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Gary Jeffries recieves his Coach of the Year award from 'Tuffy' Knight
Gary Jeffries recieves his Coach of the Year award from 'Tuffy' Knight
Jeffries & VanMoerkerke earn awards
HAMILTON, Ont. - Ontario University Athletics announced the major award winners for men's football and Laurier's coaching staff was honoured with two awards.

Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks head coach Gary Jeffries is the Dave “Tuffy” Knight Award winner as OUA coach of the year, presented by Centaur Products, Inc. In his seventh season as manager of football operations and head coach of the Golden Hawks, Jeffries led a young team to a 6-2 record and second place in the OUA. Highly regarded as a great motivator, Jeffries’ Hawks have been one of the
top programs in the nation throughout his tenure. This is his fourth coach of the year award following three straight from 2003-2005 when he was the named the CIS coach of the year in 2003.

In 1973, he was hired at Laurier as an assistant football coach and recreation director. From 1984 to 1988, Jeffries was also the women’s basketball coach at Laurier. In 1989, he took a break from football and
coached the men’s basketball team until 1996. In 1994, Rick Zmich convinced Jeffries to return to the game which he loves so much. Jeffries has coached 31 football seasons at Laurier, including 19 as defensive coordinator. He was named the interim head coach midway through the 2002 season as a result of a labour dispute, and was named the full-time manager of football operations and head coach in 2003.

Jeffries has coached in 19 Yates Cups including championship victories in the 1978, 1987, 2004 and 2005 seasons. Since taking over at the helm of the Hawks, the team has gone 57-13-0-1 including victories in two Yates Cups (2004, 2005), one Uteck Bowl (2005), and one Vanier Cup (2005). Coach Jeffries has coached over 700 games in total for the university (both football and basketball), and his passion for Wilfrid Laurier sport remains undying. He is the OUA nominee for the Frank Tindall Trophy as CIS coach of the year.

The OUA volunteer coach of the year is Ron VanMoerkerke, who is in his 11th year coaching with the Golden Hawks. He returned again to the role of defensive coordinator, a position he has held since the 2003 season. VanMoerkerke’s track record with Laurier is a long and storied one; he played in the late 1980s and was on the 1987 Yates Cup championship team.In 1988, he received the WLU Alumni Association academic and athletic achievement award. In 1989, he was named an OUA first-team all-star linebacker and team MVP.

At present, VanMoerkerke is a teacher and the department head of social science at Eastwood Collegiate High School in Kitchener, Ont. Prior to becoming the defensive coordinator with the Hawks, he was the head coach at Eastwood and Galt Collegiate.


Most Valuable Player – MICHAEL FAULDS (Western)
President’s Trophy (Stand-up Defensive Player of the Year) – John Surla
J.P. Metras (Linemen of the Year) – Matt Morencie (Windsor)
Norm Marshall (Rookie of the Year) – Cody Lynch (McMaster)
Russ Jackson Nominee – T.J. Leeper (Queen’s)
Dave “Tuffy” Knight Award (Coach of the Year) – Gary Jeffries (Laurier)
Volunteer Coach of the Year – Ron Van Moerkerke (Laurier)
Officials Award of Merit – Ron MacVinnie
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U Sports Top 10
1. Laval (1)
2. Western (2)
3. Montreal (3)
4. Calgary (4)
5. Wilfrid Laurier (5)
6. UBC (6)
7. Acadia (10)
8. Saint Mary's (NR)
9. Regina (9)
10. McMaster (7)
As of Nov. 7, 2017
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