Thursday, April 19, 2012

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.


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7 comments:

  1. Keep an eye on the return of coach Bellefeuille with his good friend AD Luc Gélineau back with the horshish team...

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  2. uOttawa has lost several coaches in several sports in recent years. They have fallen behind rivals in what they are willing to pay.

    The AD is also underpaid for the size of the operation he runs at a 40,000 student university.--compared to what others pay. Don't be shocked if even he goes elsewhere soon.

    The bleeding will not stop unless uOttawa decides to pay as much as its rivals.

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  3. Mr. Sager's absense from the CIS blogosphere doesn't appear to have dulled his love for all things purple.

    I can only assume that the Sager Party invite to the Marshall Christmas party was lost in the mail.

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  4. What was that? Sorry, I had a Queen's Vanier Cup ring and a McMaster Vanier Cup ring plugging my ears.

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  5. "What was that? Sorry, I had a Queen's Vanier Cup ring and a McMaster Vanier Cup ring plugging my ears."

    Best line ever! It made me giggle.

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  6. CanadaFootballChats reports that OC Chris Coulson has left the Gee-Gees for the Ravens.

    Here is the kicker. Coulson was offered the Ottawa interim HC job. He is employed as a teacher. uOttawa did not offer him as much as he makes as a teacher, so he left instead.

    As I wrote in a reply above, the bleeding will not stop until uOttawa realizes that it must pay a larger salary. Thay have fallen behind in what they pay compared to their major competitors.

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  7. It looks like uOttawa got the (my)message. These two quotes appeared in the Ottawa Citizen and Sun last week.



    Quote from the Citizen
    , though the U of O will be elevating the football program, and others, to “Flagship” status in the coming months, meaning more resources will be allocated to the program. It will also bring the coaching salaries more in line with other CIS programs in Ontario.



    Quote from the Sun

    While the Gee-Gees seem ready to ramp up the football program with more cash, Carleton has already made a splash, hiring Sumarah as the coach, and bringing in former Gee-Gees JP Asselin and Chris Coulson as assistants

    ReplyDelete