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> Monday, August 27th, 2012 > Sports > A changing of the guard
A changing of the guard
Click here to read more Interrobang articles written by Stuart Gooden
Published: Monday, August 27th, 2012
Whenever a new coach is introduced to a sports team, the identity may change but the mantra of winning stays the same. Falcon sports are looking at a few fresh faces that hope to bring their experience to keep the winning ways of Fanshawe athletics alive. There will be new brass for both the men’s basketball and women’s soccer team.
Ex-assistant coach James Welsh will take over as head honcho of the lady Falcons soccer team, and Tony Marcotullio will replace the long-standing Glenn Johnston for men’s basketball, who resigned after an outstanding 35-year tenure and was the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association’s (OCAA) longest serving coach.
Welsh, who spent three years as assistant, succeeds Martin Painter, who spent five years with the women’s soccer team and led them to a 9-2 regular season and Bronze medal OCAA finish. Welsh’s playing career includes a spot with Laurentian and Western University, as well as in the NCAA with Hillsdale College in Michigan. Although Welsh has served as head coach for youth soccer in the city, this is his first gig as bench boss at the college level, but he’s quite confident he’s ready for it. “It’s very exciting for me personally. It’s a new challenge; I’m looking forward to the opportunity, for sure,” he said.
Welsh said he strongly believes that his tenure as assistant coach of the team has laid the foundation nicely for him to step in as head coach. “I think it’s the best way to transition, to be honest,” he admitted. “It’s easy on the girls, they know what to expect from me so it shouldn’t be too much of a shock when they return. And I know what the program’s all about, I know what the teams are like, I know where we are, so I don’t have to walk in and get my bearings. It’s already established, basically, so I just get to come in and put my twist on things, and away we go.” The team hired Rahim Mohamed as assistant, and former Falcon goalie Sarah King help out as associate coach.
Tony Marcotullio brings a laundry list of experience to a 12-6 men’s basketball club that won OCAA Bronze, and will try to fill the impressive void left by Johnston. Johnston has been known as a staple in Falcon basketball for over three decades, taking over as bench boss back in 1976 and winning a slew of awards. His resume included 437 wins, two national Gold medals, six provincial Gold medals and four-time provincial Coach of the Year Awards, as well as two national Coach of the Year titles – all of this achieved with Fanshawe. Impressive indeed.
But Marcotullio is no spring chicken. He has served as the Convener of basketball for three leagues, including the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Association Basketball AAAA, the Western Ontario Secondary Schools Athletic Association and for the Thames Valley District School Board. As a head coach, he led London’s H.B. Beal Secondary School boys’ team to seven OFSAA appearances. His playing career included captainship of the Wilfred Laurier Golden Hawks from 1988 to 1990. Filling in Johnston’s shoes is no easy feat, but Marcotullio is confident he’s the man to do it. “I am excited to be a part of such a rich tradition of excellence and to follow in Coach Johnston’s footsteps,” he said. “Growing up and playing pick-up in Fanshawe's B gym with some of their national championship alumni is one of the fondest memories I have as a basketball player.”
Although both are head coaching firsts at the college level, they are no doubt two very welcome additions to Falcon sports.