CFC ranks: Canada’s TOP 3 quarterback academies

CFCs staff has been hard at work investigating where the best places in Canada are to hone your QB skills. We came up with these 3 quarterback academies based on the following criteria. Please add comments on others doing good work in this country and please comment if you have been involved in one of these 3 academies.

[*]Academy in existence minimum 3 years
[*]Lead QB instructor with more than 10 years experience in coaching QBs
[*]Number of successful QBs that have played in the CIS/NCAA/CFL
[*]inclusive instruction for a minimum of 10 years age-band
[*]company website
[*]feedback from Academy graduates
[*]CFC point system
[*]other criteria was used including program comprehensiveness

#1a SST (by Mitch Goldenberg)

Sports Specific Training QB Academy

For the past decade, Sports Specific Training Academy has nurtured elite Canadian quarterback talent through meticulous skill development and intense mental preparation.

Since the pressure to produce points is not evenly distributed amongst the 12 players on a football field, quarterbacks at SST are taught to deal with the immense stress that comes with playing the position while simultaneously learning how to grip the ball, move their feet, see the field, aim and fire.

“We put a lot of pressure on our quarterbacks, physically and mentally” says Larry Jusdanis, co-owner of Sports Specific Training QB Academy. “Every ball has to be complete… arm strength is great, but accuracy is better.”

Players come from all over Toronto and the surrounding area to train with Jusdanis and his fellow coaches, Danny Brannagan Sr. and Mike Finch, to develop their skills and technique.
Jusdanis describes the weekly clinic as a flurry of fast-paced drills that aim to develop mechanically sound quarterbacks able to contain the pressure and expectations that come with the responsibility of a quarterback.

“You can’t change everything about a player that comes in here,” says Jusdanis. “We take the worst two or three parts of their approach and delivery, change a few things and they’ll become a better quarterback right away,” he says.

Jusdanis says he must prioritize what to work on with the quarterback because there just isn’t enough time to change everything about their natural way of throwing.

“It takes about 10,000 reps to perfect and learn a single throwing mechanic,” he says. “We’ve been doing this a long time and we demand a lot of the guys.”

Jusdanis says that his coaching staff can determine what‘s wrong with a quarterback’s throw by watching a single snap due to his experience.

The academy is a breeding ground for successful Canadian quarterbacks. Familiar names that went through SST include former McMaster QB Jon Behie, Queen’s QB Billy McPhee and both Brannagan (Danny Brannagan Jr. – 2nd all-time CIS passing yards) and Finch’s (Will Finch) sons. Other names who have gone through the academy include Michael Faulds (Western – 1st all-time CIS passing yards) and Kyle Williams (Bishop’s – ’04 CIS rookie of the year).

Brannagan’s son Danny Jr. was the last Canadian quarterback to play in the CFL, backing up on the Argos as recently as last season. Finch’s son Will was this year’s top recruited Canadian quarterback out of high school, eventually committing to go to Western next season to anchor the Mustangs.

“It’s very gratifying when you get young player who stays in the program and they go on and succeed,” says Jusdanis. “All we do is give them a path, they need to follow a map.”



#1b Jay Prepchuk QB Academy
(by Craig Amos)

Jay Prepchuk QB Academy

Based in Vancouver, the Jay Prepchuk Quarterback Academy is one of Canada’s finest programs offered to aspiring signal callers. The academy is headed by its namesake, Coach Prepchuk, who has high level experience under center as a NAIA record holding passer for the Simon Fraser Clan, as well as on the sidelines, as a former University of British Columbia head coach.

Prepchuk’s familiarity with the quarterback position has enabled him to design a program that is grounded in promoting the development of the skills necessary for success as a passer.

“It is such a specialized, unique position,” explains Prepchuk. “I really think that you need to play it to be able to coach [it] effectively. You really know how to react to situations because you have played the position.”

Prepchuk preaches fundamentals, and the quarterback academy is designed with this philosophy strongly in mind.

