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Sports Services announces Jamie Barresi as head coach of the Gee-Gees football program.

By Maclaine Chadwick

Photo by Justin Labelle

“I FEEL LIKE I’ve just adopted 85 sons,” said Dr. Jamie Barresi, the University of Ottawa alumnus selected as program manager and head coach of the Gee-Gees men’s football team.

Barresi’s professional resumé spans collegiate- and professional-level coaching, including the National Collegiate Athletics Association and the Canadian Football League in more recent years.

Before beginning his career as a coach, Barresi played quarterback for the Gees from 1976–1979 while earning his undergrad in kinanthropology.

“This is where I went to school, I understand what winning means here—for the kids, for the players, for the community, and for the alumni.”

A U of O degree is one of many academic achievements held by Barresi, who also holds a master’s of science, a master’s of arts in sports administration, and a PhD in exercise and sports science.

“The role of a student-athlete is very demanding,” explained U of O athletic director Luc Gélineau. “Our coach fully understands what is required to succeed in university sport.”

Fifth-year quarterback Aaron Colbon spoke about his excitement that Barresi used to be a Gee-Gee.

“It’s really important to me, knowing that he was here years ago. Knowing that he has a connection to the university makes us feel better about him being here.”

A veteran of the student-athlete lifestyle, Barresi offered many words of advice to his team.

“Use football, don’t let football use you. Use this program, this school, and all the advantages this community offers, to make the most of [your experience].”

Following the Gees’ bumpy 2012 season, Barresi is focusing on five areas of improvement for the program: recruiting, mental preparedness, off-season programming, academic success, and motivation.

“It’s a process. They have to start now. That stuff is all behind them, and this is a clean slate. Once they get started and they have the direction and stability, everything will go from there.”

The 2013 football season will be another fresh start for the Gees, who will face more Ontario University Athletics competition from Carleton University. But players and fans can rest assured: Barresi is here to turn things around.

“Wins and losses, they will come … but I will be as competitive as anyone you can ever imagine.”