Bison pride still running deep for alumnus

KEN WIEBE -- Winnipeg Sun

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

He lives in Cowtown now, but his Bison pride is as strong as ever.

Scott Coe is five years removed from his final CIS game with the Manitoba Bisons football team -- a gut-wrenching defeat to the St. Mary's Huskies in the Vanier Cup final -- but he probably still bleeds black and gold.

"I love being a Bison," said Coe. "We went through some hard times. We were 0-and-8 my first year and in the fourth year we went to the Vanier Cup. You're proud no matter what, but now you get to brag to some of the other CIS guys in the locker-room about how good Manitoba is again. You get to rub it in a little bit more."

Despite the struggles during his first season with the Bisons, Coe saw the potential within the group.

"Absolutely, I could definitely see the light," said Coe. "There's no way that I ever regret the decision I made. It was the best decision for me personally and in my career. It was a tough start but we had great athletes with good game. You knew we had a great group of guys and a great coaching staff that was committed to winning."

The one thing you often hear about the Bisons squads of the late 1990s and into 2000 and 2001 was that team chemistry was exceptional.

"I loved university life, I wouldn't have given it up for anything," said Coe. "It still brings chills when I look through my photo album. There are so many memories. We had such a tight locker-room and great guys who would do anything for anybody. Not only did we practice together and play together, but we trained together in the off-season, we ate together and lived together. It was a year-round thing. Those are times I'll never forget."

The Bisons are back on top of Canada West this season and Coe has kept a close eye on his former team.

"I remember coming back to Winnipeg after my first season in Hamilton (with the Tiger-Cats) and having coffee with Cory Huclack," said Coe, referring to the Bisons current star linebacker. "I really tried to convince him that Manitoba is the place to be. They're a team of dominance right now and hopefully they can keep going."

Bisons head coach Brian Dobie says successfully recruiting Coe was one of the key points to help turn the football program in the right direction.

"I put that it and it's always stayed up," said Dobie, pointing to an article hanging in his office titled Coe can't be bought. "It's a reminder to me of the value and importance of recruiting. He was symbolic to me of turning the program around. He was being flown all over the country and we were 0-and-whatever. We knew he was going to be good."

Not only was Coe a good player, he was an excellent teammate.

Dobie recalls a funny story from Vanier Cup week in Toronto that is vintage Coe.

"I can't remember all the details but Much Music wants to interview (fellow linebacker) Joey Mikawoz, live at the studio," said Dobie. "Joey is allergic to the media, but Scott says he'll go with him. They send a limo and go down to the studio. Joey is sweating literally, Scott is telling him to shut up and do it. Finally, he says 'give me your jersey and I'll do it. They don't know who the hell you are.'

"So I get a phone call in my room. I turn to channel 44 or whatever and there's Scott Coe (pretending to be Mikawoz). At one point they ask him what do they attribute his success to? He says, as a defensive player I have to tell you that our defence is amazing. I won the President's Trophy (as top defensive player in the CIS), but the guy who really should have won it is our will linebacker Scott Coe."


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