Recruitment season in full swing 

By Russ Cooper

Assistant Coach Brad Collinson (right) gives pointers to Connor Smith (58), Patrick Petraroia (61) and Cedric Ferdinand (30), circa 2008. Magnifying glass

Assistant Coach Brad Collinson (right) gives pointers to Connor Smith (58), Patrick Petraroia (61) and Cedric Ferdinand (30), circa 2008.

Athletics department coaches are hard at work enticing new student athletes to play and study here in September before the March 1 application deadline.

Brad Collinson, assistant football coach and recruiting coordinator, is more than happy they’ve signed a few big ones for the 2010-11 squad.

So far, the team has bagged five of their first choices. Joining the Stingers will be quarterback Tyler Pritty from Markham District HS in Markham, Ont.; defensive tackle Quinn Smith from Toronto’s Birchmount HS; offensive tackle Matt Giammichele from St. Thomas More HS in Hamilton; receiver Michael Harrington from Vanier College; offensive guard Matt Kuhnen and defensive end Matt Meyer, both from the Calgary Colts Junior program.

Women’s hockey coach Les Lawton has been scanning the country for new talent since this past September, (generally the time most coaches begin their hunt). He’s toured from Vancouver to Nova Scotia to find the best to be the bee.

“We’re excited. It’s been a big year for recruiting,” says the 27-year coaching veteran. “There are some really skilled players who are ready to start right away.”

If both the coaches and the player express mutual interest between then and March, they begin negotiations (academic awards and scholarships are often part of the wooing process). Once athletes choose Concordia, they must sign a letter of intent loosely binding them to studying and playing here.

“From an academic point of view, we have to make sure the program is there for them. It’s really about finding the proper combination of athletics and academics,” says Lawton. Once here, student athletes are able to utilize the Academic Coaching Excellence program. Set up four years ago by former assistant registrar Peter Regimbald and now run by Student Transition Centre Advisor Brigeen Badour, athletes are paired with academic coaches to help balance schoolwork and sports.

While Lawton and the women’s team haven’t formally signed any recruits, they’re finalizing eight to 10 for next year’s team. While names can’t be released until the intention is made official, the Journal can report three have committed to the team and plan to sign the letter.

Collinson is optimistic about the 2010-11 football team, even months before the training camp opens on Aug. 15. “We’ll be much stronger next year,” says Collinson. “The kids we’re bringing in and the kids we already have are really talented.”

The recruiting team has shortlisted a few more prospects, and Collinson is extremely encouraged by the pool of players they’re choosing from. “The talent in Canada has grown immensely. There’s more football being played across the country than every before,” he says. “It’s just a matter of convincing the best to come to Concordia.”

He states recent funding enhancements (over $34 million for exercise science) and the new state-of-the-art buildings, including the winterized Stinger Dome, have sweetened the pot for would-be student athletes.


Concordia University