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Sudbury Spartans shake it up with new head coach

The Sudbury Spartans have named Walter Wilson as the new head coach of the football club.
The Sudbury Spartans have named Walter Wilson as the new head coach of the football club.

The grizzled Spartan vet who served as offensive centre for the team for nearly three decades is hanging up the pads to become the new bench boss, according to a news release.

Wilson first joined the team in 1984 as a 16-year-old and played his last game as a player in August 2012 – he is retiring from playing to coach.

“I am extremely proud to coach this team,” he said. “Over the past 60 years, the Sudbury Spartans have been an organization committed to excellence — striving to be the best they can be. I promise to continue that tradition of excellence.”

Wilson has an extensive coaching resume — for more than a decade, he coached alongside NFC Hall of Famer and Spartan legend Paul Gauthier at Notre Dame, winning several championships.

In recent years, he was the Chelmsford Flyers head coach, where he recruited former Spartan bench bosses Paddy Walsh and Gord Goddard to coach alongside him.

The decision to make a coaching change came in December 2012, when Gord Goddard stepped down. Goddard has been serving the team as both head coach and team president.

“I've been wearing two very important hats for the past two seasons as president and head coach — the time came to pick one major role, so I fired myself and offered the position to Walter,” Goddard said in a press release.

“Walter is a natural leader, a natural motivator and he bleeds Spartan silver and blue. I am so excited that he accepted the position.”

Wilson has already named his defensive and offensive co-ordinators for the 2013 Season. NFC Hall-of-Famer Junior Labrosse is the team's new defensive co-ordinator. The Spartan all-time interception leader is expected to bring a new defence to the team.

As quickly as he fired himself, Wilson brought him back and Goddard agreed to stay on as offensive co-ordinator. Not surprising given that Goddard was Wilson's offensive co-ordinator at Chelmsford high.

Positional coaches are filling up and for the first time since 2006, and the team will field a full coaching staff.

“I get to work with family — what more could I ask for,” Wilson said.

As a side note, Goddard was elected to the NFC executive as registrar at the Northern Football Conference Annual General Meeting held in Barrie on Jan. 19.