Meet the three candidates for SFU’s football head coaching job

Candidate Jeff Reinebold during his time as a wide recievers coach at the SMU Mustangs, an NCAA Division I team. Photo courtesy of The (SMU) Daily Campus.
Candidate Jeff Reinebold during his time as a wide recievers coach at the SMU Mustangs, an NCAA Division I team.  Photo courtesy of The (SMU) Daily Campus.
Candidate Jeff Reinebold during his time as a wide recievers coach at the SMU Mustangs, an NCAA Division I team. Photo courtesy of The (SMU) Daily Campus.

Jeff Reinebold, Special Teams Coordinator, Hamilton Tiger Cats (CFL)

Jeff Reinebold, a native of South Bend, Indiana, is no stranger to coaching in the province, having started his CFL coaching career as a wide receivers and special teams coach with the BC Lions in 1991. He had his only head coaching gig in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the 1997 and 1998 seasons, where he also served as general manager.

He also has coaching experience at both the NCAA and NAIA levels, with fairly recent stints with the Southern Methodist University Mustangs and the University of Hawaii Warriors — both NCAA Division I teams. His stint at SMU coincided with current Clan defensive coordinator Abe Elimimian, who spent two seasons there as a graduate assistant.

His only collegiate head coaching experience was during the 1989 season with Rocky Mountain College, an NAIA team, whom he led to a winning record.

Throughout his career, Reinebold has been known as a highly regarded recruiter, and in 2007 was named one of the top 25 college recruiters in America by Rivals.com.

According to Sportsnet’s Arash Madani, this isn’t the first time that Reinebold has been in the running for the SFU head coaching job. Before Jacques Chapdelaine was hired last year, Madani tweeted that Reinebold was “intrigued” by the job.

Joel Penner, Offensive Coordinator, Malone University (NCAA Division II)

An SFU job would be a homecoming of sorts for the BC native, who is currently coaching at the Ohio-based Malone University.

Prior to Malone, Joel Penner served as an offensive coordinator for the Division III Greenville College and NAIA Northwestern College. While at Northwestern, Penner led what was described by the Malone University Pioneers website as “one of the most prolific offenses in the NAIA – a unit which averaged over 36 points and 420 yards per game during the 2011 season.”

However, Penner has no listed experience as a head coach at the collegiate level, nor professional level.

Perhaps of interest to SFU is the similarity in institutions. Like SFU, Malone University is a relatively recent member of the NCAA, having only become a full member in 2013. They have also struggled in their transition, only managing one win this season, and no more than two victories since the 2011 season.

Glen Fowles, Head Coach, Williamette College (NCAA Division III)

Another BC native, one could argue Glen Fowles has the most relevant experience out the three candidates, having spent three years as the head coach of an NCAA institution — albeit a tier below SFU.

In all of his three seasons as head coach of the Williamette Bearcats, Fowles has guided the team to an overall winning record (though, in the most recent season, they had an in-conference losing record).

Prior to being promoted to head coach at Williamette, Fowles paid his dues as an offensive coordinator from 1998–2011, and as their offensive line coach for two years before that. His longevity at the institution is all the more remarkable considering he spent two years as a defensive lineman for the Bearcats before joining the coaching staff.

As of February 12, there is no timetable for when the new head coach will be hired. However, SFU Athletics completed interviews with the three candidates earlier this week.

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