Inglis embarks on rebuilding track program
The process is now officially underway for Colin Inglis and the University of Windsor Lancers track and field program.
Named head coach of the program in July, the 48-year-old Inglis is trying to pick up the pieces of an elite program that struggled to find its direction after head coach Dennis Fairall retired due to health reasons in October of 2015.
“I think there’s a yearning to get back to where the program was as far as the overall team atmosphere,” Inglis said. “I think the last three to five years have probably been tough on the program.”
Athletes got their first taste of competition with the program’s annual Blue and Gold track and field meet at the Dennis Fairall Fieldhouse. “They’ve been chomping at the bit. I’m hearing from some of veterans on the team that even the team morale is higher now in practice and that started in October. For the athletes, knowing where they’re going and where they’re at is reassuring.”
Inglis is from the Fairall school of how to build an elite track and field program. He spent four seasons as Fairall’s associate head coach before moving on to become head coach at York University in 1999 where he spent 18 seasons.
“Windsor has a rich history and tradition,” Inglis said. “Talk to recruits, they understand the history of the program. There’s a few others in the province and country, but I still think Windsor’s known as a competitive school.”
But Inglis still has his work cut out for him. His hiring ended a 21-month search to replace Fairall that had some rough moments when associate coach Brett Lumley, who took Inglis’ role when he left for York, was passed over for the job and former Lancer Andy Hahn stepped down from the job just days after being hired.
“Talking to some other people, they’ve lost some recruits in the past because there was not a defined person in place,” Inglis said.
One of the big tasks facing Inglis and his staff is restocking the talent pool that has been hurt by graduation and not filled with recruits due to the uncertainty of what direction the program was headed.
“We’re actively recruiting now and trying to replenish the stocks and build,” Inglis said.