Ar­cham­bault ‘pro­gress­ing’ in foot­ball as a coach

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - DREW EDWARDS

When the Hamilton Tiger-Cats drafted line­backer By­ron Ar­cham­bault with the 17th pick in the 2015 Draft, the ex­pec­ta­tion was the six-foot, 235 pounder would have a long CFL ca­reer. He had good size, speed and tough­ness — per­fect for the rugged spe­cial teams of the Cana­dian game.

But in­juries, in­clud­ing a torn ACL suf­fered mid­way through his rookie year, lim­ited him to just 10 games in his first two sea­sons and this week Ar­cham­bault de­cided to re­tire to be­come the spe­cial teams co-or­di­na­tor and lineback­ers coach with his alma mater, the Montreal Cara­bins.

But in­juries aren’t forc­ing him to re­tire — at least that’s not the whole story. The Spectator’s Drew Edwards spoke to Ar­cham­bault from Montreal this week and the full con­ver­sa­tion can be found on the new Scratch­ing Pod pod­cast at 3DownNa­

Drew Edwards: Can you ex­plain to me how this came about?

By­ron Ar­cham­bault: It hap­pened in the last few weeks. I’d been think­ing about it for quite some time, ex­plor­ing what I should do and this is re­ally the best de­ci­sion for me. I feel like I’m ready to start coach­ing and I will also be con­tin­u­ing my stud­ies, do­ing an MBA at the busi­ness school at the Univer­sity of Montreal.

DE: Were in­juries a fac­tor in your de­ci­sion?

BA: When you get in­jured and you’re not a player that’s used to get­ting in­jured, it causes cer­tain re­flec­tions as far where you’re go­ing with your ca­reer and what you should do for the fu­ture. But in the end, it was some­thing that, re­gard­less of in­jury, was a ben­e­fi­cial de­ci­sion for my­self. In­juries play a role in ev­ery ath­lete’s ca­reer and they usu­ally catch up to most of us even­tu­ally.

DE: I’m cu­ri­ous about the tim­ing. When you were drafted, there were high ex­pec­ta­tions and even with the in­juries, the feel­ing was you had a long ca­reer ahead of you.

This de­ci­sion is kind of sur­pris­ing; that you’re giv­ing up your play­ing ca­reer.

BA: I’m not ‘giv­ing up.’ That’s not the right word, not the right way to put it. I feel like it’s pro­gress­ing in foot­ball, go­ing to a new chap­ter. I would never re­fer to it as quit­ting be­cause I’m stay­ing in foot­ball and what I’m choos­ing to do with my life is im­part this wis­dom that I was able to go and get dur­ing those two years with the Ti­cats to younger play­ers, to pre­pare them where I failed in my prepa­ra­tion.

That’s re­ally where this is go­ing rather than quit­ting sud­denly af­ter two years.

The coach­ing as­pect has been some­thing that in­ter­ested me and I re­al­ized that dur­ing some of the meet­ings that I was lis­ten­ing more as a fu­ture coach rather than as an ac­tu­ally player. I was tak­ing notes on ev­ery­thing, ob­serv­ing how Jeff Reinebold and Or­londo Stein­auer were talk­ing to every­one. I was re­ally study­ing them a lot. They prob­a­bly don’t know it but they’ve im­pacted my life a lot and I’m for­ever grate­ful to them.

DE: You played for the Cara­bins and you’ve ob­vi­ously main­tained a re­la­tion­ship with head coach Danny Ma­cio­cia.

BA: Of course. He’s re­ally a great man and he’s been a great men­tor for me in my foot­ball ca­reer, helped me through some rough times. He’s def­i­nitely the kind of coach you want to be associated with. There are a lot of things that hap­pen in a stu­dent-ath­lete’s ca­reer as he’s pro­gress­ing through univer­sity and let’s just say that when Danny says that when you join the Cara­bin, you join the fam­ily, he’s a man of his word.

DE: You said you learned a lot from Jeff Reinebold and Or­londo Stein­auer. What were some of those things?

BA: First and fore­most, that en­ergy and pas­sion. If you ever sat in a meet­ing with Jeff Reinebold, you’d know what I mean — you have to be there. They have a way they go about their meet­ings and it’s a very ef­fec­tive in mak­ing sure every­one is at­ten­tive, that they as­sess the in­for­ma­tion the right way.

They have this type of ease with play­ers and that’s how they get peo­ple to com­mit to them, to get peo­ple to play for them which is def­i­nitely rare at the pro level, es­pe­cially.

DE: Spe­cial teams co-or­di­na­tor at a pro­gram like the Cara­bins is a big job.

BA: Ex­actly. I’ve been spend­ing a lot of time with Danny, mak­ing sure that we’re get­ting ev­ery­thing ready for next sea­son. I’m just so ex­cited. There’s no count­ing of the hours right now, I’m just go­ing all out. That’s what I love about foot­ball: when you love what you’re do­ing, you don’t care, you just do. I got that love for foot­ball here in Montreal. I have that fire. I thought I would play longer but this is how it un­folded and I couldn’t be more ex­cited.


In­juries prompted By­ron Ar­cham­bault to re­tire and re­turn as a coach to his alma mater.

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