The CJFL has been in existence since 1908 taking on many forms, but always keeping the core values of providing young people an opportunity to play highly competitive post-high school football across the country. Several of the current 18 CJFL franchises are able to boast a rich history as part of the CJFL for many, many years.
So relatively speaking the GTA Grizzlies are still one of the youngest franchises, playing in the Ontario Conference. They first became a full CJFL member in 2014, calling the largest city in Canada home. When they first began play they would call Father Henry Carr Catholic Secondary school home before moving to their current location of Etobicoke Centennial Stadium.
Heading into just their third season in 2017 the team rebranded to their current blue and white colours to reflect their growing partnership with the Toronto Argonauts. That season they also launched their new logo that we know them by today.
In their first six seasons they have qualified for the CJFL playoffs in the last three straight years, but are still looking for that first playoff win.
Speaking of the playoffs, one of the most exciting moments in Grizzlies team history came on October 13, 2018 with a playoff berth on the line. The Grizzlies were hosting the Ottawa Sooners and needed to beat them by at least 19 points to advance to the post-season. The stadium was packed with high school students cheering on their Grizzlies to an impressive 39-0 shutout punching their ticket to the playoffs.
Despite their youth, the Grizzlies program has already produced some talented players including Michael Sanelli and Kelvin Muamba who are in the CFL playing for the Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders respectively. Last season’s (2019) CJFL Rookie of the Year Harvey Mafuta could be joining them in the CFL ranks in the not too distant future.
Former head coach Mark Houlder is more proof that the Grizzlies recipe for success is working. Houlder was recently elected to the CJFL Executive Board to lend his experience and expertise to move the league forward in various paths. He was the head coach of the Grizzlies in 2019, but with this elected position, he has had to step down from coaching but will no doubt assist the club in their search to fill the vacant role.
The Grizzlies find themselves in a unique position in the Toronto area, and have just now started to make a name for themselves. Sure they are in the most populated area in the country, but there are several Universities and other opportunities for young football players coming out of high school to continue to play. With that said and their most recent success, the Grizzlies will no doubt start attracting more players once they are able to get back to normal recruiting and practicing following the pandemic.
The club has the right people in place to grow their team into a consistently competitive franchise once football resumes.
Quick Grizzlies Facts:
Conference – Ontario Conference
Location – 56 Centennial Park Rd, Etobicoke ON
Grizzlies President – Karen Escoffery
Head Coach – An announcement is coming soon
Stadium - Etobicoke Centennial Stadium
Motto – Keeping the Dream Alive
Social Handle – @gtagrizzlies / @gtagrizzlies_
Primary Colours – Dark & light blue, and white
Football Canada is committed to creating an inclusive and diverse work environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital status, family status or disability.
MANAGER, NON-CONTACT FOOTBALL
Lead the development of Football Canada’s non-contact programs and events in conjunction with the Provincial Sport Organization. Football Canada is seeking an individual to serve as Technical and Events staff. This individual will report to the Executive Director and will be responsible for coordinating, developing and administrating all activities related to National Coach Certification Program (NCCP) and the Football Canada Officials Certification Program for non-contact football (flag, Sevens, and touch). The individual shall guide and support the efforts of the National Office Staff, Directors/Chairpersons, Committees, and other Volunteers in the fulfilment of their roles and duties.
Areas of focus will include the following:
• Manage Player Development
• Manage Officials Development
• Manage Coach Development
• Manage High Performance
• Manage Rules and Safety
• Manage Non-Contact Events
The ideal candidate must possess the following qualifications and experience:
• Post-secondary degree preferably in Physical Education/Coaching or Sport Management.
• Coaching background – certified NCCP Training or equivalent experience.
• Experience delivering sport clinics and / or camps
• Works well with others as a team player.
• Be an effective communicator (writing and speaking).
• Strong organizational skills. • Experience coordinating events • Computer knowledge in Windows, Google Drive, Dropbox, Microsoft Office (incl. Excel, Word, Access, PowerPoint, and Publisher) and Microsoft Outlook.
• Ability and willingness to work some extended hours, and • Have the ability and willingness to do some traveling approximately 5-7 weeks per year.
• Non-contact football experience will be considered an asset
• Ability to fluently communicate in both official languages is an asset.
Salary for this position is commensurate with experience and qualifications.
Position type: 2 Year Contract
Location: Option to working remotely within Canada
Application deadline: March 14th, 2021 please send applications to firstname.lastname@example.org
Expected start date: March 31st, 2021
All responses are appreciated, however, only those selected for an interview will receive a reply.
You must include the following in your submission:
A) Three references (including addresses and phone numbers).
B) Salary Expectations; and
C) Date of availability to commence employment.
Football Canada is proud to welcome the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) as an Associate Member.
The approval of the CJFL marks the fourth Associate Member to join Football Canada in the last year, joining the Canadian Football League, U SPORTS and the Canadian Football Officials Association.
“Football Canada is now the hub of communications for our national contact football organizations to connect, collaborate and partner with grassroots football across the country,” Football Canada President Jim Mullin said.
“Coming out of this pandemic, it is critical that all football organizations within Canada work together as one instead of against each other to get all of our teams and players back on the field safely,” added CJFL Commissioner Jim Pankovich. “I’m excited to be able to share best practices and ideas across the country to not only build our CJFL game, but football as a whole. This partnership with the other organizations will give more opportunities for young men and women to play this game.”
The alliance creates pathways for expanded work on CJFL teams to participate in developing the game at the community level with Football Canada programming like First Down and CFL Futures focused on participation for youth under-12. It is also a catalyst for discussion with the CFL and U SPORTS to align areas of operations and events.
“We have already started a dialogue between the partners about how we can work together as a football community to maximize our high-performance events and contribute to minor football, and the CJFL is at the centre of that discussion,” continued Mullin.
The CJFL’s membership in Football Canada was facilitated by the recent ratification of Ontario Football Conference (OFC) Juniors return to the Ontario Football Alliance (OFA), the responsible body for football’s governance in Ontario. The OFC is set to host the CJFL championship Canadian Bowl this November, showcasing the talent and level of enthusiasm for junior football in the province and across the country.
ABOUT FOOTBALL CANADA: Established in 1880 and reconstituted in 1884, Football Canada is the national governing body of amateur football in Canada and a proud member of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). Working closely with the provincial football associations, we develop programs and resources for players, coaches, officials in the three disciplines of Tackle, Flag and Touch Football. Football Canada’s vision statement is “from playground to stadium” where players can participate in the game of football throughout a lifetime recreationally, competitively and internationally.