Ryan Sheahan heads to Guelph as next head coach

GUELPH, Ont. – Following an extensive national search, the University of Guelph’s Department of Athletics has named Ryan Sheahan Head Coach of the Guelph Gryphons football program. Sheahan, a 38-year-old native of Montreal, joins the Gryphons after having spent the previous four seasons at the University of Calgary where he served as the Dinos Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator.

Ryan Sheahan at Calgary“I am tremendously excited for the opportunity to work with the talented staff and student-athletes here at Guelph,” says Sheahan, who becomes the 17th head coach in program history. “I cannot thank the people in Calgary enough for four excellent seasons there.”

Throughout his tenure at the University of Calgary, Sheahan consistently showcased the ability to develop some of the most prolific offences in U SPORTS history.

In his first season as offensive coordinator with the Dinos, Sheahan helped guide Calgary quarterback Andrew Buckley to an unforgettable 2015 campaign, in which he set a new national record for single-season passing yards (3,162) while also establishing a new Canada West standard for completion percentage (72%) to go along with a 19-to-1 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

In Sheahan’s most recent season as Calgary’s offensive coordinator, he once again helped re-write the U SPORTS record book, this time working with All-Canadian quarterback Adam Sinagra to set a new single-season record for passing yards (3,233).

Under Sheahan’s watch, both of those aforementioned Calgary quarterbacks would go on to be named recipients of the prestigious Hec Crighton award as the country’s most outstanding player in Canadian university football.

“Statistically and technically, there’s no question that Ryan is one of the brightest young minds in the country. But what excites us the most about bringing him on board is the outstanding leadership qualities he possesses,” says Scott McRoberts, Director of Athletics at the University of Guelph. “Ryan’s focus on developing excellence both on the field, as well as within the classroom and community, will help shape the University of Guelph’s football program as a long-term contender at the national level. We would also like to thank Todd (Galloway) for the incredible work he did this past season in leading our team to a Yates Cup appearance.” Galloway, who served as interim head coach for the Gryphons during the 2018 season, will remain on staff as Director of Recruiting for Gryphon football.

When it comes to competing at the national level, that is certainly nothing new for Sheahan. In both 2016 and 2017, the Calgary Dinos were crowned Canada West champions, earning back-to-back trips to the national stage, where they met up with the Laval Rouge et Or in first the Vanier Cup, then Mitchell Bowl. Over his four seasons at Calgary, Sheahan and the Dinos lost just three regular season games and compiled an overall record of 36-7.

Prior to his time at Calgary, Sheahan also spent six seasons coaching at his alma mater, Queen’s, where he served as offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach, while also spending one season (2012) in the CFL as running backs coach with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. 

The Montreal native is now ready to take on the first head coaching job of his impressive coaching career.

“I got into the coaching business a long time ago as a young assistant with the goal of one day being a head coach,” says Sheahan. “After speaking with the administration here, I knew that the University of Guelph was a perfect fit. From a head coach perspective, the program is already doing a lot of great things. My job is to try to build on the strengths of the program that are already in place, while also addressing some of the areas in which we can improve. The OUA is a very competitive conference, but our goal is to build a sustainable model where we can compete for Vanier Cups year-in, year-out.”

To date, the Guelph Gryphons have been crowned Yates Cup champions on four occasions (1984, 1992, 1996 & 2015) with the lone Vanier Cup title in school history coming in 1984.

“Ryan’s vision for the football program, his leadership style and his focus on the wholistic development of the student-athlete is a great fit with the strategic direction we are taking for our Intercollegiate program,” says Wally Gabler, Associate Director, Intercollegiate with Gryphon Athletics. “Ryan brings to Guelph technical expertise, experience coaching at both the university and professional levels and an ability to recruit, retain and develop the best student-athletes from across the country. We are excited to have Ryan lead our program to the next level.”

Ryan Sheahan Bio:

Coaching Career:
2015-2018:  Assistant Head Coach & Offensive Coordinator (University of Calgary)
2013-2014:  Offensive Coordinator (Queen’s University)
2012:  Running Backs Coach (Hamilton Tiger-Cats)
2008-2011:  Assistant Offensive Coordinator & Quarterback Coach (Queen’s University)

Additional Coaching:
2017 & 2018:  U SPORTS East West Bowl Offensive Coordinator
2014:  Team Ontario (Quarterbacks & Receivers Coach)

Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) – Queen’s University (2015)
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), History – Queen’s University (2008)

Playing Career:
2001-2004:  Queen’s Gaels, Quarterback
2006:  Esbjerg Hurricanes (Denmark), Quarterback

Ryan’s father, Pat, served as head coach of the Queen’s Gaels from 2000-2018, with the two working together on the same coaching staff during the Gaels’ 2009 Vanier Cup-winning season.

source: gryphons.ca

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