Gaels football finalizes 2012 coaching staff

KINGSTON, Ont. – The Queen’s Gaels football team has finalized its coaching staff for 2012. Head Coach Pat Sheahan made the announcement today. Three new coaches, Jason Casey, Scott Valberg and Ralph Wightman will join the staff, while Ryan Bechmanis has left after five seasons. “We have made some outstanding additions to our staff,” said Sheahan. “I’m excited to see their contributions to our program.”

Jason Casey, who joined the Gaels in March as Linebackers Coach, has been promoted to Special Teams Coordinator, in addition to his current responsibilities. Casey, the 1999 OQIFC Defensive Player of the Year, previously served as the Defensive Coordinator and Head Coach of the Okanagan Sun juniors, posting an 8-2 record in 2011. The North Bay, Ont., native has already coached one Presidents’ Trophy winner, as he was the position coach and coordinator for Kingston native Max Caron during his stint with the Sun.

Casey takes over Special Teams Coordinator duties from Ryan Bechmanis, who has joined the Carleton Ravens as their Defensive Coordinator. The Ravens will enter the OUA in 2013. “We are sad to see Ryan leave, and we thank him for his service to our program over the last five years,” said Sheahan. “But we are happy for him and know that he will embrace this opportunity.”

Scott Valberg, who will coach quarterbacks and handle quality control, is no stranger to Gaels fans, as he closed out his stellar career with a win at the 2009 Vanier Cup. An All-Canadian at slotback in 2009, he made 153 receptions for 2,917 yards and 21 touchdowns in five seasons. The Kingston native has been coaching with the Limestone Grenadiers of the OVFL since graduating from Queen’s. Valberg joins fellow 2009 Vanier Cup Champions Marty Gordon, Pat Corbin and Devan Sheahan on the staff.

The final addition to the staff is Ralph Wightman, who will become a recruiter. A longtime coach in Quebec, including time at John Abbott College in Montreal, Wightman will be responsible for scouting in Quebec and the surrounding area. He joins the Gaels’ two returning recruiting coaches: Glen Williamson, the former Regiopolis-Notre Dame head coach who is in his fifth season, and Ron Augustine, formerly of Linsday Collegiate, who is returning for his 14th season at Queen’s.

The Gaels have six assistant coaches returning, led by Pat Tracey, who will be entering his 13th season with the Gaels, his 12th as Defensive Coordinator. Kicking Coach Pat McMenamin will be entering his 14th season at Queen’s, while Corbin (Offensive Line) and Gordon (Running Backs) are both entering their third seasons. Leroy Blugh, the ex-Bishop’s head coach, will be entering his second season as the Gaels’ Defensive Line coach, where he will work with Jeff Wood, who has moved over from the linebackers. Devan Sheahan is also entering his second season as a coach, and he will work with the receivers.

The Gaels open 2012 with a non-conference game against McGill on Sunday, August 26, with league action getting underway on Labour Day, Monday, September 3, at home to the York Lions.

Advocating for football prospects one story at a time.

Leave a Reply