“[We] teach all of the basics of playing the position. We break down the entire motion of throwing and the steps to take on all types of plays,” says Prepchuk. “We really focus on all the fundamentals of playing the position…covering everything from throwing, [running the] option, the shovel pass, proper hand off [method], play action pass technique, etc.”

To aid in the development of throwing technique the academy employs video tape to break down the arm action and footwork of participants. This allows staff and players to analyze and tweak passing mechanics to increase accuracy, release time, and arm strength.

The Jay Prepchuk Quarterback Academy has been helping young passers build a solid foundation and understanding of the position for 21 years, and has produced a laundry list of successful collegiate signal callers. Graduates have gone on to play in the CIS and NCAA , as well as the CFL.

Though Prepchuk enjoys watching his disciples grow – he states, “It is amazing to see the players improve with every throw” – it is the program’s holistic approach to player development that characterizes the academy.

In addition to possessing a horde of football knowledge, Coach Prepchuk works as a high school counselor, and makes use of his experience by offering academic advice to players.

“I consistently talk about working hard in school so [players] can keep their doors open,” notes Prepchuk.

For many academy students, football and academics are strongly connected, which makes Prepchuk’s expertise in both areas of learning an invaluable asset.

“Tonight after practice I spent 45 minutes with a QB and his mom discussing his options after he graduates from high school this June,” recalls Prepchuk. “Players and parents are always communicating with me when they have questions about football or university. [And] Graduates from the program often contact me for advice.”

The academy is currently running its second yearly session in Vancouver, and will be operating in April, May, and June of 2012, as well. Prepchuk will also be taking the program to Nanaimo and Victoria this spring.

The academy will be simultaneously running a program for receivers alongside its quarterback course. This year the receiver branch of the academy will be led by CFL stand out Geroy Simon.

Prepchuk explains that the synchronization of the programs allows “QB’s [to] throw full speed routes to excellent receivers.”

The academy’s website, which provides additional information on the program is as follows:


A list of former camp participants includes:

University of British Columbia players – Billy Greene, Blake Smeltzer, Zack Silverman, Braden Smith, and Carter Williams.

Simon Fraser University players – Greg Bowcott, Jordan Deverill, Tyler Fong, Jason Marshall, and Jon Roney.

Other CIS standouts include Ben Davies, John Mackie, Trevor Martin, Laurence Nixon, Andrew Rogers, Ryan Schwartz, and Steve Williams.

NCAA players include – Rob MacKay, and Darren Rowell.


#3 Ron Aboud QB School (by Denis Doiron)

Ron Aboud QB School

Ron Aboud has coached many great quarterbacks over the years during his years coaching with teams like the Vanier College Cheetahs. Four years ago he decided to branch out and provide a quarterback school for Quebec (Montreal) area QBs looking to improve their skills. Young and old have attended the camp, highlighted last year by a 29 year old flag football veteran coming out to improve his skills.

Ron’s general philosophy is teaching the QB the basics “which will allow them to be confident at the most crucial points in a game. It goes without saying that if their fundamentals are not maximized, they will have lots of difficulty performing when the pressure is on.”

Like many others in Canada Ron hopes one day to develop QBs that have a chance at playing the position professionally. The talent that Ron has coached over the years includes this impressive list: : Duraney White (Bishop’s University / Concordia University), Marc-Olivier Brouillette (Université de Montréal, Montreal Alouettes), Liam Mahoney (Concordia University ’07 CIS rookie of year @ QB, Hamilton Tiger Cats), Myles Gibbon (University of South Alabama), Jérémi Doyon-Roch (Université de Sherbrooke).

What Ron loves about working with young QBs is “seeing the eyes and face of a young QB light up when he realizes his technique is perfect… and then he strives to do it again. I love coaching and working with the QBs as they work hard to maximize their development. It doesn’t feel like work for me, I just want to help make them better!”

The Ron Aboud QB School is in Montreal and instruction can be explained in both English & French. It is dedicated exclusively to QB coaches and for QBs of all ages and gender who want to work on becoming better quarterbacks in any league.

Check out the Ron Aboud QB school website for more information on upcoming camps:

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

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