On Mar. 13, Scott Flory was announced as the new head coach of the Huskies football team, ushering in a new era for the University of Saskatchewan.
At 40 years old, Flory has had a long and prestigious football career. Flory grew up in Regina and attended the U of S from 1994-1998, where he spent his time studying civil engineering and playing for the Huskies football team. While playing for the Huskies, Flory won two Vanier Cup Championships.
He spent the next 15 years of his career playing in the Canadian Football League for the Montreal Alouettes. While playing in the CFL, Flory was twice named the league’s Most Outstanding
Offensive Lineman and helped the Alouettes win three Grey Cup Championships.
After announcing his retirement from the CFL on May 7, 2014, Flory served as both the president of the Canadian Football League Players Association and as the Huskies’ run game co-ordinator. In the 2015 season, he took on the role of Huskies offensive co-ordinator.
Since the departure of former Huskies head coach Brian Towriss in December 2016, Flory has been splitting the duty of interim head coach alongside former Winnipeg Blue Bombers defensive end, Brian Guebert. Towriss served as head coach of the Huskies for 33 years and led the team to three Vanier Cup Championships.
During Towriss’ time as Huskies head coach, the team struggled during play-off seasons, losing eight consecutive playoff games and 10 out of the last 11 playoff games since 2007. Despite these difficulties, Towriss has left behind a legacy as head coach with The StarPhoenix referring to him as “the winningest football coach in Canadian university history.”
Flory was selected for the position by a hiring committee, which included U of S kinesiology dean Chad London, former Huskies athletic director Basil Huntington and Winnipeg Blue Bomber offensive lineman Pat Neufeld.
“Scott is passionate, inspiring and dedicated and is truly committed to the development of our student-athletes. He also knows what it takes to win and return the program to national prominence,” London said, in a U of S Huskies press release.
Flory speaks highly of the time he spent playing for the Huskies. He credits the skills he learned while balancing his academic life and his time on the field for getting him to where he is today.
“Everything I learned carried me through. I learned humility and hard work, you know just generating that work ethic, and dealing with success. Dealing with failure and the highs and lows of it all. I’m a huge proponent of athletics and what it teaches you in life,” Flory said. “I had an amazing experience here, and that’s why I’ve stayed connected to the program.”
Flory also plans to be proactive when it comes to injuries, citing his work as the president of the CFLPA.
“With my background in the player[s] association, I was very involved with player safety and I was a very big proponent of that. It’s a big part of how we approach games and practices,” Flory said. “We need less contact and more skill development, and we need to look at the science behind injury prevention.”
Flory hopes to create a strong and unified team that presents themselves well both on and off the field. He hopes to build strong character and broader life skills — not just athletics.
“The tagline for this season is ‘everything matters,’ that’s kind of our theme. How we carry ourselves, our demeanor and our actions on a daily basis, the words we use and how we want to be perceived, all of that stuff really matters,” Flory said. “It’s about finding the right high-character people and teaching them the football skills they need to be successful.”
Flory hopes to implement changes to the team’s offensive and defensive strategies.
“Being able to attack and exploit weaknesses in defences, that’s something we have to expand on and get better at. That comes through our execution and that comes through our practice style and how we prepare. Defensively, I want us to be more aggressive and have more variance in what we do,” Flory said.
Flory’s first season as the U of S Huskies’ head coach will begin in August 2017.
Photo: Josh Schaefer / GetMyPhoto.ca / Supplied