by Angus MacCaull

For years, Chris Jones has been quietly bringing high level football coaching insights to Truro. 

Most of the guest speakers that Jones gathered for the East Coast Mega Clinic this past April were coaches from the Saskatchewan Rough Riders, where Jones is currently head coach and general manager. This year marked the Clinic’s tenth consecutive year. One hundred and thirty university, high school, and minor coaches from Atlantic Canada gathered for sessions on diverse topics such as defensive drills, quarterback fundamentals, and team building.

“Nothing else goes on like this around the country,” said Steve Fulton, organizing committee head for the Clinic.

“You would have to go to the US to get something like this,” said Jonathan Murphy, the Clinic’s communications coordinator.

Dozens of guest speakers have given sessions over the years, including Jim Barker and Scott Milanovich of the Toronto Argonauts. Tam Hollingshead, one of the coaches of the well known Texas high school team covered in the book, movie, and series Friday Night Lights, has also been a guest speaker in Truro.

The Clinic started when Jones asked Truro local Scott Annand about the possibility of running a coaching weekend in Nova Scotia. Jones and Annand had met when they were both part of the Montreal Alouettes’ coaching system. The first year included Jones, Annand, and some AUS coaches, along with about thirty attendees.

In addition to classroom sessions, the format of the Clinic has developed so that it now includes drill demonstrations with local high school players at the Cougar Dome, and a steak and lobster Maritime Dinner at the Truro Minor Football Clubhouse.

Grants from Nova Scotia Health and Wellness, Football Nova Scotia, and Truro Parks, Recreation and Culture have helped the Clinic grow.

The East Coast Mega Clinic has a name among coaches in the CLF, and AA Munro is a proud sponsor.

Ian MacLeod and Chris Jones at the Truro Clubhouse
Chris Jones at the Truro Minor Football Clubhouse with one of the Clinic’s organizers, Ian MacLeod