Former McGill head coach Ronald Hilaire to lead Team Canada II at IFAF World Junior Championship in Edmonton

Courtesy: Derah Onuorah/McGill University

Former McGill University head coach Ronald Hilaire has been hired to lead Team Canada II, the nation’s additional representative in the upcoming IFAF World Junior Championships.

”Words cannot describe the honour it is for me to represent my country as the Head Football Coach of Team Canada II. I remember playing in this tournament in the early 2000’s and it was an amazing experience, it’s truly a full circle moment for me now having the opportunity to lead these young men in competition,” Hilaire said in a statement.

“I am looking forward to working with a diverse group of coaches from across the country and striving to give these young players representing Canada a great experience.”

The creation of a second Canadian national team became essential after Mexico, the runner-up from the 2018 World Juniors, defaulted on their entry fee. The tournament will now be able to proceed with a full eight representatives.

“As disappointed as we are that there isn’t a path for Mexican athletes to get back to the final, we are thrilled we can showcase another 50 of Canada’s athletes on their home stage,” Football Canada president Jim Mullin said as part of the announcement.

Hilaire spent the past eight seasons as head coach of the Redbirds, compiling a 16-48 win-loss record and making the playoffs three times. McGill finished 1-7 in last place in the RSEQ each of the last three seasons, leading to his firing this offseason.

The native of Laval, Que. previously served as defensive coordinator, defensive line coach and recruiting coordinator at the Université de Montréal from 2011 to 2013 and the defensive line coach at Collège du Vieux Montreal in 2010 and 2011. He has coached with Team Quebec since 2012 and also served as a co-defensive coordinator and D-line coach for Team Canada when they won the U-18 world championships in 2013 and 2014.

Hilaire was selected in the fourth round, 27th overall by the Calgary Stampeders in the 2008 Canadian Football League Draft. He played four seasons in the NCAA for the University at Buffalo as a defensive lineman, recording 120 total tackles, eight quarterback sacks and four forced fumbles.

The U20 World Junior Championship will take place in Edmonton from June 20 to 30, with teams from the United States, Japan, Austria, Australia, Panama, and Brazil confirmed to participate.

Team Canada’s top squad, coached by Warren Craney, has won the previous two World Junior Championships, capturing gold in Mexico in 2018 and China in 2016. They have a chance to become the first nation to win three straight events on home soil.