TORONTO — Paul LaPolice is more than content to be in the studio, offering his insight on a game at TSN but that doesn’t mean that the competitive fire on the field has left the former CFL head coach.
LaPolice will always be a coach at heart but sometimes other opportunities take precedence even with a chance to return to the sidelines within his grasp.
“There were coaching opportunities for me this past year,” LaPolice told CFL.ca, “For me I think staying at TSN was a family decision, it would have been a tough decision to leave a wife and three kids so we said we’ll do the family thing.
“I love being able to see all the games, still be involved, watch all the tape and everything.”
There is an intangible that coaching offers, however, a competitive spirit that is noticeably different when behind a desk rather than in front of a group of football players.
“You’re not competing as much as when you get game day and the emotions are flowing,” he said.
Daily meetings, the camaraderie of game-planning and talking with the guys and then competing that’s the hardest part but sometimes family trumps all that.”
To scratch the itch that LaPolice has for coaching and competing, he sought out a guest coaching opportunity with the Toronto Argonauts and Scott Milanovich and his staff were more than happy to bring on the former Bombers sideline boss.
“Paul called me and was interested in coming in,” Milanovich simply explained.
There may have been some extra motivation for LaPolice as not only would he get his fix for coaching but he could also get some extra insight into the CFL game.
“I think Paul just loves football and is interested in how we do things offensively,” Milanovich continued, “I think all coaches are like that. You try to pick and choose from things that you like and see if there’s something you can add of your own repertoire one day.”
And even with over a decade of coaching experience under his belt, the Nashua, New Hampshire native says he is still learning while on the job.
“I’ve enjoyed it and I’ve learned a lot,” LaPolice said. “They do a good job here offensively so it’s been great to help out where I can and I’m happy to be charting plays for them like a little GA [Graduate Assistant] or something.”
LaPolice will return to the studio after the Argonauts break camp before the regular season where he will take the experience of coaching back to his role on TSN.
“I can say ‘in training camp that kid was really good’. I got a better understanding of some of the guys,” said LaPolice.