Aside from reffing, coaching has to be one of the more under appreciated jobs in football. Mess up and the blame gets put on both the players and the coaches. Do a spectacular job and the players (though they obviously deserve a great deal of it) get the credit. It’s a job that has some striking similarities to garbage picking, it’s only noticed if you don’t do a good job of it.
It is clear after Friday’s 39-3 evisceration of the Alberta Golden Bears that just as the players appear to be hitting top form, the coaches are bringing their ‘A’ game as well.
The coaching staff, lead by head coach Brian Towriss, have from day one put each and every player in a position where they can succeed. It being his 26th year at the helm, Towriss has seen it all, has pushed every button and has fielded many winning teams over the yaers. He’s not that garbage can kicking, fiery and explosive coach who uses rants and and raw-raw techniques to get the most out of his players. He commands a strong work ethic and he puts in an even stronger one himself. His assistant coaches then follow suit. He’s up front as to what he wants to accomplish as a team and won’t expect anything less from anyone who comes in and expects to play.
This highly respected reputation and attitude is one reason why the team has brought in a wealth of talented recruits from not only within the province, but surrounding provinces as well. Tyler O ‘Gorman, Cory Jones, Laurence Nixon, Travis Gorski and Jeff Hassler are all players who could have went with the more convenient choice and played for the nearest university, but instead opted to commit to the Huskies. A host of Regina players have also come over from across the province to don Huskies green. It’s been well documented that the Huskies have brought in one of the best recruiting classes in team history this year. Many of those rookies have been able to shine in the spotlight and make a difference. While this is an obvious indicator of their talent level, the coaching staff has used them the right way and coached them to such a high level that they are reaching their potential.
The following quote was from a major league baseball player from the 1960′s named Brian Williams. It proves a great deal what the coaches this year have done for the players:
“You’re only as good as your coach thinks you are”
It seems that each and every year at the start of training camp, Towriss indicates that the players he’s brought in have the potential to win a national championship. He pounds that belief into those players, and this year they look like a team that’s finally gelling and are ready for a cup run.
Sitting there watching the commanding first half performance in which the Huskies jumped out to a 30-3 lead, it was truly hard to believe that these were the same two teams that had gone against each other just a month earlier. But the team had clearly learned from their mistakes and were going to make sure that the same performance wasn’t going to happen again. The defense changed things up and confused a Golden Bears offense that seemed lost the entire game. The Bears defense had had a hay-day picking off Nixon three times in the first game but they had no answer this time around. The accolades can be spread around to a group of 11 assistants. Defensive Coordinator Ed Carlton has consistently fielded a a defense that is one of the best in the country, while Quarterbacks coach and Offensive Coordinaotr Brent Schneider has done his job in assuring that Laurence Nixon is hitting his peak at the right time. It has been a team effort.
The day after each game, the coaches are putting in extra hours to show the players where they went wrong, where they can improve, and how to prepare for the next opponent. The improvements have been noticeable as we’ve seen in the last three lopsided victories, two teams heading in different directions. One team is well-prepared, fine-tuned and ready for anything, while the other seems to get caught by surprise and doesn’t appear willing to do whatever it takes to win. This is what sets the Huskies program apart from any other in Canada West. They’ve trained their players to prove themselves, no matter how much hype they’ve been given.
Having been a Vanier Cup finalist three times out of the last six years, players and fans alike are tired of getting so close, only to have the title slip out of their hands. From day one we’ve all been hoping that this could be the year that that “Buffalo Bills of the CIS” label gets thrown away for good.
And from day one, the coaching staff has given us every reason to believe it really is.