This year’s Nepean Eagles staff is one of the most experienced of any youth football clubs in all of Canada. Our coaching staff has well over 50 years of coaching experience on all levels from youth to high school, to junior and university to professional. Our primary focus is on developing the skills of each individual player while implementing those skills into a template that includes a team-oriented philosophy of goal setting and self-discipline. While we are confident the wins will come with hard work and preparation, we want to ensure that each young man on our team is prepared to move on to the next level of football. We will also make him feel like he is part of the Eagles family and fraternity – a feeling that transcends even the greatest successes on the field.
DeWayne Knight, head coach
DeWayne Knight returns as the head coach of the Nepean Bantam Eagles and the veteran coach has one of the most impressive resumes in all of Canadian youth football.
DeWayne played his high school football at Menchville High School in Newport News, VA Before enrolling at Nansemond-Suffolk Academy in Suffolk, VA. He was a wide receiver and defensive back in high school and earned a football scholarship to Virginia Tech.
DeWayne continued to play both ways at Virginia Tech, playing receiver and linebacker, but it was as a linebacker that he would stand out. DeWayne had great success at Virginia Tech as a four-year letterman, and would become a team captain. As a senior in 1993, DeWayne started all 11 games and made 77 tackles while recording four sacks.
After graduating, DeWayne had a brief stint with the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL before heading north to Ottawa to play linebacker for the Rough Riders. DeWayne made an impact as a rookie in 1995 and was the team’s rookie of the year. After the 1996 season, DeWayne was claimed by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Rough Riders’ dispersal draft. He played one year with the Bombers and another with the BC Lions.
DeWayne got into coaching after his playing days were done. He joined the staff at Ferguson High School in Virginia as the defensive coordinator, and then returned to Ottawa to continue his coaching career. He was the defensive coordinator and linebackers coach with the Ottawa Sooners and the linebackers coach with the Ottawa Gee Gees before joining the Ottawa Renegades staff as defensive skills coach when the CFL returned to Ottawa. After the Renegades folded, DeWayne became involved with the Nepean Redskins/Eagles program as a defensive coordinator and head coach at various levels.
DeWayne’s son Deionte is a graduate of the program and will be playing collegiate football in Arizona on a scholarship in the fall.
Jeff Morris – Offensive Co-ordinator
Jeff joins the Bantam Eagles staff with a wealth of experience as a player, coach and official. He spent last season as the offensive co-ordinator with the Mosquito Eagles, and was with the Pee Wee Eagles as an offensive assistant coach for two seasons before that.
A quarterback at South Grenville in Prescott, Jeff also played for the Ottawa Sooners before joining the Carleton Ravens in 1982. Jeff was an OQIFC All-Star for three years and remains, heading into this season, the all-time scoring leader in Carleton history. Jeff also has the third highest punting average in Canadian University history, behind only former Winnipeg Blue Bomber Bob Cameron, and Seattle Seahawks punter Jon Ryan.
After bouncing around several pro tryouts on both sides of the border, Jeff played semi-pro football for 12 years with the Watertown Red and Black, Ottawa Bootleggers and the Lockport (NY) Invaders, where he would win a national championship in 1992. He began coaching in 1987 as the offensive co-ordinator at South Carleton High School, and he has also coached high school football in New York, Texas and Washington before joining the Redskins/Eagles program five years ago. He came out of retirement in 2011 at the age of 47 to play for the Ottawa Invaders, becoming the oldest player in Northern Football Conference history to earn all-star honours, as he was named an NFC All-star in each of the three seasons he played.
Jeff is also a football official, working several OVFL, NCAFA and high school games each year. He is also an off-field official with the CFL.
Matt O’Connell, Defensive Co-ordinator
One of the most experienced youth football coaches in Eastern Ontario, Matt returns as the Eagles’ defensive co-ordinator, a position he has held with the Pee Wee Eagles for the past several years.
