Antigonish, NS - The X-Men Football program is extremely excited to announce the team's coaching staff for the upcoming 2019 football season.
Gary Waterman will be entering his 11th season as head coach with the program, and his 14th season overall on the X-Men Football coaching staff. The three-time AUS Coach of the Year has won three AUS titles as head coach, including a 33-9 victory over Saint Mary's in the 2018 Loney Bowl. Waterman brings a unique perspective to the role of head coach, as he has coordinated all three phases of the game at the U SPORTS level. Waterman is the first StFX alumnus to serve as the head coach of the X-Men Football team. He was a three-time AUS all-star as a player in the white and blue.
Jim Daley will once again lead the special teams for the X-Men in 2019. Daley is in his 44th year of coaching football, and brings a wealth of knowledge to the program. Daley spent many years coaching in the CFL, and has served as a position coach, coordinator and head coach at the professional level. Daley first brought his extensive resume to Antigonish in 2015 and has served as StFX's special teams coordinator for the past four seasons.
Jon Svec will once again serve as the X-Men Football defensive coordinator and linebacker coach for the 2019 season. This will be Svec's ninth season overall with the X-Men Football program, and his seventh season as the team's defensive coordinator. Svec also spent two seasons (2017, 2018) as the special teams coordinator for the Team Nova Scotia U18 team. Prior to beginning his coaching career Svec played linebacker for the University of Waterloo Warriors.
Dave Van Den Heuvel will be taking on a new role with the X-Men in 2019 as the team's new offensive coordinator. For the past five seasons Van Den Heuvel has served as the team's offensive line coach, and in 2017 he took on the additional role of assistant offensive coordinator. Van Den Heuvel has also coached extensively at the provincial and national levels. He was the offensive coordinator for the Team Nova Scotia U18 team in 2017 and 2018, and served as the U18 head coach this past summer. He also coached the offensive line for Team Canada in 2018. A graduate of Queen's University, Van Den Heuvel is originally from Antigonish, NS, and began his coaching career at Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School.
A number of veteran position coaches will once again be patrolling the sidelines for the X-Men in 2019. Terry Chisholm will be entering his 31st consecutive season with the program in 2019, and will serve as the team's running backs coach. Dave Bance, who will be entering his 14th season on the staff, will once again coach the defensive line for his alma mater. Aaron MacIsaac has been on the staff since 2012 and will again serve as assistant defensive line coach in 2019.
The X-Men welcome Bryce Fisher as the team's new defensive backs coach for the 2019 season. Originally from London, Ont., Fisher graduated from Saint Mary's University in 2012 following a standout playing career with the Huskies. Since graduation, Fisher has been a fixture with the Football Nova Scotia program. He has served as an assistant coach with the FNS U17 team (2012-2013), FNS U18 team (2014-2016, 2019), as well as a head coach with the FNS U18 team (2017-2018) and FNS U16 team (2019). A former defensive coordinator for Auburn Drive High School (2013-2014), Fisher also coached in the AUS as the SMU defensive coordinator from 2014-2015. Fisher is extremely excited to join the X-Men Football coaching staff.
Following two seasons as a special teams assistant with the program, Tyler Wilson will serve as the team's receivers coach this upcoming season. Tivon Cook will be entering his third season on the staff in 2019. Cook, a former AUS MVP at the position, will coach quarterbacks for the 2019 campaign. Vernon Sainvil will also return to Antigonish this season to serve as the team's assistant offensive line coach. Sainvil was a three-time All-Canadian and Metras Trophy nominee as a player with the X-Men, and was an assistant coach with the X-Men for the 2017 season. Since that time Sainvil has played professional football for the Arizona Rattlers, Quad City SteamWheelers, and Atlantic City BlackJacks.
Marcus MacIntyre will be entering his first season coaching with the staff after serving as a videographer for the X-Men in 2018. Prior to that he coached for Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High in Antigonish for seven years. MacIntyre will serve as an assistant special teams coach for the X-Men in 2019.
Rounding out the staff will be a number of graduate assistants who recently used up all of their eligibility with the X-Men. Dylan Bell will return to the program as a graduate assistant defensive backs coach in 2019. Bell has previous coaching experience with the Kingston Grenadiers of the OVFL. Running back Jordan Socholotiuk, a two-time All-Canadian and a recent graduate of the program, will return as a graduate assistant running backs coach. Jeremy Fagnan will also return to the program as a graduate assistant special teams coach in 2019.
The AUS defending champion X-Men open training camp this Saturday, August 10th and will host Saint Mary's in an exhibition game on August 17th at 2:00 pm at StFX Stadium. Atlantic University Sport regular season play opens on August 24th. The X-Men will play host to the Mount Allison Mounties in a 2:00 pm kick-off Saturday afternoon at StFX Stadium. Season passes, all-sport passes and individual game tickets are now on sale at the Keating Centre box office or can be purchased online at www.goxgo.ca/tickets.
The complete 2019 X-Men Football Coaching Staff is as follows.
Head Coach: Gary Waterman
Special Teams Coordinator: Jim Daley
Defensive Coordinator/LBs: Jon Svec
Offensive Coordinator/OL: Dave Van Den Heuvel
Defensive Line: Dave Bance
Assistant Defensive Line: Aaron MacIsaac
Defensive Backs: Bryce Fisher
Running Backs: Terry Chisholm
Quarterbacks: Tivon Cook
Receivers: Tyler Wilson
Special Teams Assistant: Marcus MacIntyre
Assistant Offensive Line: Vernon Sainvil
Graduate Assistant: Dylan Bell
Graduate Assistant: Jordan Socholotiuk
Graduate Assistant: Jeremy Fagnan
Strength & Conditioning: Josh Crouse, Iain MacNeil
Some of the 2019 X-Men football coaches (L to R): Bryce Fisher, Dave Ven den Heuvel, Tyler Wilson, Jordan Socholotiuk, Vernon Sainvil, Jim Daley, Gary Waterman, Jon Svec, Jeremy Fagnan, Josh Crouse, Marcus MacIntyre, Iain MacNeil