Football team’s leader takes position with Edmonton Eskimos
The University of Regina Rams are, for the second time in as many years, looking for a new head coach. Coach Mike Gibson has stepped down in favour of taking a position with the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos. Gibson will serve under new coach Jason Maas in Edmonton. The West Virginia native will hold the position of offensive line coach and run-game coordinator.
In a recent press release announcing Gibson’s resignation, a number of people involved with the Rams, including acting director of athletics Curtis Atkinson and University of Regina, sung his praises.
“I have great respect for the job he’s done here in a short period of time and believe he had a profound impact on our student-athletes and the institution. Mike has an outstanding work ethic, passion for the game, and he does things the right way. He’ll be missed.”
Another key figure in the workings of the Rams, Team President Dan Johnston, also voiced his positive assessment in the athletic department’s piece.
“In his short time with the organization, Coach Gibson had a positive impact on our program in the areas of player recruitment, academic excellence, and strengthening the partnership with the University…We thank Mike for his hard work and wish him and his family the best in the future.”
So, what next? Well, Gibson will return to the CFL ranks, that much is obvious, but the true impact of his resignation may soon be felt. For one, the rest of the recruiting season for the Rams has now been complicated. Without a coach in place, the team will not have a clear direction while it tries to fill out its roster for next season.
While it’s true that Gibson made a significant impact on the team’s culture, continuity is the operative word in CIS sports. Having just rebounded from the loss of long-time leader Frank McCrystal, the Rams will now have to undertake another national search in order to find someone to man the sidelines.
Another question is how appetizing the position is. Winless teams do not often have their pick of qualified candidates. Granted, the Rams did gain some momentum this year. If we ignore the absolute destruction that the Calgary Dino laid on the Ram, the team lost two games by seven, one by three, and the season finale by one, to the of U of S Huskies no less. Academically, it seems that the Rams are in better condition than they have been in previous years, and that the squad will be, at the very least, competitive next season.
All that said, will the Rams attempt to pull from the professional ranks once again, or will they pick from within? Perhaps experienced current Rams employees – Special Teams Coordinator Alex Smith and Defensive Coordinator Phil Dawson come to mind – will be handed the job.
Any coach’s firing will create an unstable environment, but this is particularly true when the person who has resigned was only present for a single season. With any luck, the Rams will be able to secure the services of a coach who is looking to make a lengthy commitment. This is not to speak ill of Gibson’s work, just that the Rams – what with their spotty records as of late – could use a string of productive seasons under the same person.
With this being a recent development, the Carillon will continue to update the situation as it develops.