Matt grew up in the program, playing for the inaugural Barrhaven Buccaneers, the precursor to the Nepean Redskins and the Nepean Eagles. He went on to play high school football at St. Pius, winning the city championship at both the junior and senior levels.
Matt began coaching in the Brockville/Kemptville developmental spring league, and has been a head coach at the bantam level for six years.
Matt has also trained and certified as an NCCP position coach for DBs, LBs, defensive line and offensive line.
Jason Hudson – Offensive Line
Jason rejoins the Bantam Eagles with a wealth of experience and success as an offensive lineman.
He spent two years (1992-93) with the Ottawa Sooners and was a big part of the Sooners’ national championship team.
He went to Europe to play and coach professionally, landing in Amiens, France for the 1994 and 1995 season.
Jason played in the Northern Football Conference for the North Bay Bulldogs from 1996-97.
He began coaching at Merivale High School in 1998 and spent five seasons there as offensive co-ordinator.
He resumed his playing career in 2002, playing semi-pro football for the Montreal Condors and the Ottawa Deacon Demons of the Empire Football League for four seasons each. In 2010, he joined the Massena Silver and Black and played for three more seasons.
He was the Bantam Eagles’ offensive line coach last season.
Andrew Mason, Offensive Development Coach
Andrew Mason is entering his fifth year of coaching for the Nepean Eagles. He has coached at the Tyke, Mosquito, and Pee Wee levels with a focus on the offensive side of the ball. Coach Mason is certified by Football Canada as both a receivers coach and a running backs coach. He has taken training in safe contact and Making Headway in Football. Coach Mason also spends time continually learning through both online resources and attending the yearly coaching conference. His goal is to improve the football IQ and position fundamentals of his players in a fun and safe manner.
As a player, Coach Mason played three seasons for the Nepean Eagles (at the time the club was the Barrhaven Buccaneers and then the Redskins). Playing running back those years, he was part of a B-cup championship team and won two Most Sportsmanlike awards and one MVP award. Coach Mason played high school football at Sir Robert Borden in Ottawa where he played a season at slot back and three others at running back. During those years the team made it to the city semi-finals once and the championship twice winning one city championship after an undefeated season in which he was named the team MVP. After high school, coach Mason played running back for the Carleton University Ravens.
Tim Tate – Defensive Backs
Tim grew up playing in the Kanata March Hares/Kanata Knights program before transitioning to high school football at AY Jackson High School.
Tim played for the Ottawa Norsemen for three years, from 1996-98, before joining the Ottawa Sooners for the 1999 season.
In 2000, Tim began playing semi-pro football. He spent two seasons with the Montreal Condors before heading to Iowa to play for the Cedar Rapids Titans for two more years.
Cameron Webb, Running Backs Coach
Cameron returns for his second year as a running backs coach with the Eagles.
He grew up in the Nepean Redskins program as a player, with experience on both sides of the ball. He was a two-time Defensive MVP as a linebacker, and he was also an Offensive Player of the Year as he played both running back and receiver, and he received training as a quarterback. In 2004, Andrew played wide receiver for the U16 Eastern Ontario U16 team.
Cameron went on to play high school football at John McCraw Secondary School in Barrhaven and was the Bulldogs’ MVP after setting records for most rushing yards and most rushing touchdowns in one season.
Rob Webb – Receivers
Rob is back for another season with the Bantam Eagles and will look after the receivers.
As a player, Rob won a Quebec provincial championship with Philemon Wright in 1975.
He became a coach with the Nepean Redskins in 1994 and has served in a number of capacities over the years.
In 2004, Rob was the receivers coach for the national champion Eastern Ontario U16 team.
He left the Eagles in 2015 to become the receivers coach for the Ottawa Sooners of the Ontario Football Conference, and returned to the Eagles last season to be the offensive co-ordinator for the Bantam Eagles. He also coached receivers in the Athletes in Action high school All-Star Game in 2014 and 2015.