What is Laurier football? It’s the roar of the crowd as the Golden Hawks rush the field. It’s a night under the lights while watching fireworks explode in celebration. It’s flyovers and high flyers. It’s passion, connections, wide eyes and even wider smiles.
In 2013, Ontario University Athletics all-time passing yards leader Michael Faulds took over the coaching duties of Laurier’s varsity football team. Under his leadership, the team went from 1-7 in 2013 to 7-1 in 2016, topped off by bringing home the eighth Yates Cup in Laurier history.
But the biggest accomplishment achieved under Faulds’ watch to date is 13 Academic All-Canadians, players who boast a more than 80 per cent academic average. With a genuine focus on equipping players with the tools, knowledge and confidence needed to thrive beyond field, Laurier's Athlete Academic Success Program provides players with academic support, mentorship and practical skills development. The program is ensuring student athletes graduate at a higher rate than the rest of the student body. This, combined with important skills developed on the field — tenacity, resilience and teamwork — will help young players distinguish themselves well beyond football.
Laurier’s annual football budget is less than half of other Ontario University Athletics schools. Laurier football receives funding from the university and students, while some other schools don’t. This should put the program ahead of its competition, but Laurier falls behind in donor support.
With strong donor support Laurier can grow its programs to recruit aggressively with maximum scholarship support; offer players attractive facilities; benefit from more full-time coaches and coaching support; use-cutting edge technology to improve performance; help student-athletes secure part-time employment; and offer dedicated athletic therapy and meals after practice.
In true Laurier style, the program has worked hard to compete with less. However, the competition for players across the country is fierce. To address critical needs, a group of former Golden Hawks has come together with a goal of generating a $5 million football legacy endowment fund by 2020.
“We have an amazing group of alumni who want to solidify Laurier’s standing as a school with both a championship football culture and the ability to develop highly successful student-athletes," says campaign chair John Glassford, a Golden Hawks defensive lineman from 1973 to 1976.
We need you to be a catalyst for the team. Your help will close the funding gap and cement Laurier’s standing as a school that offers an elite football program. You can make a gift online anytime or contact Laurier's Dan Robert at 519.884.0710 x3177 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about the football legacy endowment fund.