Stingers moving on without their head coach

Head coach
The Concordia Stingers are a team full of veterans, and they will try to continue winning with a new head coach in 2018. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

Players reflect on Mickey Donovan as he moves onto Alouettes as special teams coordinator

After serving as the Concordia Stingers head coach for four seasons, Mickey Donovan is leaving the team to join the Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League (CFL) as a special teams coordinator.

The 37-year-old coach joined the Stingers coaching staff in 2014 alongside his brother, Patrick, who is the team’s assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. In four seasons, Donovan coached the team to a 16-15 record.

Second-year linebacker and captain Samuel Brodrique, said Donovan was a large part of the team’s success over the past few years. He isn’t surprised Donovan’s making the jump to professional football.

“I talked a lot with coach Mickey and it felt like, when it came to his career, he really wanted to push it to the next level,” Brodrique said. “When I heard about where he was going, I was happy for him and I think, for him, it’s the right decision.”

Jean-Guy Rimpel, a third-year running back with the team, said Donovan’s presence in the locker room will be missed, as he was not just a leader but a motivator as well.

“We fed off his energy every game,” Rimpel said. “He’s really appreciated by the team, but we’re also happy that he has been promoted and in the CFL now.”

Brodrique, who was recruited by Donovan in 2016, echoed Rimpel’s sentiments, saying that Donovan is a coach who knows how to get the most out of his team.

Head coach
Wide receivers Jarryd Taylor (left) and Vince Alessandrini (right) were both recruited by Mickey Donovan. Photo by Alex Hutchins.

“He talks well, so every time he gave a speech it was a good one,” Brodrique said. “He’s intense so the team was able to channel his intensity when it came time to play.”

Brodrique added that, while Donovan helped the team on the field, he was also the type of coach to take an interest in his players off the field.

“He wanted all of his players to do well in life, and he was the type of guy who would tell us that not everything was about football,” Brodrique said. “He cared about how you did in school and just all aspects of life.”

Patrick Donovan will be taking over as interim head coach of the Stingers while the team looks for a permanent replacement. While both Brodrique and Rimpel realize that a head coaching change will be a big adjustment for the team, they both noted that the team is filled with veterans.

“We’re a pretty mature team filled with third and fourth-year players,” Rimpel said. “If we were a bunch of rookies, it would be different, but everyone is focused on doing their work so we should be good.”

“Everything that is new is exciting,” Brodrique added. “We really like coach Pat because he’s like his brother, so it won’t be too much of a change. Everybody is excited for coach Mickey […] There are no hard feelings, we’re just happy for him.”

Main photo by Alex Hutchins

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