Bisons coaching pedigree attracts 4

Bisons add three local products and one out-of-province commit to their team.

Josh Robinson, a defensive back from the Valley Huskers (CJFL) and Kirk Simonsen, an offensive lineman from the Saskatoon Hilltops (CJFL), are looking to take the next steps in their careers after signing with the University of Manitoba Bisons.

Gavin Reid, an offensive lineman from Vincent Massey High School, Jackson Tachinski, a quarterback from Vincent Massey Collegiate, will also be joining the Bisons.

Josh Robinson

Josh Robinson is ready to come home. “I chose the University of Manitoba because of the fact that I’ve always have had a part of me that’s wanted to be a Bison,” said Robinson, who is from Winnipeg, Manitoba. “Being away from home for the past two years, it feels good to be back home and to now be playing for my hometown.”

During his career, Robison has been fortunate been coached by former Bisons players, such as Bob Reist. He said he has been very lucky to have had a great relationship with the coach these past years.

“Ever since joining Recruit Ready, not only has Coach Reist helped me along my journey, but all the coaching staff at Recruit Ready, they have done more than enough to help me to become the type of player that I am today.”

He added that Coach Vincent at Sturgeon Heights helped him tremendously in terms of academics and football, as well as giving him the opportunities to help coach and give back to the community.

“He’s not just someone who’s taught me to be better on the field, but someone who’s taught me to be a better person and student,” Robinson said, “(He helped) me realize how important it is to be a true student-athlete.”

When Robinson joins the Bisons, he will have a new set of coaches to learn from. He said the Bisons’ coaches are something special. “The amount of time they’ve all been together for, so many years, is something a lot of school don’t have,” he said. “I’m excited to work with Coach Urbanovich and Coach Pierre. I believe they have some of the best knowledge in all of U Sports and I’m looking forward to learning from both of them.”

In terms of academics, he is interested in is criminology, which he said has always been a high interest of his growing up.

Robinson, who is 6’1, 185lbs, grew up playing for the St. James Rods. In high school, he joined the Sturgeon Heights Huskies (WHSFL) before moving to Chilliwack, BC. There he has played for the Valley Huskers for the past two years. In 2015, he helped the Huskies win an AA championship after beating the Steinbach Sabres.

“I’m super excited for this upcoming season,” he said. “I’m excited to see how we develop as a team and especially myself developing as a new player to this program. I’m looking forward to learning from coaches and the veterans on the team.”

Kirk Simonsen

Kirk Simonsen may not be from Manitoba, but he has found familiarity in his new city. “Winnipeg reminded me a lot of Saskatoon, which will hopefully make the move there easier,” he said. “I also think they have a great team with players that can win right away, which was important too me.”

He added that the coaches were another reason why he chose the Bisons. “Head Coach Dobie is a coach that has been around for a while and has been to the big game and won a Vanier cup,” Simonsen said. “That is what every U Sports football player is wanting to win. (He is) someone who knows what it takes to get there and win.”

For the 6’4, 285lbs right tackle, the team’s offensive line coach, Kelly Butler, was another huge factor. “He is a coach who has just finished playing, so he is very relatable and knows how to get to the next level and play in the CFL and NFL,” Simonson said. “He has experiences that only a former lineman can have, which is huge.”

In terms of academics, Simonsen said he is interested in taking business courses. He added that it will go well with his journeyman electrician certificate he is finishing.

In high school, he played six-man football with the Hanley Sabers (SHSAA). The product of Hanley, Saskatchewan, also played five seasons with the Saskatoon Hilltops (CJFL). He is a five-time CJFL championship with the Hilltops. He was also a 2017 and 2018 CJFL All-Canadian, a 2017 and 2018 PFC all-star, and the 2017 PFC offensive lineman of the year.

Gavin Reid

Gavin Reid is from Brandon, Manitoba, where he played with the Vincent Massey Vikings (WHSFL). Standing at 6’4, 270lbs, he has played as a tackle.

Jackson Tachinski

Jackson Tachinski isn’t leaving his hometown anytime soon. A product of Winnipeg, he played with the Vincent Massey Collegiate Trojans (WHSFL) in high school. He has committed to both the Bisons’ football and basketball teams as a quarterback and guard. He stands at 6’4, 200lbs.

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