Football News

Sumarah named new Ravens football head coach

Coach Sumarah sitting in the stands

Photo by James Park

After a nationwide search, Carleton University is pleased to announce that Steve Sumarah has been named the 13th head coach of the Ravens varsity football program.

“This is an important milestone on the road to bringing football back to Carleton University,” said President Roseann O’Reilly Runte.  “We are pleased to announce that Steve Sumarah will coach the Ravens from their first year.  Coach Sumarah has an outstanding record of mentoring student-athletes and working with the community. We look forward to watching him build on Carleton’s tradition of excellence in varsity sports.”

Sumarah, who has been coaching in the AUS for the past 17 years, comes to Carleton after spending the last six seasons as head coach of the Saint Mary’s University Huskies. During that time, he boasted an overall regular season record of 35-12, an impressive 0.745 win percentage.

He led the team to four consecutive AUS titles (2007-2010), a Uteck Bowl championship and a trip to the Vanier Cup (2007), and was named the AUS coach of the year three times along the way (2007-09).

After leading the Huskies to their third straight conference championship in 2009, Sumarah became the third SMU coach to receive the Frank Tindall Trophy as CIS football coach of the year.

“I am extremely proud and honoured to have the opportunity to lead the Ravens football program into its new era,” said Sumarah. “Carleton University, the Old Crows and I share the same vision for the program – that Ravens football will be a championship quality team that provides its student-athletes with exceptional academic and athletic opportunities, while fostering the principles of good citizenship and lifelong learning.”

“My family and I are excited that we will be calling Ottawa our new home and I thank the Carleton community for this outstanding opportunity,” he added. “I look forward to each and every challenge in preparation for our kickoff in 2013.”

Before he became head coach of the Huskies program, Sumarah was the offensive coordinator at SMU from 1998-2005. He helped the team earn a record of six consecutive AUS titles (1999-2004), four Vanier Cup berths (1999, 2001-03) and win two national championships (2001-02).

“We are very excited that [Sumarah] will be leading the Ravens football program in its return to CIS competition,” said Kevin McKerrow, vice president of Old Crows Football Inc. “[Sumarah] is a proven winner who understands the importance of developing a program dedicated to academic enrichment and community involvement.”

While at SMU, Sumarah was actively involved in the community. Among his numerous initiatives, Sumarah played a leading role in establishing an anti-bullying campaign that was presented to many of the local schools.

Sumarah also knows the importance of not only athletic, but academic success, having been a CIS Academic All-Canadian while he pursued a Master of Education at Saint Mary’s.

“We are extremely pleased that [Sumarah] has accepted the challenge to build our football program,” said Jennifer Brenning, Carleton’s director of recreation and athletics. “His impressive coaching and educational background provides us with the confidence that our football program will represent Carleton University very well. The success of this program will rely heavily on community involvement. [Sumarah] has the qualities and experience to engage the community in a very positive way.  We are looking forward to the years ahead.”

Along with coaching at SMU, Sumarah acted as the quarterback and receiver coach with the Canadian senior men’s team that captured a silver medal at the 2011 IFAF World Championship.

Sumarah has also coached at St. Francis Xavier University and at five CFL camps. He has worked tirelessly as an instructor at a number of summer football camps in the United States and Canada over the years.

Carleton continues to move forward on plans for the return of varsity football in 2013. Planning is underway for both the design and construction of new football facilities and stadium upgrades on campus.

Carleton will also host a kick-off dinner on April 28, location TBC.

About Coach Sumarah

CIS Head Coaching Career

Year     Team        Record
2006     Saint Mary’s     3 -4       2nd in AUS
2007     Saint Mary’s    7 -1       1st in AUS
2008     Saint Mary’s    7 -1      1st in AUS
2009     Saint Mary’s    7-1       1st in AUS
2010     Saint Mary’s    5- 3       1st in AUS
2011     Saint Mary’s    6- 2       2nd in AUS

Honours & Awards

CIS Coach of the Year 2009
AUS Coach of the Year 2007-09
AUS Volunteer Coach of the Year 2000
Football Nova Scotia Coach of the Year 1999


Master of Education, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax, NS
Curriculum and Administration, CIAU Academic All-Canadian

Bachelor of Science, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS
Physical Education

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