Ron Raymond will be joining the St. Matthew Tigers this coming Fall as their Offensive Coordinator. He was previously the Offensive Coordinator for Franco Cité High School.
Raymond grew up in Overbrook and played minor football mostly with the Ottawa Minto Colts. He later played for an All-Stars team that played in the Quebec Midget league and the the Ottawa Trojans in 1987. After that, Raymond had the option to continue playing at Acadia University or with the Ottawa Sooners, but decided to join the Canadian Armed Forces.
Raymond still wanted to be involved in the game after finishing as a player so he turned to coaching. “I still had that competitive fire and wanted to help our organization get better. I love the game of football and I wanted to learn as much as possible about systems, position fundamentals, team building and giving back to the sport that has given me so much. However, I found my coaching philosophy changing year after year and soon realized, coaching came down to 2 things for me; teaching ‘life lessons’ and ‘development’.”
Raymond compares football to the military, “you need to be structured and disciplined and I’ve used my military experience in the same approach I’ve taken to coaching football.”
Raymond says he can’t name just one thing as his favourite part of coaching, “I have many things I love about coaching football. Being a coach means you have responsibilities and it’s not always about the X’s and O’s. It’s about doing the right things at all times. I love the process of recruiting, training camp and playing for a championship. I’ve coached at many levels, and I can tell you from a coaching perspective, there’s nothing more rewarding watching your players having no confidence in their abilities, to reaching their goals. Coaching is about giving your players and team confidence in knowing, they can reach their potential, by believing in themselves and their teammates. Life has the same rules; it’s just a different playing field. Another thing I love about coaching, you get the opportunity to meet other great coaches and the friendships you make can last a lifetime.”
Raymond has been coaching since 1988, and has won championships, travelled to the United States, played in the Youth All American Bowl and networked with many inspirational coaches, but these are not his most rewarding moments. “the most rewarding moment for me is when I’m on the field with our team. Whether, it’s at practice, team function or a game, being in a team environment is one of the most rewarding in sports. Ask any coach and they will tell you they are most happy when they are on the field. Furthermore, when you have an opportunity to make a difference in a player’s life and help them through a difficult time, that’s what it’s all about. Keep in mind, when you’re a coach, players look up to you for guidance and that’s a privilege you can never take for granted.” says Raymond.
Raymond says that biggest challenge he faces as a coach is “to make sure we never turn away players from playing football. Unfortunately, lots of players don’t have the resources to play football, so you have to be creative and find a way to make the finances work. You overcome these challenges by doing a lot of fundraising and finding any way possible, so players are not left behind.”