Steve Sumarah says he is “disappointed” about being let go as head coach of the Saint Mary’s Huskies football team but is looking “forward to the challenges” that lie ahead.
Sumarah, who was fired on Monday after winning four Atlantic University Sport championships in six seasons, gave his first public statement on Thursday by issuing a written media release.
“I am extremely disappointed with Saint Mary’s decision,” he opened with.
“It was not my decision to move in a different direction but I am a firm believer that when one door closes, another one opens,” he continued. “I look forward to the challenges and will face each and every one of them with the same enthusiasm and determination that I have displayed while at Saint Mary’s”
The Halifax native compiled a 35-12 regular season record and led the Huskies to a Vanier Cup appearance in 2007. He also won three AUS coach of the year awards and earned the national honour in 2009.
“I believe that my record shows I was successful at SMU,” Sumarah said. “Saint Mary’s tradition of excellence has always been the driving force behind my desire to succeed.”
Athletic director Steve Sarty said on Monday it was “time for change for Huskies football” and that he wants the program to “get back to the tradition of excellence that we’re used to.”
The Huskies won back-to-back Vanier Cups in 2001 and 2002.
Sumarah, who took over from Blake Nill in 2006, went on to say his time at Saint Mary’s was about more than just wins and losses.
“My goal was not just to be a success on the field but to also to succeed in seeing young men become part of something bigger than just themselves and build confidence and pride in themselves,” he said.
Sarty said Monday the process of finding a replacement has already started and that he hopes to complete it “as soon as possible.”