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Brian Dobie

Brian Dobie, Head Football Coach // Photos by Jason Halstead & Shawn Coates

Meet Our Community: Coffee with a Co-Worker

Brian Dobie on his ‘dream job’

October 23, 2017 — 

 

WHAT DO YOU DO AT THE U OF M?

Brian Dobie: I am responsible for running the football program here and everything that comes with that, from administration responsibilities to recruiting. And coaching a football team — I get to do that too.

I wanted to come back and make a difference. It was personal. It was professional for sure but it was also personal. The university impacted my life.

WHY WERE YOU ATTRACTED TO WORK HERE?

U of M  means a lot to me. I loved being a student here, I honestly did. I loved being a Bison athlete — I played football and ran track. I loved my Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management. I had some great professors that I really respected and admired. They influenced me and made an impact on me

I wanted to come back and make a difference. It was personal. It was professional for sure but it was also personal. The university impacted my life.

HOW DID YOU END UP AT THE U OF M?

It was literally my dream job. The first time I applied for the position I made the final three picks but I didn’t get the job. Second time, I was in the final two but didn’t get it. Third time around I was really discouraged and I wasn’t sure I was going to apply, but I got the job in the spring of 1996.

That process has helped me and I share it with my players.  

There are all kinds of players that get frustrated in their studies, and get frustrated in their pursuit of football. It is very competitive.

The easy solution, of course, is just to quit. Most people get tired of going over roadblocks and succumb. But you really need to stay the course and persevere. Good things will happen if you do the right things. It worked out for me and you want your student athletes to learn the same kind of lessons.

Brian Dobie

 

CAN YOU DESCRIBE THE CHANGES YOU’VE SEEN AT U OF M DURING YOUR 22 YEARS HERE?

We’re sitting in the biggest one right now! The Investors Group Field and David Asper Manitoba Bison Football Centre is the nicest football or sports complex in our nation.

Time after time, I take recruits on campus tours and point out how this building didn’t exist five or 20 years ago. That rusted-out tin shed was Bison football for several decades! (laughs) Look at what we have now.

Nobody has this. Toronto and Calgary do not have this type of field. We are the leaders in the country.

The single best thing for me about this campus is the way colleagues treat each other. It’s a great place to be.

ANY ADVICE FOR A NEW EMPLOYEE OR SOMEONE CONSIDERING WORKING HERE?

My advice is to network everywhere you can professionally and socially. Get to know people because people on this campus are going to go out of their way to help each other. I experienced it when I started, and it has never stopped. The single best thing for me about this campus is the way colleagues treat each other. It’s a great place to be.

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE IN YOUR ROLE THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?

I’m proud of raising the visibility, significance and profile of Bison football. I feel that our program is very respected nation-wide. There’s a real pride within the program.

Winning the Vanier Cup was the second greatest night of my life. My wife loves that comment! The best night was when our daughter was born, and then the night we won the Vanier Cup. Now, marrying my wife is number three — but we were engaged for a long, long time so it’s not quite as bad as it sounds!

We’re really lucky because our entire lives are based on these U of M students.

THE FAVOURITE PART OF YOUR JOB?

My job is to solve problems. Find a way to beat UBC, find a way to beat Calgary. Find a student athlete who is failing and put him on a path to improvement and success. Work with a player who is young and needs lots of development. It is super interesting and exciting.

Every day as I walk through here, I am surrounded by  20 year-olds who are highly motivated. They just bring it! We all see the students , walking through campus, in classrooms, and here on the football field. We’re really lucky because our entire lives are based on these U of M students.

Brian Dobie

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2 comments on “Meet Our Community: Coffee with a Co-Worker

  1. Ken Muzik

    Brian Dobie has taken the U of M Football Program to new heights since becoming the Head Coach. Brian and his staff have graduated student athletes into the NFL, the CFL and they have contributed to many of their graduates becoming captains of industry right across the country. Keep up the good work Brian!

    Reply
  2. Mike Teschuk

    I had the privilege of having dinner with coach Dobie at the USports national awards evening last year in Hamilton: what a classy, passionate advocate and leader within the U of M community. We have been fortunate to have him here for the past twenty years.

    Reply

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