Inglis em­barks on re­build­ing track pro­gram

Windsor Star - - SPORTS - JIM PARKER jp­[email protected]­ Twit­­starparker

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.

Colin Inglish

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