Football Gryphs go outside for new head coach Sheahan

GUELPH – For the first time in more than 30 years the Guelph Gryphons have gone outside their own program to hire a head football coach.

Thursday the Gryphons named Ryan Sheahan the head coach of the team that reached the OUA championship Yates Cup game last fall.

“I am tremendously excited for the opportunity to work with the talented staff and student-athletes here at Guelph,” Sheahan said in a news release. “I cannot thank the people in Calgary enough for four excellent seasons there.”

Sheahan replaces Todd Galloway who held the interim head coach title for a season after the Gryphons and previous head coach Kevin MacNeill parted ways. Galloway is to return to his former position as the team’s director of recruiting.

Sheahan is the Gryphons’ first outside hire as head coach since Dan McNally in 1987. Every head coach since then – Tom Arnott (2001), Kyle Walters (2006), Stu Lang (2010), MacNeill (2016) and Galloway (2018) – was on the Gryphon coaching staff the year prior to moving to the top spot.

Sheahan is the son of Queen’s Gaels coaching legend Pat Sheahan and was a quarterback at Queen’s from 2001 to 2004. He also had a stint as a quarterback with the Esbjerg Hurricanes in Denmark in 2006.

Following his playing career, Sheahan was the assistant offensive coordinator and quarterback coach at Queen’s from 2008-2011, the running backs coach with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 2012, the offensive coordinator at Queen’s in 20013 and 2014 and the assistant head coach and offensive coordinator with the Calgary Dinos from 2015 to 2018.

He was with the Queen’s coaching staff when the Gaels reached the Yates Cup final in 2013 and when they won both the Yates Cup and the U Sports national championship Vanier Cup game in 2009. He was also a player with the Gaels when they played in the 2002 Yates Cup final.

Sheahan was with Calgary when the Dinos played in the 2016 Vanier Cup and when they won the Canada West championship Hardy Cup game 2016 and 2017. The Dinos have appeared in the last 11 Canada West finals and hosted 10 of them.

“I got into the coaching business a long time ago as a young assistant with the goal of one day being a head coach,” Sheahan said. “After speaking with the administration here, I knew that the University of Guelph was a perfect fit. From a head coach perspective, the program is already doing a lot of great things. My job is to try to build on the strengths of the program that are already in place, while also addressing some of the areas in which we can improve. The OUA is a very competitive conference, but our goal is to build a sustainable model where we can compete for Vanier Cups year-in, year-out.”

  • Guelph Sports Journal