From Volume 1, Issue 2 Golden Hawk Football News and Notes SEASON IN REVIEW Record 5-3 PLAYOFFS Record 0-1 ALL-TIME RECORD Record 207-96-7 CIAU ALL-STARS Don Ruiz, DB Alan Ruby, DB Kevin Johnson, DB OUA ALL-STARS Rob Vickers, OT Kojo Millington, DL Corey Grant, WR Eric Schwab, DE Scott O’Hara, K Ed Becker, P Dino Dimarino, LB DATES TO REMEMBER Spring Football Camp April 26 - May 1 WLU Coaches Clinic April 30 - May 1 All-Canadian Camp July 8- July 11
the home of
Golden Hawk Football
are back on track
Entering the 1998 OUA football season the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks had one clear goal to meet, which was getting back to the playoffs after missing them for the first time this decade. Led by Head Coach Rick Zmich the Golden Hawks broke camp with a solid mix of experienced veterans and a talented recruiting class. The season opened with the Hawks facing off against their cross-town rival Waterloo Warriors, who had defeated the Hawks twice in ‘97. Yet again the Warriors were too much for the Hawks to handle and the season opened much the way ‘97 had ended with a loss. Things didn’t get any easier from there though as the Hawks had to travel to London to face the Mustangs with the risk of falling to 0-2 and causing them to refocus on their early season goal of a post season spot. Despite jumping out to an early lead behind quarterback Adam Lane, who making his first career start the Hawks couldn’t hold on as Western dominated the second half to win 38-30 on a last minute touchdown. With the season in jeopardy and Lane on the shelf with a broken collarbone, the Hawks shifted the focus of their offensive attack to a pair of fellows named Justin. Strong and fast, big and tough took over as the Hawks ground game soared to new heights. In wins over Guelph, Windsor, and Toronto
United together, the Golden Hawks will look to use the 1998 season as a stepping stone to new heights.
in weeks 3, 4, and 5 Laurier racked up 985 yards rushing and nine touchdowns on the ground. With their record above the .500 mark, the playoffs were once again insight. A rematch with Guelph loomed large for the Hawks who cracked the CIAU top ten in the week leading up to the contest. Although it wasn’t pretty the Hawks managed to pull out a 26-15 win in front of a provincial wide ONTV audience. The season was then highlighted with a five game winning streak as the Hawks rolled over McMaster in week 7, by a 56-29 score on home turf. The win vaulted the Hawks to their highest national ranking of the season at number six, solidified a playoff spot and third place in the OUA. Results that qualify as a solid turn around from 1997. The season was not complete though as on the final week a trip to York was in the way of a playoff rematch with
Waterloo. Not only did the Hawks suffer a crushing 13-6 defeat to the Yeomen, veteran defensive back Alan Ruby suffered a severely broken thumb. With Ruby wrapped and ready the Hawks took to the field for their biggest game of the season and a rematch with their week one opponent. In front of a sold out crowd at University Stadium the Warriors jumped out to an early lead and the Hawks could not recover, ending their season with a first round playoff loss. Despite the early exit from the playoffs the Hawks still had a great deal to be happy about. A national ranking at #9 when the season ended and a very solid line-up that gives 1999 the chance to be one of the greatest ever for the Hawks.
Former Hawks back on the
gridiron Homecoming ‘98 saw a new event come to life for former Golden Hawks. Approximately 30 former varsity football players returned for a touch football game played at University Stadium. The 60’s, 70’s & 80’s team took on a team of 90’s alumni. It was a close fought game with the 90’s team coming out on top by a narrow margin of 7, no maybe it was 14 points. The 90’s team had to compete against zone coverage that featured as many as 10 players on defense with only 7 players on offense. The 60’s, 70’s and 80’s team were lead by Doug Wood ‘68 and Randy McGlynn ‘72, while the 90’s team were lead by Brent Stucke ‘93 and Reinhardt Keller ‘93. Everyone enjoyed some food and beverage following the game while watching videotape of the day’s events. Thanks to all those who came out and took part in what shall certainly become an annual event.
Donation the 5th Quarter
An anonymous donation made to the 5th Quarter club will help pay for renovations to University Stadium. The mony will help fund changes to the current concession area and create a “state of the art” boardroom for the Golden Hawks. Anyone wishing to contribute to the project or the Golden Hawk Club please contact Brian Breckles in Development and Alumni Relations at (519) 884-1970 ext. 3864.
