York University Lions head football coach Warren Craney announced on Friday that Duane John has been hired as the program’s newest full-time coach.
A native of Montreal who brings with him an impressive football resume that includes five Vanier Cup rings, John will serve as the associate offensive coordinator and receivers coach for the Lions.
From left, Mike Comeau, Duane John and Warren Craney. Photo by York Sport & Recreation.
“It is an unbelievable opportunity for our football team to have Duane on our coaching staff,” said Craney. “I always admired him as a player while coaching against him, and he has become a tremendous coach. He is enthusiastic and is well-trained from his days with Laval, and his championship record speaks for itself. He will be a great mentor to our young, talented group of receivers and, along with Bob Rainford, will be a great asset for our offensive coordinator, Mike Comeau.”
John was a tremendous Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) football player, spending five seasons with the dominant Laval Rouge et Or (2003-2007). After one year as a defensive back, he switched to the other side of the ball and in four seasons as a receiver and return specialist earned RSEQ all-star honours in 2006 and was a CIS second-team all-Canadian in his final year.
He joined the Laval coaching staff when his playing career was over, first as the receivers coach for three seasons (2008-2010) and then one as the team’s offensive coordinator (2011).
John won his first Vanier Cup as a player in his rookie season of 2003 and went on to capture two more, in 2004 and 2006. He then collected another two as a coach, in 2008 and 2010. He was also part of nine Dunsmore Cup-winning teams as RSEQ champions, claiming one in each season he spent with Laval as a player and coach.
“I’ve known Warren for a number of years and was intrigued by what York has to offer,” said John. “When I came and visited and saw what the administration and the coaches are doing, I knew this would be a good opportunity for me to help build a program. “I gained plenty of knowledge through my years at Laval as both a player and a coach and I’m looking forward to being able to offer a different point of view to the program and to share what I have learned with the Lions players and coaches.”
In addition to his time with the Laval football program, John, who graduated from Laval with a degree in industrial relations in 2008, was also the receivers coach for the Quebec under-19 team in 2009 and has served as a guest coach at multiple Team Quebec evaluation camps.
His playing experience also includes four years as a defensive back with CEGEP du Vieux Montreal (1999-2002), where he was an all-star in 2002, and a stint with the Canadian junior national team.
John has already begun work with the Lions receivers and will make his debut on the York sideline on Sunday, Aug. 25 when the team hosts the Queen’s Gaels in its 2013 regular-season opener. Kick-off for the game is set for 1pm.