TRURO - Brent MacPhee always saw himself one day becoming head coach of the Cobequid Cougars.
That vision has come true.
MacPhee has taken over the reigns of the high school football team with the recent departure of Scott Annand and he's excited about his new role in spite of the extra administrative workload that comes along with it.
"I always considered it," MacPhee, who has been on the Cougars coaching staff for the past 15 seasons serving last year as offensive co-ordinator, said. "But there was always someone more capable but when Scotty stepped down I was the next in line and it's pretty exciting."
The move is the latest in a transformation of the Cougars coaching staff, which has gotten younger over the past few seasons with the departure of Annand and other long-time coaches Jason Williams, Scott Cameron and Mike MacKay. The immense time commitment and the desire to spend more time with their young families was cited in several cases, while others have simply decided to move on.
MacPhee will be joined on the offensive side of the ball by returning quarterbacks coach Tom Shreve. Shawn Davison returns as defensive co-ordinator and will have Dustin McCarthy alongside him. Ted Fitzgerald, a former St. Francis Xavier player and longtime minor football coach, joins the Cougars staff and Jeff MacKinnon returns as trainer.
MacPhee brings a wealth of experience to the job from within the program. Along with his extensive coaching resume with the club, he is a former player who is keen on keeping the team's traditions alive. The main one is learning life skills through football.
"It's going to stay in Cougar hands," MacPhee said. "We want to teach the guys to work hard and be accountable and they'll stick to it because it's fun. That's what I always thought the great thing about football was."
MacPhee inherits a team that posted a 4-4 record last season and hasn't qualified for the Nova Scotia School Athletic Federation Football League's Division 1 playoffs since 2011. It's been a tough pill to swallow for a program that has 14 titles - the most in league history - and more appearances in the Division 1 final than any other school. However, Cobequid's last title came in 2007 - when they successfully defended their banner from a year earlier - and its last appearance in the final was in 2008, a 25-10 loss to the Citadel Phoenix.
But MacPhee said he's excited about the future of the team and said restoring it to its former glory starts with building it back up from the basics.
"We think we can field a quality football team," MacPhee said. "We'll have a team that plays hard and is respectful and we won't be embarrassed by our conduct, that's for sure."
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