For 15 seasons the Regina Rams enjoyed a coaching legend patrolling the sidelines and have the accolades to prove it.
Frank McCrystal put his stamp on the CJFL record books from 1984-1998 guiding the Rams in the Prairie Conference. His 15 seasons are third most in CJFL history behind only Tom Sargeant and Matt Blokker.
Over the course of his 15 campaigns, McCrystal amassed 104 regular season wins, had nine Prairie Conference titles and an incredible seven Canadian Bowl championships, including the team’s final two years in the CJFL in 1997 and 1998. Those seven titles are second most in CJFL history.
He was named the CJFL Coach of the Year twice, winning in 1993 and his final season in 1998.
When the Rams decided to make the jump to the CIS (now USports) in 1999, McCrystal went with them and continued to have coaching success. He finally stepped down from his post in 2014 after coaching 33 seasons. In 2007 he was named the CIS Coach of the Year after a 6-2 record and a loss in the Hardy Cup.
He absolutely was an incredible head coach and is our next "CJFL Legendary Coach."
It is with heavy hearts that the Hamilton Hurricanes Football Club announces the passing of our dear friend and lifelong Hurricane, Walter Barubek Sr.
Wally, as he was known to all he encountered, passed away after an illness that he courageously battled for over a year. Wally was certainly the long time 'heart' of the Hurricanes from the very early days. To say Wally did it all, would be an understatement. Wally was a player, equipment manager, Vice President and President for the Hamilton Hurricanes. Most recently, Wally was awarded the Rick Smoke Award in 2018 for his many, many years of service to the Hamilton Hurricanes.
Wally was seen at all home games, ninety-nine percent of road games, and still attended practices to chat with coaches, look at each year’s talent, and well-wished everyone for a great season. Wally will be missed by many. He truly knew what it meant to be a Hurricane. He was one of a kind.
Wally is predeceased by his wife Elaine and his father, Albert. He is survived by his mother, Alexandra, sons Troy and Walter Jr., along with grandchildren, Troy, Leslie and Alexandra. Wally was 77 years old.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the family can only have ten people at today’s very small funeral service.
The Hamilton Hurricanes organization will be in discussion to honour Wally during our next season.
The Prairie Football League (PFC), a member of the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) has announced that it has received an application to establish a Junior Football team in Lethbridge, Alberta.
The interested party, lead by local football enthusiast Anthony Parker, has inquired to the PFC for permission to pursue this endeavour and launch the expansion process.
While announcing the received proposal, PFC President, Randy O’Shaughnessy said “The PFC has maintained a level of excellence over the past decades and we are happy to discuss this opportunity with Lethbridge. We are keenly focused on evaluating the strength of the proposal including the financial viability of the sponsor group. There will be challenges to discuss and overcome and there are many details to work out before we would be able to grant a franchise membership to the PFC. We are excited to explore the feasibility of this proposal and the PFC has agreed in principal to begin the exploration of expansion into Lethbridge.”
Next steps will include developing a strong business plan which will need to address the operations side of the organization including sources and uses of funds, identification of an appropriate venue, formalization of recruitment strategies and long-term player, coach and organizational development plans.
The PFC will also ensure that its expectations from all its member teams for a high degree of social responsibility and community involvement from the players, coaches and organizations can be met through the granting of this franchise membership.
The Lethbridge Organizing Committee (LOC) will work throughout the winter to address these questions as well as many more culminating with a presentation including the Business plan at the PFC’s Annual General Meeting scheduled for March 2021. At that meeting a vote by the membership will occur which will result in either acceptance, rejection or a request for more information, deferring a decision to a subsequent meeting.
“This is a long, hard process”, O’Shaughnessy said. “We have had more than a few requests over the years but the last one accepted was the Winnipeg Rifles approx. 18 years ago. We are committed to helping Lethbridge succeed and it was unanimous at our PFC Board meeting that our Board Members, who we believe are among the top businesspeople and football minds from all of our Member cities, will assist in this process as needed. The PFC franchises are a very close group with the interest of growing this game we love.”
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