Sports

Bellefeuille aims to make the Football program "the program others chase" Photo: Varsity Athletics

 Bellefeuille won the Vanier Cup as Gee-Gees head coach in 2000 

Varsity Athletics has chosen to bring back Marcel Bellefeuille as head coach of the Gee-Gees football program. Bellefeuille who coached the Gee-Gees from 1998 to 2000 was chosen by a hiring committee comprised of alumni and Varsity Athletic staff.

He is already a part of our Gee-Gees family. He brings what we wanted – strong leadership, great communications skills, and the ability to rally and unite the many stakeholders that form a large program like football. We are excited for the future,” said Sue Hylland director of Varsity Athletics.  

Bellefeuille a former Gee-Gees player in the 1980’s, started out his coaching career as an assistant coach in 1995 before being hired as the team’s head coach in 1998. 

In 1998, Bellefeuille and the Gee-Gees finished with a  6-2 record while in 1999 the team was undefeated in the regular season but upset in the Dunsmore Cup final. He was named the OQIFC Coach of the Year in 1999.

In his third and last season at the bar of the Gee-Gees in 2000, Bellefeuille and the Gee-Gees won the Vanier Cup beating the University of Regina Rams 42-39 in the ultimate game at the Skydome in Toronto.

Bellefeuille was then hired in 2001 as an assistant coach with the Saskatchewan Roughriders kicking off an 18 year career as a coach and coordinator in the CFL that would include a four-season stint as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats head coach from 2008 to 2011. 

“It is an honour and privilege to have the opportunity to return home and coach the Gee-Gees football team,” said Bellefeuille. “This program has a rich and storied history. As an alumnus and former employee, the University of Ottawa has always had a special place in my heart. I would like to thank the University and the Alouettes for making this opportunity a reality.”

The hiring committee headed by Sue Hylland the director of Varsity Athletics received 25 applications from what she said were “highly qualified people” and interviewed the five candidates they felt fit best for the position. Each candidate presented their ideas on how to make the U of O’s football team a perennial contender in USport that competes every year with the top of the crop for the Vanier Cup. Bellefeuille’s plan was the best.

“The goal is not to be Western or Laval, it’s to be the program other teams chase on and off the field,’’ explained Bellefeuille to members of the press on a zoom call on Thursday morning.  

The Football team is set to start their season on Aug.30 in Windsor against the Windsor Lancers if the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic does not lead to the postponement of the start of the OUA season.