After a series of concussions, Western QB Will Finch calls it quits

FBO CIS Yates Cup 20131109

After earning his second Ontario university football MVP award, Will Finch said he could retire without any regrets.

And Thursday, that’s what he did.

Forgoing his final season of eligibility, the Western Mustangs quarterback retired after suffering several concussions over the past two years.

“After discussions with my family, friends, medical staff and coaches, I’ve decided to end my football-playing career,” Finch said. “As hard as it is to stop playing a sport I grew up wanting to play professionally, my health is very important to me and considering that, along with other factors, I believe this is the right decision for me. Head injuries are serious and after suffering from them, it is not worth further risk.”

Finch was a dominant quarterback, leading the Nelson Lords to an undefeated season that was capped by a Golden Horseshoe Bowl victory. He then went to Western where he led the Mustangs to the 2013 Yates Cup, which he said was the highlight of his university career. That season he set OUA records by throwing for 3,047 yards completing 69.7 per cent of his passes. He threw for 21 touchdown and ran for five more.

However, the following season in the midst of another outstanding campaign, Finch suffered two head injuries, sidelining him for the playoffs.

He came back strong this year, throwing for 2,616 yards while leading Western to a 8-0 season. However, a concussion in the OUA semifinal against Laurier sidelined him for the final and it ended up being his final football game. With Finch on the sidelines, Western lost to Guelph in the Yates Cup.

“We’re happy to support Will in this decision,” said Mustangs head coach Greg Marshall. “The health and well-being of our players is always our number one priority. Will has had an outstanding career here at Western and he’s been a big part of our program for the past few years. He’ll continue to be a member of the Mustangs football family.”

Finch finishes his career having passed for 8,243 yards and 57 touchdown passes.

“Football will always play a big part in my life,” Finch said. “Everything the game has given me, I intend to give back to football, through opportunities that may develop in areas such as coaching and training.”

– the Burlington Post