Last season didn’t turn out the way the Concordia Stingers football team hoped it would.
Head coach Brad Collinson was hired last June to replace Mickey Donovan who left the school to join the Montreal Alouettes. With the season starting only two months later, Collinson barely had time to recruit players or effectively implement his system. The 2018-19 season saw the team finish 2-6, losing their last five games and at one point only managing five points over a three game stretch.
Despite this, last season showed some bright spots. Quarterback Adam Vance made some nice progressions under centre despite an overall difficult season. Maurice Simba delivered on his potential and developed into a top prospect, garnered interest on both sides of the border and was eventually picked 29th overall in the CFL draft by the Toronto Argonauts. Michael Sanelli was one of the division’s premier pass rushers, and was selected 39th overall by the Montreal Alouettes.
Going into his second season as head coach, Collinson is finally ready to make his mark on the program. He’s recruited 40 players for this season, with a focus on re-establishing Concordia as an option for top CEGEP players. Collinson also brought in a whole new cast of coaches, including hiring Alex Suprenant as offensive coordinator and former CFL teammate Ed Philion as defensive coordinator, both of whom are coaches with NFL and CFL experience.
Some of the other changes Collinson has made going into this season include introducing strength and conditioning for players during the off-season.
“It’s going to be different. We’re not going to reinvent the wheel, but we are going to do things a little different,” said Collinson. “We met with some high performance people at Concordia to see what we can do differently in the way we practice, and we think we’ve come to a formula that could be beneficial and make us healthier come game day, and also be ready to perform at a high level.”
There are holes to fill, especially on both sides of the line, but Collinson will have a number of core players returning this year.
“It was fun to be able to pick my people and bring them in, and we’re fortunate to have this opportunity to start over,” Collinson told The Concordian. “It wasn’t easy, but it’s what needed to be done.”
This year, with new coaches, a full year to prepare and a number of talented veterans and young talent, Collinson is hoping to field a team that can challenge the usual order of power in the RSEQ division.