Western football team
By Jordan Bell
THE NEW DEAN OF THE 'D'. The Mustangs defense looks to improve on
a rather dismal last season.
Change is anew on
the sidelines of the Western Mustangs' football team.
The Mustangs announced numerous changes to the makeup of their coaching
ranks last Friday. The highly anticipated announcement however, was the
designation of linebackers coach Paul Gleason as Bob LaRose's replacement
as defensive co-ordinator.
"I'm motivated and excited to implement my philosophy," Gleason
said. "And I hope that passion carries over to the kids."
The defensive co-ordinator position became available on Feb. 5, when former
assistant coach and defensive co-ordinator Bob LaRose, a long-time coach
and celebrated former athlete at Western, was fired.
Gleason brings an extremely talented resumé to the table. The former Western
linebackers coach led the dynastical London Catholic Central Crusaders
high school senior football program for eight years (1990-1997), a span
marked by seven city championships. He now teaches at London's St. Thomas
Aquinas Secondary School.
"Paul brings energy, a competitive nature, knowledge, teaching skills
and a great desire to be successful," said head coach Larry Haylor.
Brian Wettlaufer, a Mustangs linebacker and one of the squad's leaders
in tackles, assists and sacks this year, added the same sentiment about
his new coach. "He brings intensity and energy. We lacked emotion
and intensity this year and coach Gleason has already addressed some of
that in our first spring practice," he said.
The 2002 defense was highly criticized for its play. Gleason explained
the problems simply. "We needed big stops and we didn't get those
Gleason has already promised change. "It's a whole new defense,"
he explained. "We changed our blitz packages and our terminology
is completely different. We've really started at square one."
The changes undertaken by Haylor over the past couple of months have been
clearly present within the public eye, appearing in newspapers and on
radio telecasts across London. Never in Haylor's tenure has a rearrangement
of the staff been this extensive, especially with the release of someone
of LaRose's stature. Haylor said he wasn't surprised by the reaction to
"Changes are always difficult," Haylor explained. "I knew
it would be enormously difficult simply because it hadn't been done before
in my tenure. It seems, like it or not, Western football is always prominent
in the public eye."
Although the major announcement within the Mustangs' brass was that of
Gleason, numerous other changes were made and individuals brought into
the mix. Steve Samways adds offensive co-ordinator duties to his agenda,
one which includes quarterbacks coach since 1989; Chris Marcus was appointed
special teams co-ordinator; and Paul Callahan was named as running backs
Football Staff 2003
Strength & Conditioning
Film/Video & Computer Co-ordinator