Rick Zmich Head Coach
1998, marked a season which can be best described as "Back On Track". The strong nucleus of newcomers from our 1997 and 1998 recruiting classes matured and developed each week. I firmly believe there are several significant reasons which contributed to a much improved 1998 campaign. They include: Administrative support, facility upgrades, tradition and alumni involvement, talent pool and coaching and support staff. Laurier, in my opinion, is unparalleled at this time with other football playing institutions in Canada. Our President and ViceChancellor, Dr. Bob Rosehart has a genuine interest in the development of our student-athletes. Along with attending virtually all of our football games, "Dr. Bob" has made himself readily available to meet many Blue Chip recruits during campus visits. It is common place to see Dean McMurray (Dean of Students), Dr. Rosehart, and John Cleghorn (Chancellor) at our games. Their support and interest in Golden Hawk Football certainly provides us with a tremendous amount of support. A new locker room facility
and weight training center have certainly energized our program by enhancing our athletes training environment, and giving us a first calss facility to show recruits. The locker room project could not have been completed without the generous support of many of our alumni. It certainly provides us with a proud home filled with rich tradition. The completion of our weight training and fitness facility is another example of vision by our administration. Special thanks should be given to Peter Baxter, WLU’s new Director for his efforts in this endeavor. Peter is the former Athletic Director at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus where he established deep football roots. It wasthere that Peter built the football operations of the Toronto Argos into the back of his campus. His expertise in football operations has given tremendous new focus toward operational support of Golden Hawk football.
This past year also marked a resurgence in harnessing our dialogue with our alumni. The Locker Room, 5th Quarter Club Newsletter and the return of Rich Newbrough and Tuffy Knight have all been major contributions to help our return to national prominence. Rich and Tuffy both assisted greatly with our current operational needs as well as enabling the present Golden Hawk Program to solidify its roots of tradition and winning heritage. Our players and coaches have benefitted greatly from the experience offered by these two former great Golden Hawk Coaches. Like many successful Golden Hawk teams of the past, the 1998 edition was laden with talent at various
positions. This was evident with the selection of 12 League All-Stars and 3 AllCanadians, all of whom have eligibility remaining. The recognition of 12 conference All-stars was the most by a Golden Hawk team in over a decade. This certainly bodes well entering the 1999 campaign. Listed below are the All-stars and All-Canadians along with their position and current year of eligibility. Don Ruiz, DB - 3 1st Team OUA 1st Team CIAU Al Ruby, DB - 4 1st Team OUA 2nd Team CIAU Special Teams 1st Team OUA Kevin Johnson, DB - 2 1st Team OUA 2nd Team CIAU Returner 1st Team OUA Rob Vickers, OT - 3 1st Team OUA Kojo Millington, DL - 3 1st Team OUA Corey Grant, WR - 4 2nd Team OUA Eric Schwab, DE - 3 2nd Team OUA Scott O'Hara, K - 4 2nd Team OUA Ed Becker, P -1 2nd Team OUA Dino Dimarino, LB - 4 2nd Team OUA Coupled with another year of strong recruiting, our outlook for 1999 is a team in the hunt for a Yates Cup. In closing I an pleased to say that the coaches re looking forward to the upcoming seaso and would like to thank all the alumni, sponsors and friends of the Golden Hawk football programwhich help maintain our rich tradition If you have any questions or comments please do not heistate to call. Rick Zmich
return to the fold When the doors to the 1998 football season opened there were a pair of familiar faces standing at the threshold. Much to the delight of all those associated with Golden Hawk athletics, both Rich Newbrough and Tuffy Knight returned to the Golden Hawk football coaching staff. Officially the legends of the game were consultants to the Department of Athletics taking on roles which included more than just football. "We just want to be able to help out where we can," noted Knight. "We will do whatever we are asked, the last thing we want to do is interfere with Rick [Zmich] and his coaches." The idea was initiated by another name synonomous with the history of WLU, Fred Nichols. The retired Dean of Students approached both Knight and Newbrough late in the summer of 1998
with his idea, and the rest was easy. “Fred came up with the idea, and then we talked about it with Rick and Peter Baxter and everyone agreed,” added Knight, the CIAU's all-time leader in victories. “We saw a total commitment from the university to a good program,” added Newbrough in a training camp interview. “It is great to be part of the big things that are happening.” Both Newbrough and Knight will be invloved with many projects in the upcoming months including a variety of alumni related events. "We want to do more than just coach football, " noted Knight. "We will also get involved with our alumni to make them feel part of the program." The two will however share their knowledge with up and coming Golden
Hawks with the hope of making their mark on a team which aims for a return to the Vanier Cup. “It is great to have them [Newbrough and Knight] around,” noted All-Canadian defensive back Alan Ruby. “Their knowledge of the game and coaching ability will make our team much better.” Ruby’s tone was echoed by Zmich who took over the helm from Newbrough in 1994. “They will lend their experience, and will certainly be positive role models and will benefit us both on and off the field.” It is easy to see that the two well respected coaches made their mark on the program this season and will do so for many years to come.
