Former Laurier head coach Jeffries joins Mac


(Photo by Nick Lachance)
(Photo by Nick Lachance)

Tuesday afternoon it was confirmed that former Wilfrid Laurier football head coach Gary Jeffries would join the coaching staff at McMaster University next season.

Jeffries, who stepped down as the head coach and manager of football operations on Nov. 1, will now join “good friend” Stefan Ptaszek at McMaster as their special teams coordinator. Ptaszek was Laurier’s offensive coordinator when the Hawks won the Vanier Cup in 2005 with Jeffries as head coach.

“[I was] in communication with Stef and it certainly accelerated since New Years and he had a need down there and I was looking for an opportunity to continue,” Jeffries said. “It certainly won’t be a full time role, but it will work out nicely for me in terms of the time commitment and it’s an opportunity to get back and work with young people.”

When Jeffries was reached Tuesday afternoon, he was heading to Waterloo for the night.

Jeffries joins McMaster after posting a 3-5 season with the Hawks and backing into the playoffs, only to be defeated 34-0 by the Queen’s Gaels in the quarterfinals.

The Marauders meanwhile went 8-0 in the regular season, defeating the Guelph Gryphons 30-13 for the Yates Cup. Mac won the Mitchell Bowl before losing the Vanier Cup to the Laval Rouge et Or 37-14.

Jeffries explained that since his time with Laurier ended, he put a lot of thought into where he would end up in terms of football.

“It’s something that, over the last three months, I’ve had to recognize I certainly missed,” Jeffries said. “It’ll be the last chapter and I’m very fortunate to continue.”

There were speculations that Jeffries was talking to a variety of schools in terms of job opportunities, including the University of Waterloo. However, on Tuesday he would not comment on any of them.

“I don’t think that’s fair. I talked to a few schools but I think that this has just worked out best,” he said.

Jeffries plans on going to Hamilton next week to get acquainted with the McMaster program, saying that he will take “baby steps to get acclimated.”

“But that’s the fun, that’s for sure and [I will] continue with some recruiting and just getting ready for August.”

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