Waterloo, ON - Wilfrid Laurier University has rewarded Gary Jeffries
with a three year contract extending to April 2008 after leading the Golden Hawks to a provincial football championship and recording the school’s first perfect season.
“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to coach and manage the football operations for the next three years,” said Jeffries. “We have made progress the past two seasons but there is still work to be done (referring to a Vanier Cup). I am fortunate to be surrounded by some great people and the program has some great support from the President on down.”
Jeffries was named the Manager of Football Operations and Head Coach only two years ago and in that time has created a record of 18-4. The veteran Golden Hawk also broke a 13-year championship draught with a 31-19 victory over the McMaster Marauders to capture the 2004 Yates Cup.
“He has a passion and the commitment, not only for winning but also motivates his players to be the best they can,” said PETER BAXTER
, Laurier’s Director of Athletics and Recreation. “Gary has proven to be one of the top coaches in Canada and we are proud to have him as the leader of our football program.”
, the team’s starting quarterback for the past four years and former rookie of the year was ecstatic with the news of Jeffries multi-year signing. “This is great for football at Laurier. He’s a remarkable person and wonderful to play for.”
Jeffries has been involved in the football program for more than a quarter of a century - including 17 years as the team’s defensive coordinator. The two-time Provincial Coach of the Year and 2003 National Coach of the Year has his share of experience. Seventeen trips to provincial championships and coaching 34 national all-stars has shown his expertise.
“Gary had an outstanding second year as head coach and has shown good leadership on and off the field,” said Laurier President and Vice Chancellor, Dr. Robert Rosehart.
Jeffries came to Wilfrid Laurier in 1970 as an athlete and was an All-Star defensive back for the Hawks. Upon his graduation, he pursued a baseball career with the Detroit Tigers organization. In 1972, Gary left his athletic career and joined the Laurier Athletic Department and has held many roles, but always found a home within football.
“Gary has not only demonstrated his natural coaching ability and expertise, he brought tremendous team thinking to our program,” said Dean of Students David McMurray. “His ‘team first’ philosophy and mentorship has resulted in Laurier’s success on and off the field.”
When asked about the future, Jeffries said, “Things are in place for us to continue to move forward and I’m ready to face the challenges along the way.”
The Golden Hawks will defend their Yates Cup championship in their league opener with an away game on September 5th against Queen’s.
Laurier’s home opener is September 10th against the Windsor Lancers.