Category Archives: Top Stories

Saskatchewan Ready To Rush To A Pair Of Games On The Weekend

The Saskatchewan Rush have a long road ahead of them this weekend, literally.

The defending NLL champs, fresh off their bye week will host Calgary tonight at Sasktel Centre (Ball Drop is at 7:30pm on 98 Cool).

The 7-and-3 Rush will look to add to the woes of the Roughnecks who have lost two straight and are in the basement of the West Division.

Following the game Saskatchewan will hop a flight to Denver to play the Colorado Mammoth, who sit second, right behind the Rush.

A win by Keenan’s Crew at home coupled with a Calgary loss on Saturday to New England, OR a Rush win in Denver and Saskatchewan will clinch a play-off spot.

In addition to the contest tonight it’s Lacrosse OUT Bullying night featuring Brett The Hitman Hart.

Here’s are the numbers heading into tonight’s contest:

B-T Called To The Hall

The Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum’s stellar Class of 2017 features the Canadian Football League running back with the most consecutive 1,000 yard seasons, the game’s leading passer, one of its’ top tacklers, its all-time leading receiver, an Alberta football stalwart and a legendary university coach from Saskatchewan.

“Every class is special and this one is exemplary,” said Mark DeNobile, Executive Director of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum (CFHOF), as he officially announced the names of this year’s inductees at a celebration event at the new Mosaic Stadium.

“The Inductees are Kelvin Anderson, Anthony Calvillo, Mike O’Shea and Geroy Simon in the player category. In the Builder category, long time administrator Stan Schwartz and recently retired Coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies, Brian Towriss have been selected.”

The introduction of the class is one of the highlights of Mark’s CFL Week, a new series of signature events that celebrate Canadian football and herald the approach of the upcoming Canadian Football League season, which kicks off this June. Formal induction ceremonies for this year’s CFHOF class will be held later this year, at the Hall of Fame game in Hamilton on September15th and during the week prior to the 105th Grey Cup presented by Shaw in Ottawa.

Here’s a closer look at its members:

BRIAN TOWRISS, BUILDER

A former defensive tackle for the University of Saskatchewan Huskies,

Huskies Name Flory Head Coach – FULL AUDIO

Scott Flory will lead a new era of Huskie football at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S).

You can hear the entire news conference as well as the post-conference scrums with Head Coach Flory, and receiver Mitch Hillis right here.

The 40-year-old former nine-time Canadian Football League all-star and three-time Grey Cup champion has been hired as the new head coach of the U of S Huskies football team.

Flory, who also served as head of the CFL Players Association following a 15-year professional playing career, is a former Huskie football standout who helped lead the team to two Vanier Cup national championship titles in 1996 and 1998 and has spent the previous three seasons serving as the Huskies’ offensive co-ordinator. He takes over from Brian Towriss, who had served as Huskies head coach for the past 33 years and left the program as the winningest university football coach in the country.

For Flory, it’s the chance of a lifetime to serve as the head coach of the football program that helped develop him into a CFL star.

“I am truly honoured and humbled to be selected as the head coach,” said Flory, who played five seasons with the Huskies from 1994 to 1998 and was twice named a CIS All-Canadian. “As a University of Saskatchewan football and engineering alumnus, I left this school and football program with the life skills necessary to be successful. After my playing career was over, being a head coach was a career aspiration of mine and to do it at my alma mater is a dream come true.”

Flory was selected following an extensive search that included applicants from across North America. The selection committee was chaired by Chad London, the dean of the College of Kinesiology, and also featured former Huskie and current CFLer Patrick Neufeld, Football Canada president Kim Wudrick, Huskie athletic director Basil Hughton and U of S women’s basketball and national team head coach Lisa Thomaidis.

London said Flory was the perfect fit to give the historic program a fresh new start.

“We were looking for the best possible coach to lead the program and Scott’s vision for the future is the change we needed at this time,” said London. “Obviously credentials and experience were important, but we were also looking for the right fit for our student-athletes, for our university and for our community. Scott is passionate, inspiring and dedicated and is truly committed to the development of our student-athletes. He also knows what it takes to win and return the program to national prominence.”

A native of Regina, Flory was a third-round draft pick of the Montreal Alouettes in the 1998 CFL draft and went on to twice earn the league’s most outstanding offensive lineman award. He is excited to bring a new approach to Huskie football, while also continuing to build on the traditions and commitment to excellence that the program has always been known for.

