“The change for me has been invigorating” | Costanza swapping pink & black for blue & gold

Each skilled soccer coach on the planet will attest there are particular crossroads moments a man/gal experiences of their profession.

And Pete Costanza, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers’ new operating backs coach, can checklist off a pair – one in all which he’s experiencing proper now after leaving the Calgary Stampeders following 12 years of service in southern Alberta.


“It’s undoubtedly already been thrilling for me,” started Costanza, at the moment again in Calgary, in a current chat with bluebombers.com. “It’s robust proper now with the COVID-19 pandemic, however the good factor is as coaches our enterprise means we will nonetheless put together and plan. We’re all simply ready for the ‘Go’ sign.

“However already the change for me has been invigorating. It’s a welcome problem and it’s good to have a special method to take a look at the sport. The work, being within the workplace and going over the self-scout with the fellows and studying the system is a recent, new outlook on the CFL and soccer as an entire and I’ve completely loved it to this point.”

Costanza formally joined the Bombers in late January and his addition was considerably neglected within the build-up to Canadian Soccer League free company. He brings some beneficial expertise to a training workers that may see some modifications on the offensive aspect of the ball, with Buck Pierce the brand new offensive coordinator and Kevin Bourgoin shifting from operating backs to receivers.


Costanza tutored the likes of Nik Lewis, DaVaris Daniels, Jeremaine Copeland and Reggie Begelton amongst many others throughout his days in Calgary, however will shift over to teach operating backs.

“The very first thing I take a look at is what stays the identical,” mentioned Costanza when requested in regards to the change. “The inspiration for teaching is constructing an trustworthy and true relationship together with your gamers. Whether or not you’re teaching receivers, DBs, operating backs or no matter, you need to have a real relationship together with your guys and allow them to know that you just’re there for them and also you care about them as individuals, not simply guys sporting a quantity on sport day.


“The change for me, the distinction is simply going to be about coaching myself and coaching my eyes. As a receivers coach I might be extra centered on the again finish and the way the defence is enjoying within the again finish with their DBs and their coverages. Now it’s coaching my eyes to watching the fronts and what sort of fronts and blitzes we’re getting after which serving to my guys perceive that.”

Costanza mentioned the choice to go away Calgary wasn’t straightforward – particularly because it was Stampeders President and GM John Hufnagel that first helped get him into teaching. However with Stamps head coach Dave Dickenson dedicated to remaining the offensive coordinator and play caller, he felt he wanted a change.

“All of us have aspirations of transferring up and changing into coordinators and doubtlessly changing into head coaches someday,” mentioned Costanza. “When Buck referred to as me and requested about altering from teaching receivers to operating backs I believed it was an incredible alternative. So many individuals take a look at me as a pass-game man as a result of I’ve coached receivers for 12 years. I do perceive the run sport and the fronts. Marty has carried out such an awesome job with the fronts and the run sport that may simply assist me with my progress.


“Throw in that I’m going to the Gray Cup champs with a bunch of actually good guys who’re good soccer coaches and it simply appeared like a very good match.”

Costanza first reached out to Bombers head coach Mike O’Shea through e-mail a couple of potential alternative in Winnipeg after which it was Pierce who contacted Dickenson in Calgary.


That call to name the Bombers a couple of potential alternative introduced Costanza again to a different crossroads second on the very starting of his teaching profession. He had performed Division III soccer for the William Patterson College Pioneers the place he had earned a level in Train Physiology/Cardiac Rehab.

An internship on the Cardiac Care Unit at Hackensack Medical Middle satisfied him that subject wasn’t for him and he took a job in company health because the assistant normal supervisor at a well being membership.

A number of months in that subject – the planning, the workers schedules, and so on. – was hardly inspiring him both.


“That’s after I had my  ‘Ah-ha!’ lightbulb second, after I realized I didn’t need to work in enterprise administration. I needed to work with athletes,” he mentioned. “The proprietor of the sector soccer group (the New Jersey Purple Canine) occurred to work out at our membership and one in all trainers launched me to him. He requested if I needed to play and I informed him I used to be extra occupied with teaching. He gave me Huff’s cellular phone quantity.

“I sat on whether or not I ought to name Huff as a result of he didn’t know me. I imply, think about… ‘Hey Huff, the proprietor of your group works out at my fitness center and he gave me your quantity. Can I coach soccer?’ It was undoubtedly a leap of religion and a crossroads second, however I’m glad it labored out properly and I took benefit of the chance.”

Costanza and Hufnagel labored collectively for 2 years with the Purple Canine. Hufnagel then left for the NFL, whereas Costanza grew to become the top coach of the Albany Conquest in AF2, working with defensive backs at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute throughout the indoor offseason.


When Hufnagel got here again to Canada with the Stamps in 2008, he provided Costanza a job and he eagerly adopted.

Apparently, in a small league by which pre-existing relationships can imply every thing in transferring from one alternative to a different, Costanza didn’t have any expertise working with anybody on the Bombers workers.

However the fame he inbuilt Calgary did open up the door right here in Winnipeg. Now he’s excited to be working with Andrew Harris, Johnny Augustine and Brady Oliveira.


“Andrew does so many issues properly and has carried out plenty of good issues over his complete profession,” mentioned Costanza. “You then take a look at Johnny and Brady… they’re all gifted in their very own rights. Simply speaking to them, I requested them what they needed to get higher at this 12 months and what they needed to enhance on. It’s our operating backs room, however I would like them to set the usual of how we’re going to play. And it’s my job to say, ‘Hey, we set this collectively and it’s my duty to carry you guys accountable to enjoying at this stage.’

“It’s going to be plenty of enjoyable.”