m.: Carleton just confirmed the move with a press release.)
Gee-Gees head coach J.P. Asselin is a strong candidate to become the offensive co-ordinator for the Ravens, who are still more than a year away from joining the OUA.

“We’ve been looking at hiring top quality people,” said Ravens coach Steve Sumarah, who would neither confirm or deny that Asselin was a candidate.

“It would be pretty exciting if somebody of J.P.’s quality wanted to be part of the Ravens’ rebirth. But right now, he’s still part of Ottawa U.”

Sumarah said he was surprised at some of the names who applied for jobs at Carleton. (Ottawa Sun)
From a pure football perspective, it is a huge coup for Carleton to only get a head coach as a coordinator but to also take one from their cross-town rival. It also shows how Carleton, bearing in mind there could be some growing pains in Year 1, is getting ready to hit the ground running (and presumbly passing a bit too, running the 'Canadian wishbone' only works at one OUA school and only up until they met their match physically). Baines' report also notes former Bishop's head coach Leroy Blugh, an eastern Ontario native who coached defensive line for Queen's last season, is a candidate to be defensive coordinator.

(Blugh, as you'll recall, went to Queen's to be closer to family in Napanee, Ont. You can get from that city to Carleton's campus in a shade fewer than two hours. Why would I know that?)

In a more macro sense, this is a bit of a red flag about the turn Ottawa's sports teams have taken under Gélineau's watch. That's two football coaches in two seasons, the other being Denis Piché who's now coaching CEGEP in Gatineau, who have left the post but decided to stay in the national capital region. Meantime, if/when Asselin joins the Ravens, he won't be the only former uOttawa sportsperson with a wardrobe of black-and-red warmup suits. Carleton AD Jennifer Brenning, of course, worked at Ottawa before crossing over. Women's hockey coach Shelley Coolidge and her staff migrated to Bronson Ave. a couple years back. At some point, uOttawa has to take note of what's going on.

Taking a really long view, this might signal a shift in power in CIS football during this brave new world of eligibility restrictions and privately funded programs. Imagine: in 1999 Carleton folded the original Ravens team. Saint Mary's was in the Vanier Cup that fall. Ottawa won the next season. Saint Mary's then went back-to-back in 2001-02 with Sumurah serving ably as Blake Nill's offensive coordinator. Now those powerhouses are losing coaches to Carleton? Plus ça change.
(UPDATE: Be sure to vote, in the sidebar to the right of this post.)

After several reader submissions, intense committee conference calls, and nitpicking over graphic design details, we are happy to present the first CIS Name of the Year tournament bracket.

(click for larger version)

Our four No. 1 seeds are:

Winners will be determined by reader voting — the voting period begins tomorrow with the 4 vs. 5 matchups, and will proceed over the next few weeks until we have a champion.

(Thanks to our own Brian Decker for designing the bracket.)
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