“As a student-athlete, Huskie football taught me the meaning of maturity, responsibility, hard work, respect and the commitment to excellence necessary to be a champion,” said Flory, who earned a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at the U of S. “In respecting what I learned, this is a big opportunity for this program to grow, change and move forward. There will be a shifting approach to how we handle football. Everything will be under the microscope, analyzed and changed, if necessary, in order to pursue excellence.”

The Huskies posted a 5-3 record in the Canada West conference last season before being eliminated in the first round of the playoffs by the Calgary Dinos. The Huskies will return to the field for the first time under Flory when the team kicks off spring camp in May at Griffiths Stadium in PotashCorp Park.

Doubles Done In Saskatchewan?

The Saskatchewan Roughriders have traded the CFL playing rights of international quarterback Darian Durant to the Montreal Alouettes in exchange for a fourth round selection (32nd overall) in the 2017 CFL Draft and a conditional 2nd round selection in the 2018 CFL Draft.

Durant spent the previous 11 seasons with the Green and White after originally joining the team ahead of the 2006 season. Through 157 career regular season games, the University of North Carolina product sits second among franchise quarterbacks with 3,519 attempts, 2,186 completions, and 28,136 yards while sitting third with 149 passing touchdowns.

The 34-year-old carries a 58-54-1 record in 113 career regular season starts.

He was named a West Division All-Star in 2009 and 2013 and is a two-time Grey Cup champion winning in 2007 and 2013.

Huskies Name Interim Head Coaches

Huskie Athletics is pleased to announce University of Saskatchewan alumni Brian Guebert and Scott Flory as the interim co-head coaches for football.

Guebert has spent the past four seasons as special team coordinator for the squad, while Flory has been the offensive coordinator since 2014. Both were previously full-time assistant coaches with the football program.

“Scott Flory and Brian Guebert are strong choices for the interim head coach position,” said athletic director Basil Hughton. “Both have been a part of the Huskie family as student-athletes, alumni and assistant coaches, as well, they have excellent coaching resumes. The student-athletes are our top priority and we feel this will create stability and support for them during this transition time.”

The two will work in conjunction to coordinate all aspects of preparation and training for the 2017 football season.

“Both Coach Flory and Coach Guebert have made positive impacts to our student-athlete careers,” said Kyle Siemens, quarterback and team captain. “As former student-athletes, they know firsthand what it takes to be successful as a student and an athlete.”

U of S Apologies Over Handling of Towriss Departure

The University of Saskatchewan has apologized for their handling of the announced resignation of Head Coach Brian Towriss last week.

After a hastily called news conference last Monday, where the Huskies Head Coach of 33 years announced he was stepping down, there has been significant push-back from the community as well as current and former Huskie athletes.

Yesterday on the Huskie athletics website an apology (below) from University of Saskatchewan President Peter Stoicheff was published. However, a news release or media availability was not issued.

The Huskies hope to name an interim Head Coach next month with a full-time replacement in place by the end of February.

A message from President Stoicheff and Coach Brian Towriss
Dec 27, 2016

Statement from University of Saskatchewan President Peter Stoicheff

B-T Steps Down As H-C –> With AUDIO

After 33 years as head coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies football team, Brian Towriss is stepping down.

Affectionately known as BT, Towriss, made the announcement Monday afternoon after four decades with the Huskie Athletics football program. Towriss took over the Huskie program in 1984 after serving as an assistant coach to Val Schneider since 1980. He spent four seasons as a defensive lineman for the Huskies from 1974-77 and was named a conference all-star in 1974.

Towriss, 60, holds the national record in wins by a football coach at 196 and has coached the most games in University sport with 315.

“I want to thank all of those that have supported me throughout my career at the University of Saskatchewan and all of the fans in Huskie Nation,” said Towriss. “I have had a fulfilling and wonderful career here. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my wife, Vicki, and my two wonderful children, Kellie and Jake. I have also had the pleasure of working with a loyal group of coaches and support staff that have shared my vision and passion for the program for a longtime. I am proud to say that we won a lot of football games and we did it with honesty, respect and hard work. I wish the program continued success and a return to national prominence.”

The Moose Jaw native has led Saskatchewan to three Vanier Cup titles, 11 Hardy Cup titles and nine Vanier Cup appearances. He is a nine-time Canada West coach of the year and one-time national coach of the year. In his tenure, 154 Huskies have been named conference all-stars, 71 All-Canadians and 160 to a Huskie or national all-academic team. He has coached 47 players who went on to play in the CFL.

