WATERLOO — The interim label has been removed from Joe Paopao’s head coaching duties with the University of Waterloo’s football team.
The former CFL quarterback and coach was named the Warriors’ full-time head coach on Wednesday. He served as interim head coach last season after the departure of former head coach Dennis McPhee.
“Joe did a tremendous job for our program and student-athletes last year during a vital period of transition,” Bob Copeland, UW’s director of athletics, said in a statement.
“He has brought a new attitude and positive momentum to the locker room, and has earned the confidence of our players, administration, and alumni.” The Warriors had a 2-6 record last year but finished the season on a high note with a 48-29 upset over the University of Windsor in the final game. The team was winless a year earlier.
The Warriors, the youngest football team in Canadian Interuniversity Sports, is optimistic about the coming season based on the experience it gained last year and the depth it has acquired through recruiting.
“Last year was a sign of things to come and with the addition of several highly touted recruits and a core group of veterans returning we will continue to get better each and every day,” Paopao said Wednesday in a statement.
Paopao, 57, has extensive coaching experience. His CFL coaching resume includes stints with Edmonton, British Columbia and Winnipeg. He was the head coach of the Ottawa Renegades from 2001 to 2005.
He won a Grey Cup while serving as a coach with the B.C. Lions in 2000.
The native of Honolulu, who played for B.C., Saskatchewan and Ottawa during his 12-year playing career, joined UW’s coaching staff in 2007.
The Warriors will open their season on Aug. 25 against Windsor.