Former UW coach now a Hawk

As soon as the University of Waterloo announced that it was suspending its entire football program, Carl Zender resigned as the Warriors’ receivers coach to lead an appeal. Now, with that appeal having failed, Zender has joined his son Dustin along with seven other former UW players in becoming a Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawk.

“Carl was certainly distraught with what had happened over at Waterloo,” said Laurier manager of football operations and head coach Gary Jeffries. “He felt very strongly that the kids should be able to get an opportunity elsewhere and he wanted to do the same thing”

With Laurier already having two receivers coaches on staff in Steven Frake and Bob Clapperton, Zender will join the Hawks as an offensive quality control coach, working under offensive co-ordinator Ryan Pyear. But on top of his football expertise, Jeffries believes Zender can also help the newest Hawks get accustomed to their new team.

“He’ll be a wonderful transition piece and a familiar face for the kids from Waterloo,” said Jeffries. “At the same time we saw him as a guy who could really help us offensively, another set of eyes, bringing in some new ideas from another program, certainly someone we could learn from.”

It was rumoured that Warriors’ offensive co-ordinator Joe Paopao – who has worked for four different CFL teams, including serving as the head coach of the B.C. Lions and Ottawa Renegades – would also be joining the Hawks’ staff.

However, in a statement released by Laurier Athletics on Aug. 19, it was clarified that Paopao will join the Hawks only as a guest observer before the start of the UW training camp.

In addition to the new coach in Zender, three more former UW players have joined the WLU roster. After Dustin Zender -a former provincial all-star at receiver-, defensive end Andrew Heely and defensive backs Patrick McGarry, Mitch Nicholson and Cory Allen joined the Hawks earlier this summer, Jeffries confirmed that defensive tackles Steven Ples and Will Fletcher as well as offensive lineman Matt Vonk will also be also be donning purple and gold in 2010.

While there was the potential for as many as 11 former Warriors to join the Hawks roster, Jeffries believes that these eight players will be the final additions to the team prior to training camp, which is set to open tomorrow at University Stadium.