Coach Faulds talks new additions and transition to a remote offseason
In what has been an abnormal offseason for a variety of factors, Coach Faulds has remained busy as he shuffles around his coaching staff and solidifies their commitments for the 2020 recruiting class.
After a second consecutive season of finishing 4-4 and missing out on the playoffs in the final game of the season, Coach Faulds has spent the offseason retooling his coaching staff and recruiting some of the best players across the country.
The Golden Hawks football program announced that they have hired two former alumni to their coaching staff. Jesse Alexander and Vince Flamia are both former student-athletes with Laurier and spent time as a part of Coach Faulds’ staff in 2016 when Laurier won the Yates Cup.
Faulds announced that Alexander would rejoin the Hawks and assume the role of special teams coordinator and linebacker coach, while Flamia returns to the Golden Hawks as a recruiting coordinator and assumes the role of defensive backs coach, replacing Dwayne Cameron’s role that he had held for the past seven years.
“Everything worked out perfectly, I couldn’t have envisioned a better scenario. Coach Flamia and Alexander were both on our 2016 staff when they won the Yates Cup. That success led to us losing both of them to other schools across the province, however, having the ability to bring them back is amazing,” Coach Faulds said of the two new additions.
Faulds is thrilled to have more familiar faces around the team, having already hired former alumni Todd Galloway as the offensive coordinator a few months back.
Flamia and Alexander were both vital pieces on the 2016 coaching staff that saw the Golden Hawks win the Yates Cup and be named team of the year. As Faulds mentioned, the success of the 2016 team propelled both Alexander and Flamia to both get full-time coaching opportunities around the OUA.
Jesse Alexander was a part of the Golden Hawks organization as a student-athlete and coach from 2002-2016. As a student-athlete, Alexander was a force at linebacker, being named a two time All-Canadian. He won the Yates Cup twice and the Vanier Cup once, as a player and won another in 2016 as a coach. Alexander was inducted into the Golden Hawks Hall of Fame in 2011.
Vince Flamia spent two years with the Hawks as a player in 2004 and 2005 and coached the Hawks from 2011-2016 as a special team’s coach and defensive assistant. For the past three years, Flamia has served as the Windsor Lancer’s special teams coordinator for the past three years, overseeing one of the top special team units in the province.
Flamia will return as the defensive backs coach now with the Golden Hawks, replacing long-time assistant coach Dwayne Cameron, who was signed by the Calgary Stampeders. Faulds mentioned the importance of Cameron throughout the years.
“First and foremost, we were excited and happy for him to coach professionally,” Coach Faulds said.
In addition to the coaching staff, Laurier has also brought in a standout student-athlete as part of their 2020 recruiting class. The men’s football team announced the signing of Quarterback Taylor Elgersma from Oakridge Secondary School in London.
Elgersma is a prototype build for a quarterback, at 6’5 and 205 pounds, he possesses a great balance of size and strength. Elgersma is without a doubt a big arm quarterback, his highlight tape is flooded with deep throws. The power and accuracy Elgersma displayed in his high school years and with the Ontario Provincial Football League propelled him to become one of the top quarterback prospects in the province.
“Elgersma is a tall, strong arm, athletic quarterback who can throw the ball down the field … he has a great opportunity to compete hopefully in the fall of 2020,” Coach Faulds said of his new quarterback.
Elgersma threw for nearly 1500 yards and had 15 touchdowns in seven games with his high school team last year. Last summer with the London Junior Mustangs, Elgersma led his team to the championship game completing 60 per cent of his passes for 1128 yards and nine touchdowns. Elgersma only threw two interceptions in the eight games as well.
Coach Michael Faulds was not only impressed by the on-field success but also the work ethic Elgersma displays and his concentration to the game. “[Elgersma] also has over a 90 average in school and has been super impressive in the first few weeks that we have had him… you can tell that he is a sponge that is wanting to learn.”
Faulds has been impressed with the whole team during what is an unusual time, given the COVID-19 pandemic. While there is uncertainty around the season and on-field drills have been put on hold, Coach Faulds has been looking at the positive side of things.
“It sucks that we can’t have face-to-face meetings with the player, but there are some positives, the attendance has been 100 per cent at all of our staff and player meetings… because of the isolation, you have everyone’s full attention,” Coach Faulds said.
The team’s strength and conditioning coach has been providing the players with home workouts and Faulds has applauded the concentration and participation of his players and staff through the offseason.
“We can do everything, other than the physical aspect, throwing the ball down the field or tackling, but we can do everything else and even at a higher level because there is 100 per cent concentration without distraction,” Coach Faulds said.
While the team is looking at the uncertain times as a glass half full, Faulds remained optimistic and hopeful that we could get to the other side of this pandemic and see some real football again.
The Golden Hawks have had an impressive offseason already as Coach Faulds has refined his coaching staff and put together a solid recruiting class. Although the season remains uncertain, one thing is for certain, the Golden Hawks team is eager to get back on the field and back into the playoffs.