Brian Cluff of the Guelph Gryphons receives the 2011 Football Canada Gino Fracas Award as the CIS’s Most Outstanding Assistant Coach

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gryphons

Michel Belanger

Vancouver, BC – Brian Cluff was raised in Falconbridge, ON where he attended St-Charles High College before beginning a 27-year career as both a player and coach at the University of Guelph.

Brian first joined the Gryphons in 1982 as an Offensive Lineman, playing 5 years for Tom Dimitroff, Dick Brown, and John Musselman. During Brian’s time as a player he went on to win the Vanier Cup in 1984.

Now in the 21st year of his coaching career at the University of Guelph which began in 1987, Cluff has coached special teams, defensive line,

linebackers, and has been the defensive coordinator. During his tenure at Guelph, Cluff helped guide the Gryphons to two Yates Cup victories in four appearances.

Brian has not only had success at the CIS level but also at the National level where he helped team Ontario East win a bronze medal at the 2006 Football Canada Cup Under-17 Championship.

A certified National Coach Certification Program (NCCP) coach, Brian has also become a facilitator, a role which enables him to conduct coach certification clinics for amateur football coaches in Ontario.

Cluff teamed up with Queen’s coach Pat Tracey to create the 25th man Club, a program which brings in former Guelph players to support the football team. Brian has also found time to encourage and lead new community programs that involve the entire Gryphon’s team, one of which allowed the team to donate of used Gryphon’s equipment to local High Schools.

Brian, his wife Susan and daughter live in Guelph where he teaches physical & health education and outdoor education at Guelph Collegiate High School. Believing in the benefit of experiential [hands-on] learning for his students, Cluff leads several student canoe as well as winter camping trips each year in both Ontario and across Canada.

“Brian spends so much time in our football program both on and off the field that it is hard to classify him as a volunteer coach. On top of never missing a practice or film session, Brian helped us reconnect with our alumni by organizing our new Quarterback Club Luncheons. He is the core of Gryphon history and tradition for me as a young Head Coach. “Stu Lang Head Football Coach University Guelph

This award is named to honour a man who has made a lifetime of outstanding contributions to amateur football. Gino Fracas moved right into a coaching role after his days with the Edmonton Eskimos with the University of Alberta head coach position. He led them to three league championships in the next four years. In 1963 his team won the Golden Bowl, the unofficial university National Championship and he also appeared in the very first Canadian College Bowl in 1965.

He was highly respected and admired for his dedication and commitment to the great sport of Canadian football. 2011 proves to be another great accomplishment by Gino, almost two years after his passing Gino was entered into the CFL Hall of Fame on September 17th, 2011 under the builder category.

The award created by Football Canada to pay recognition to the assistant coach that provides endless hours to improve the experience for the players and to support the other coaches. This award will ensure we continue to be able to recognize Gino’s legacy within the game of football as it also continues to recognize the contribution of the assistant coach.

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