HAMILTON – The Laurier Golden Hawks men’s football team added another award to their trophy case Thursday night at the U Sports All-Canadian Gala.
Head Coach Michael Faulds was named the recipient of the Frank Tindall award as Coach of the Year.
Faulds and his coaching staff led the Golden Hawks to a 7-1 finish in the OUA and earned their first Yates Cup championship since 2005.
He takes pride in motivating his players before each and every game, and living by the phrase, “win every day.”
The last time a Laurier Golden Hawks men’s football coach was named CIS Coach of the Year was 2003.
Gary Jeffries was the coach at the time and he led the Golden Hawks to a 6-1-1 regular season record. Jeffries and the Hawks would end up losing to the McMaster Marauders in the OUA final, 41-17.
The following year, Jeffries and the Hawks would finish the season a perfect 8-0, win the Yates Cup and challenge the Laval Rouge et Or for a spot in the 2004 Vanier Cup final. The Golden Hawks journey was cut short by the Rouge et Or. Laval would end up winning the Vanier Cup that year.
A year later, Laurier went undefeated again. They were a perfect 10-0. This time, they were Vanier Cup champions.
When Jeffries took over as Head Coach in 2002, his Golden Hawks team finished the year with 1-7 record. The point of this history lesson is the progress that his teams made when he was at the helm.
Fast forward to 2013, Faulds came over from the York Lions and became Laurier’s Head Coach, his team finished the season with a 1-7 record.
The following year, the team progressed with a 4-4 finish and a first round playoff loss to the Western Mustangs.
In 2015, Faulds won his first playoff game against the McMaster Marauders and earned a berth in the OUA semi-finals but failed to clinch a spot in the Yates Cup with a loss to the Western Mustangs.
Faulds with the help of his coaching staff, have turned the Laurier Golden Hawks football program around.
Meanwhile, linebacker Nakas Onyeka was a finalist for the Presidents Award for Defensive Player of the Year.
Onyeka was named a first team All-Canadian along with teammate Malcolm Thompson and cousin Godfrey Onyeka.
Kwaku Boateng was also named a second team All-Canadian for the second straight year.