Steve Sumarah voted top Reader’s Choice coach

This past season, Carleton Ravens football head coach Steve Sumarah led the Ravens to their best finish since getting their return in 2013, reaching the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) Semifinals, before falling to the Western Mustangs.

For his efforts this season, Sumarah earned 66 votes, and earned The Charlatan Reader’s Choice award.

“He’s a huge players coach. What that means from a players perspective is that he always cares about his players on a personal level,” former Ravens quarterback Jesse Mills said. “He’s not somebody who treats their players like they are just a person who shows up to practice to do their stuff. He takes an interest in everybody individually.”

Ravens receiver Kyle VanWynsberghe agreed with Mills, and said he would describe Sumarah as a players coach.

“He’s pretty open to talk to guys about issues whether it’s team issues, individual issues,” VanWynsberghe said. “In that way he’s almost like a friend, you can just go in and have a conversation with him.”

VanWynsberghe and Mills both credited Sumarah’s recruiting with the team’s full turn around in four years.

“He has surrounded himself with a pretty good coaching staff,” Mills said. “Those guys are great recruiters, so there’s no doubt in my mind that they are going to keep bringing good talent.”

“If you look at the progression from 0-8 to the OUA Semis this year, there has been steady improvement every year,” VanWynsberghe said. “I think a lot of it is his ability to recruit, I think Sumarah brings in guys who we need to fill spots on our team.

“He recruits out of province a lot, in Quebec a lot and thats where some of the success is found and has done a good job finding new players,” he said.

Ravens receiver Nate Behar said Sumarah is never satisfied with the results of the team.

“He’s the first guy to talk about what can be better,” Behar said.

“He’s not a heavy super detailed guy. As long as the job is getting done no matter who’s doing it, he’s cool with it,” VanWynsberghe said. “An example of that is, he’s a special teams coach, and so if someone is running down the field on contain and someone misses their assignment and doesn’t do it and someone else does, it he’s totally fine with it.”

“That’s more of a football specific thing but it reflects who he is as a person too,” he said.

Although the team could potential lose players to graduation and the Canadian Football League (CFL) for the first time, the players believe Sumarah can maintain the momentum of the previous season, and continue moving forward.

“This is the first year we are losing a substantial amount of guys and there’s going to be—I don’t want to say rebuilding year, because I think we have a chance to do great thing next year with the team we have—but, it’s going to be different,” VanWynsberghe said.

“We are going to see new faces needing to fill the void of old faces that are leaving,” he said. “But it’s still a work in progress, we still have about 150 days until the season.”

– File photo