He joined an elite group in 2007 when he was handed Saskatchewan’s highest honour by the Government of Saskatchewan, the Order of Merit.

“BT has had a long distinguished career as a coach, but moreover as a well-respected leader in sport across the Canada West and U Sports,” said athletic director and long-time friend Basil Hughton. “He has impacted many young athletes, coaches and staff throughout his years of service as their mentor and friend. BT has devoted countless hours to the University of Saskatchewan as an ambassador promoting our University to not only prospective athletes but to many other audiences across Canada.

Huskies In Search Of New AD

Basil Hughton announced Monday morning he will retire after nine seasons as the University of Saskatchewan’s director of athletics and nearly 40 years in education.

“For nine years, Basil Hughton has been instrumental in the development and growth of Huskie Athletics at the University of Saskatchewan,” said Dean of the College of Kinesiology Dr. Chad London. “He has shown tremendous commitment and leadership within the College, our University, the Canada West and to our student-athletes. He has played a major role in the many academic and athletic successes the students and coaching staffs have achieved. I personally, and on behalf of the College and Dean’s Leadership Team, want to thank Basil for his contributions and leadership at the University of Saskatchewan.”

Hughton started at Huskie Athletics in the 2008-09 season. Under his leadership, the university’s athletics department has won two program-first national basketball titles and 15 Canada West championships. He has seen almost 1,300 student-athletes named to either the national or school All-Academic teams. Hughton also guided Huskie Athletics to a successful bid to host the 2013 and 2014 University Cup men’s hockey championships, and the 2015 men’s volleyball championship.

His leadership extended into the Canada West and the Saskatoon community, serving on the conference Board of Directors for six years — two as president, as well as the Board of Saskatoon of Sport Tourism. He has been chairperson for a number of conference committees including the membership committee, the WHL-partnership group and as sport liaison for women’s hockey, men’s hockey and football.

World Juniors Pass On Saskatoon Bid

Hockey Canada has awarded the 2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship to the cities of Vancouver and Victoria. Winnipeg and Saskatoon partnered in a bid to host the 2019 event.

“While we’re disappointed that Winnipeg and Saskatoon did not secure the championship this time around, Saskatoon Sports Tourism would like to congratulate Vancouver and Victoria and its bid committee for successfully landing this world-class hockey event,” said Hugh Vassos, Project Development Consultant with Saskatoon Sports Tourism. “The competition for the 2019 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship was extremely competitive and there were strong hockey markets from across Canada interested in hosting. Our fans can be proud knowing the Winnipeg and Saskatoon bid met or exceeded every measurable aspect of Hockey Canada’s criteria, leaving us well positioned to bid on the event in the future.”

“We would like to thank Saskatoon Sports Tourism, the City of Saskatoon, the Province of Saskatchewan, the Saskatoon Blades and SaskTel Centre for their commitments and expressions of interest in supporting our bid for 2019,” said Jonathan Huntington, Saskatoon’s bid committee chair.

Top 10 Tuesday – Wrapping Up The Football Season

Well it’s amazing that the football season has come and gone. With that in mind and a closer look at championship week here are my thoughts in no particular order on this top 10 Tuesday.

10 – Despite, from all accounts, no one in Toronto being aware that the CFL showcase event was on in their city the 104th Grey Cup game itself seemed to go off without a hitch. The question that will always hang over the game itself will be why would Calgary try to throw the ball on 2nd and Goal from the 2 yard line with their third string quarterback as opposed to running the ball with the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian (Jerome Messam) or having the league’s Most Outstanding Player (Bo Levi Mitchell) throw the ball.

9 – The play also should trigger the debate; why do CFL teams bring in their 3rd string quarterback to run short yardage plays? It seems that the risk for things to go wrong is much higher than the reward of keeping the starter healthy. I can’t recall a quarterback injured on a short yardage sneak.

8 – One troubling fact from the highly entertaining overtime championship game was that the excitement did not translate into television numbers. Viewership was down from 4.3-million viewers in 2015 to 3.9-million this year. Some are pointing to the idea that the game was anticipated to be a blow out. I wonder if TSN is the right carrier or whether or not the game should be broadcast on one of the big three national networks (Global, CTV or CBC).