By Ian Shalapata
(WINDSOR, ON) – A local institution since 1946, the AKO Fratmen football club has been competing in the Canadian Junior Football League as an arm of the AKO Fraternity. The Fratmen have won national championships in 1952, 1954, and 1999, and most recently won the Ontario Football Conference in 2013, their seventh such title.
Since their inception, the AKO Fratmen have been owned and operated by the Alpha Kai Omega Fraternity. Today that all changed.
Announce earlier at a press conference held at WE-TV studios in east Windsor, the Fratmen have been sold to Mike Morencie. If that name sound familiar, it should. Morencie has been the defensive coordinator for the Fratmen for the past three years. Prior to that, Morencie was the team’s head coach from 1983 to 1995, which included two OFC Championships in 1987 and 1990.
Morencie was also the head coach of the University of Windsor Lancers football team, from 1997 to 2010, the school where he played CIS football.
Mike Morencie will now step onto the field as the franchise owner when continuing his role as the defensive coordinator. Head coach Mike LaChance doesn’t envision there to be a conflict between he and Morencie when it comes to running the team.
“I can’t think of a better guy to own them than Mike Morencie,” LaChance told the assembled media and live-stream audience today. “Obviously there are going to be some dynamics involved, but I’ve coached with him for three years now, and we haven’t had any issues because we both see the big picture.”
“On the field there’s going to be a hierarchy of me being in charge,” he continued. “And off the field there’s going to be a hierarchy of him being in charge. It might not be utopia, but it’ll be the way we do it.”
For his part, Morencie knows where he stands with LaChance.
“I think we have a great coach. He’s an outstanding head coach,” Morencie endorsed Mike LaChance. “I know where my place is, where it stops and where it starts. I really respect how Mike runs our football team and the job he’ll do. This is going to be one strange relationship, but it’s one that Mike and I are 100% positive we can handle.”
Morencie may answer to LaChance on the field, but away from the ball he has taken the reins of the team and has set the goal he wants to achieve.
“I don’t believe in setting goals that aren’t big, so why don’t we do this with the thought in mind of taking this to the national level,” Morencie stated. “My mandate is to take over football and to take it where we want to take it. We want AKO to be the face of football in this area.”
So a new era of football descends on Windsor and the AKO Fratmen. Morencie and LaChance are looking forward to building the AKO franchise and are hitting the ground running.