Glen Constantin admits his stomach was in knots in the minutes leading up to the opening kick-off of the 2010 Vanier Cup in Quebec City on Nov. 27. “Expectations were very high,” said the coach of Université Laval’s Rouge et Or football team, which played host to the University of Calgary Dinos. “We really wanted to win for the city and for our fans.”
Mr. Constantin said his players were pumped over the chance to win a record-setting sixth Vanier Cup in the past 12 years – and to become the first team to win on home turf since the University of Toronto Varsity Blues did it in 1993. They were also hoping to make up for the missed opportunity last year, when the No. 1-ranked Rouge et Or were upset by the Queen’s University Golden Gaels in the semi-final Mitchell Bowl. The Gaels went on to defeat the Dinos 33-31 in the 2009 final, the first of two consecutive Vanier Cups held in Quebec City.
Mr. Constantin said his anxiety began to dissipate after just the second play of the game – a long pass and run that got the Rouge et Or out from deep in their own zone. “That was a huge play for us,” he said. “It really set the tone.” The final score was Laval 29, Calgary 2. It was the Dinos’ third consecutive Vanier Cup loss.
It was the fifth Vanier Cup title for Mr. Constantin as head coach – another CIS record – and an astonishing 44th consecutive win by the Rouge et Or on home turf. Yet, just days after, he was already back in his office trying to recruit new players. “We have to start getting ready for next year and a whole new set of challenges.”