|HC Tom Sargeant, centre, celebrates the Hilltops CJFL title win in 2015.|
On Wednesday, the CJFL started a weekly feature to celebrate its legendary coaches, and the first coach to be featured was Sargeant.
When you have more post-secondary head coaching victories in the Canadian amateur football ranks that anyone else, it only makes sense to lead a list of features on coaching legends.
Under Sargeant’s watch as head coach, the Hilltops have won 13 CJFL titles, including nine out of the last 10 championships and the last six straight titles in a row.
|HC Tom Sargeant gives tips to Hilltops QB Tyler Hermann (#12).|
Sargeant has a career 210-30-2 head coaching record in the CJFL’s regular season and post-season. The 55-year-old has a 155-21-2 record in the CJFL regular season and a 55-9 record in the CJFL post-season.
At the moment, the Hilltops are on a 31 overall game winning streak including action in the CJFL’s regular season and playoffs. The Hilltops have won their last 29 straight games on the road including the CJFL’s regular season and post-season.
Having won the last six straight CJFL titles, the Hilltops have won a CJFL record 20 straight post-season contests.
One of Sargeant’s best works as a head coach may have come in the Hilltops most recent victory in the Canadian Bowl to become CJFL champions.
On Nov. 16, 2019, the Hilltops downed the host Rams in Langley,
B.C., 11-6 to capture the CJFL title.
|Hilltops HC Tom Sargeant grades a situation from the sidelines.|
The game was a defensive slugfest.
On top of being the Hilltops head coach, Sargeant doubles as the team’s offensive coordinator. On the competitive side as an offensive coordinator, you had to know it bothered Sargeant his offence wasn’t scoring more points.
Still, the Hilltops defence was on fire and kicker Rylan Kleiter came up clutch hitting 3-of-4 field goals.
In the role of head coach, Sargeant focused towards playing into the hand that gave his team the best chance to win with the way that game was flowing.
That meant creating the best conditions to allow the Hilltops
defence under the guidance of defensive coordinator Jeff Yausie and Kleiter to
win the game.
|Hilltops HC Tom Sargeant has receiver Rylan Kleiter run in a play.|
Offensively, that meant the Hilltops ran the ball a lot more and focused on not turning it over.
In that moment, Sargeant swallowed his pride as an offensive coordinator in order to create the best opportunity for his team to win the CJFL championship on that day. That is a big thing, and it played out to being a key factor as to why the Hilltops prevailed on that day to capture their 22nd CJFL championship.
It should also be noted the Hilltops have had monster offensive CJFL championship games with Sargeant calling the plays on offence.
In the Canadian Bowl held in 2018 at Saskatoon Minor Football Field, the
Hilltops hammered the Rams 58-21 with Sargeant serving as the offensive
|Hilltops HC Tom Sargeant conveys orders in the 2018 Canadian Bowl.|
In the Canadian Bowl held in 2017 in Windsor, Ont., the Hilltops dismantled the Windsor AKO Fratmen 56-11 with Sargeant calling the offensive plays.
Reading what you have to do on that particular day to win is one of the many factors that makes “Sarge” an all-time coaching great.
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