Climbing up the coaching ladder

Jason Simmonds
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Former Summerside coach in the P.E.I. Tackle Football League is now the offensive line coach with the St. Francis Xavier X-Men

Summerside native Aaron MacIsaac spent two seasons on the coaching staff with the Holland College Hurricanes before joining the St. F.X. X-Men's football team.

SUMMERSIDE — Summerside native Aaron MacIsaac has made the jump to the coaching ranks of the Atlantic University Sport  football conference.

MacIsaac served as a line coach with the Summerside Clippers of the P.E.I. Tackle Football League from 2007 to 2010 and spent the past two seasons working with the offensive line of the Holland College Hurricanes of the Atlantic Football League.

He is now a member of the St. Francis Xavier X-Men’s staff, serving as offensive line coach with the Antigonish, N.S.-based university.

“I’ve said before that football has been good to me, and I like the opportunity to give back,” said MacIsaac, 33. “I love coaching, the developing of young individuals.”

MacIsaac, who was born in Summerside, played minor and high school football in Moncton and played “a couple of years” in the AUS with the Saint Mary’s Huskies.

MacIsaac began coaching in 1997, and admits there is a big difference working with university players.

“At the Clippers’ level and, even a little bit at the Holland College level, you are still trying to develop the roots, the basics, give them the knowledge,” he said.

“At university, there is a lot of experience coming into camp. Now, we are working our plays into practice.”

So, how did MacIsaac end up with the X-Men?

“I recently moved over to Nova Scotia for a job,” he answered. “I’m working over there, and I still wanted to coach football.

“There are some connections (with the Hurricanes). Coach (Mark) MacDougall is an X grad and knows the head coach of X, as well as Scott MacEwen, the (Hurricanes) line coach.

“I placed a call saying I was moving to the area and would like to help out with the program. We had an opportunity to chat, and after our talks I was afforded the opportunity to help out at X.”

So far, MacIsaac describes his brief tenure with the X-Men as a great experience.

The team has now completed a gruelling two-week training camp  and defeated the Acadia Axemen 24-21 in an AUS exhibition game on Saturday.

“It was nice to get a win,” said MacIsaac. “It is exhibition, but it’s a nice temperature gauge to see where we’re at.”

The X-Men open the regular season tonight on the road against the Mount Allison Mounties.

“We’re into it now,” said MacIsaac. “We’re ready to go.”

Organizations: Holland College, Atlantic University Sport, P.E.I. Tackle Football League Atlantic Football League.He

Geographic location: Summerside, Moncton, Saint Mary Nova Scotia

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