Newbrough (right) and Knight, pictured here at the annual WLU Athletic Hall of Fame dinner were back on the sidelines at University Stadium in 1998.
not hire a
Anyone who has opportunities for long term or summer employment and would be interested in hiring a current member of the Hawks is asked to call Rick Zmich at (519) 884-0710 ext. 2185.
Former Golden Hawk honoured by CIAU In 1988 the CIAU introduced the Gino Fracas award to recognize outstanding career service by a volunteer assistant footballcoach. That same year Mark Forsythe (‘80) stepped on to the field at McMaster University to begin his tenure as an assistant football coach. The former Golden Hawk defensive back took over the role of defensive co-ordinator and after ten years of dedication, and commitment, to not only McMaster but CIAU football, Forsythe was recognized for his service. “It came as a real surprise,” noted Forsythe, who began his playing career with the Hawks in 1976. “The game was great to me and I just wanted to give something back, I never thought about the honours that would come with it.” Forsythe’s five year playing career was followed by four years of coaching experience at Mount Allison prior to joing the Marauders. Although his time with McMaster has not always been filled with glory, it has been very rewarding. “We had some tough times,” added Forsythe. “It is great to see the way things have turned around, and recgonition like this makes me realize how fortunate I am to have the opportunity to be involved.” Now a teacher in Hamilton’s Public School Board Forsythe still remembers what got him started on the football field and helped him acheive success. “The award brought back great memories,” noted Forsythe who now concentrates his efforts on coaching the defensive secondary. “The time I spent at Laurier are days that I will never forget.”
1999 G olden H awk S chedule September 11 Guelph at WLU 2 p.m. September 18 WLU at York 2 p.m. September 25 McMaster at WLU 2 p.m. (Homecoming)
Donnie Ruiz (second from left), pictured here with (l to r) Gary Jefferies (Defensive Co-Ordinator), Rich Hooland (Defeisve Back Coach), and Rick Zmich (Head Coach) was named a first team All-Canadian in 1998.
Ruiz headlines all-canadian class For the first time since 1995 theWilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks had a first team All-Canadian as defensive back Donnie Ruiz garnered the highest honour in CIAU football. Ruiz, who broke the Golden Hawk single season interception record when he picked off his seventh pass of the season against the McMaster Marauders in week 7 ended a two year drought for the Hawks on the CIAU’s first all-star team. Ruiz, who came to the Golden Hawks in 1997 after spending parts of two seasons at Bemidji State University in Minnesota, where he played as a running back. Ruiz’s selection made him Laurier’s 48th All-Canadian over the past 30 seasons. A native of Stoney Creek, Ruiz is a fine arts major, who in 1998 played his first full season for the Hawks. After transferring Ruiz was eligible for only the final three games of 1997 but burst onto the scene in ‘98. He picked off three passes in the first three games of the season including a pair against Guelph in week 3. Amazingly enough
Ruiz out forward such a great seaso despite a nagging hamstring injurythat kept him out of the starting line-up in the first game of the season. Alan Ruby and Kevin Johnson, rounded out the trio of All-Canadian defensive backs wearing Hawk purple and gold. They joined Ruiz with AllCanadian honours, when they were were named to the second All-sSar team. Johnson, a first year Hawk kept pace with Ruiz all season ending up with 6 interceptions, while Ruby whose reputation preceded him and caused opposing teams to try and pick on Ruiz and Johnson, added three interceptions this season. In total the Hawks had 18 picks with the All-Canadian trio accounting for 16. Ruby also led the Hawks with 72 tackles this season. Ironically with the trio being named to the All- Canadian team the Hawks’ last five CIAU All-Stars have been defensive backs. Robbie Symons (‘96) and Chris Readguard (‘95) preceded the terrific trio as All-Canadian defensive backs.
October 2 WLU at Western 2 p.m. October 9 WLU at Windsor 2 p.m. October 16 Carleton at WLU 2 p.m. October 23 WLU at Toronto 2 p.m. October 30 Waterloo at WLU 1 p.m. November 6 OUA SEMI-FINAL 1 p.m. November 13 YATES CUP
November 20 CIAU SEMI-FINAL 12 p.m. November 27 VANIER CUP