Hamilton, Ont. – Acadia University football’s head coach has been honoured as U SPORTS football coach of the year for the second time in his career.
Jeff Cummins was honoured at the annual All-Canadian Gala hosted in Hamilton, site of the 2017 Vanier Cup, on Nov. 23.
A five-time AUS coach of the year, Cummins had previously been honoured by his peers at the national level in 2011. John Huard, in 1981, is the only other Acadia winner of the Frank Tindall Trophy since it was first presented back in 1969.
In his fifteenth campaign at the helm of the Axemen, the former CFL defensive lineman led his troops from a 2016 record of 2-6 to a 6-2 first-place finish in the 2017 AUS standings.
Acadia topped the conference in a number of statistical categories on both sides of the ball, including total defence (375.5 yards per game), rushing defence (117.3) and rushing attack (208.3)
The Axemen would go on to capture the AUS banner, their fifth under Cummins.
Acadia Athletics executive director Kevin Dickie said Cummins is a leader in the athletic department and has become a good friend. He said discussions with Cummins prior to and during the season remind Dickie of how much Cummins has put into making this season so successful as head coach. Dickie is happy for Cummins and his family.
"I absolutely could not be happier for a coach, as the national award Jeff is receiving is so incredibly deserved,” Dickie said. “His leadership and ability to guide his program without flinching, through some adversity through the season, is something I've admired and been so proud of.”
Cummins sits among coaching greats in Canadian university football including Glen Constantin, Larry Haylor, Larry Uteck, Frank Smith and Dave Knight, who all have won the Frank Tindall Coach of the Year Award twice in their career. No other coach has won the award more than two times.
Local Kentville native and Horton High School graduate Adam Melanson was named to the U SPORTS All-Canadian squad as a second team defensive tackle. Melanson, in his final season with the Axemen, posted 17.5 tackles and 3.5 quarterback sacks during the 2017 season. Melanson had 16.5 sacks in his five seasons with the Axemen – fifth in all-time sacks for Acadia.