As of Friday, March 20, Gee-Gees Head Football Coach Jamie Barresi will be leaving the University of Ottawa. At the helm of the Gee-Gees football program since 2013, he led the team to an overall record of 36 wins and 27 losses, including two OUA semi-final playoff appearances.
"I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation to all of the players that have been involved with the program for their superlative effort and dedication," offered Barresi, reflecting on this chapter of an extensive career. "I hope they will continue to challenge themselves and do the things they are most afraid of doing. They have given more to me than I can repay."
"I would also like to thank the coaches and support staff including trainers, doctors, managers, videographers, strength coaches and administration for their work as well - the same best wishes. Special thanks to Steven Drover, Danika Smith and Jennifer Elliott. As a lifetime coach, I look forward to the next coaching challenge," concluded Coach Barresi.
Barresi was appointed as the Gee-Gees head coach and program manager in January of 2013. The Hamilton, Ont. native began his coaching career with the Gee-Gees as part of the 1981-83 coaching staff, the same Gee-Gees he was a quarterback with from 1976 to 1979. He then spent twenty seasons coaching in the NCAA at such notable football programs as Penn State, including a national championship appearance in 1985, the University of Florida, and Wake Forest, and Central Florida. Upon returning to Canada, he joined the coaching staff of some of the most storied franchises in the CFL, appearing in three Grey Cups over nine years, including a win in 2006 with BC.
Over the past seven seasons, Barresi paved the way for many uOttawa student-athletes to graduate onto the professional football ranks. Just as importantly, Coach Barresi, applying the uOttawa varsity based model to his football program, implemented study halls, expanded the academic support teams and focused on fundraising for scholarships and academic support, guiding more student-athletes towards sustained academic success and opening career doors for them to lead professional lives in various fields.
"On behalf of the Gee-Gees football program and the uOttawa Varsity Athletics family, I want to thank Coach Barresi for his dedication to this team," said Sue Hylland, Director of Varsity Athletics at uOttawa. "We thank Jamie for his tireless work ethic, passion for the game and support of our student-athletes."
The search for the new Head Coach and Manager of the Gee-Gees Football Program will begin immediately as the team readies for the 2020-2021 season. The Gee-Gees first game is scheduled for Sunday, August 30th in Windsor.