Sheahan embraces invite to Lions camp

KAMLOOPS –Coach Pat Sheahan is another guest here, different from Elewonibi in that he is only months removed from a ritual Gatorade victory shower. The head coach of the Vanier Cup champion Queen’s Golden Gaels, Sheahan’s association with head coach Wally Buono goes back to 1982, when they were together on the staff of the Montreal Junior Concordes. “I knew him when we were both nobodies,” Buono quips.

Sheahan is 53 now, and just beginning to hit his stride. After being nominated four times, he won the Frank Tindall Trophy as Canadian university football coach of the year in 2008. Last year, the Gaels finished 11-1 and capped their season with an improbable 33-31 win over Calgary in the national final.

Fourteen football graduates of Queen’s are now in CFL training camps, including Shomari Williams, the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft. Oddly enough, Sheahan is the lone Queen’s representative in Lions camp.

“Certainly, every day I’m here there’s something I can pick up to take back to enhance our program,” says Sheahan, who sees 2010 as a rebuilding year, just as the Lions do. “In the broad sense, I’m just like Moe. We’re both here for progression and development.”

Though Sheahan’s championship ring isn’t as weighty or bejewelled as the one Buono has from the Lions’ 2006 Grey Cup season, the latter claims Sheahan’s is more valuable because it’s “more recent.”

“Certainly, I have a desire to coach in the CFL at some point,” Sheahan maintains. “The right opportunity just hasn’t presented itself yet.”


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