New year, new coaches
With several coaching vacancies filled, let’s look at McMaster’s newest coaches
By Alyssa Wheeler, Sports Staff Writer
With the fall semester quickly approaching, McMaster University fall sports teams have also begun preparations for the upcoming season. Soccer, football, cross country, field hockey and lacrosse are amongst the many sports beginning this fall season.
Many teams this past offseason found themselves experiencing change, as a few teams have brought in some new faces to their coaching staff.
The men’s soccer team welcomed Chris Markou as its new head coach this year. Previously Markou served as the assistant coach for the team, alongside the former long-time head coach, Dino Perry. He also played for the team during his time in university, earning himself a spot in McMaster’s Hall of Fame.
"Last season I wanted to bring some value to the existing coaching staff regarding player development and bringing a winning team-first mentality through my own McMaster soccer experiences," explained Markou.
In his former role under Perri, Markou worked on player development. With this background and mentality in mind, he has begun to implement those goals with his current squad. It’s important to Markou to create a strong team which competes for major titles this year.
Going forward, Markou wants to build an improved culture of McMaster soccer. He also highlights the impact of his younger players in building this culture and hopes to contribute to this culture as well.
"I'm focused on creating a positive soccer culture and enhancing the student athlete experience. I have made some very difficult decisions lately, but I also believe I've made some very good decisions for our team and program going forward," explained Markou.
The men’s soccer team is looking to improve on the previous season’s results, which saw them lose in the first round of playoffs to the Carleton Ravens. With a few new recruits and a new head coach the men's team is certainly one to keep an eye on.
The women’s rugby team has also welcomed a new head coach with the arrival of Chris Jones. His arrival has been praised by the associate director of high-performance sport, Keenan Jeppsen. These praises include being a coach who looks to develop players, while taking an all-angles approach to building a formidable team.
With the team losing several key players due to graduation, Jones is looking to fill those vacancies and build an even stronger team. Like the men’s soccer team, they are also looking to improve upon last season’s results, in which they lost in the first round of playoffs to the Guelph Gryphons. With a new attitude, led by Jones’ upbeat personality and holistic coaching nature, the women’s rugby team should be another exciting team to watch this coming season.