Stoney Creek-born Ticats alumnus wins OUA head coaching debut — against McMaster


Published August 29, 2022 at 11:05 am

Stoney Creek native Corey Grant. (Mark Lafleur Photography)

It was a bit of McMaster and commander in the nation’s capital last Saturday, with Corey Grant steering the ship.

Now coaching the Carleton Ravens after years of influencing football, education and social justice in Hamilton, the Stoney Creek-born Grant got a 1-0 start at an Ontario University Athletics head coach. Carleton rallied to defeat the Marauders 24-18 in a matchup of teams hopeful of bouncing back from non-winning seasons.

Season openers in OUA can be especially chaotic. Carleton went ahead for good midway through the third quarter. Led by a school-record four sacks by Shaiheem Charles-Brown, its defence did not allow a touchdown. McMaster’s only TD came when Jacob Patten housed a 53-yard punt return.

“Any time you can play a team that is as well prepared as McMaster is, it’s good for us, for our program and our guys,” Grant told

For the last two seasons, of course, Grant was part of the Marauders’ brain trust as the offensive coordinator alongside Mac head coach Stefan Ptaszek, a longtime coaching colleague. They were also on staff with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the mid-2010s, and Grant was the Marauders’ wide receivers coach under Ptaszek in 2011-12 when the Marauders went to back-to-back Vanier Cup games, winning the first, and had a Canadian university-record 21-win streak.

Grant had an 11-season playing career in the Canadian Football League that included being part of two Grey Cup-winning teams, including the Ticats’ last championship team in 1999. He was also a teacher with Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board before becoming a full-time coach. He has chaired the Hamilton Black History Council, co-chaired the OUA Black Biracial Indigenous Committee (BBI), founded the Black Football Coaches of Canada, and served as Assistant Director of the Black Canadian Coaches Association.

During his tenure at Mac, Grant helped develop OUA’s United Against Racism campaign idea and the Football Coaching Apprenticeship for Women at McMaster University. One of Mac’s hires, Amanda Ruller, is now the Marauders’ running backs coach and has had a NFL coaching internship with the Seattle Seahawks.

Grant became the first Ravens head coach to win in his debut since Kim McCuaig in 1969.

Carleton went 2-4 last season, when OUA came back from a pandemic pause with a two-division format and a shortened football regular season. The Ravens to earned an OUA East playoff berth, but they lost against the Queen’s Gaels by 27 points in the first round. Queen’s defence was led by edge rusher Anthony Federico, who is now a rookie with the Tiger-Cats.

In January, Carleton moved on from Steve Sumarah, who had been head coach since the school relaunched football in the early 2010s.

Meantime, McMaster ended up the odd team out in a logjam of 3-3 teams in OUA West, finishing fifth through a series of tiebreakers.

Marauders home for next two games

This season, OUA has reverted to a full schedule, with 6-of-11 teams making the playoffs.

The Marauders (0-1) have their home opener against the York Lions (also 0-1) on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Ron Joyce Stadium. McMaster also hosts the Ottawa Gee-Gees the following Saturday (Sept. 10, 1 p.m.).

McMaster, which has experienced quarterback Andreas Dueck back behind centre, has a challenging road slate. Their other three trips are to Guelph, Waterloo and Queen’s.

(Cover photo by Marc Lafleur / Marc Lafleur Photography)

insauga's Editorial Standards and Policies advertising