Winnipeg football coach ‘disgusted’ after former colleague charged with sexually assaulting students

One Winnipeg football coach is calling for major change, after a former teacher and coach was arrested for several counts of sexual assault last week. Alex Karpa reports.

By Alex Karpa

A Winnipeg football coach is calling for major change after a former teacher and coach was arrested and charged with several counts of sexual assault.

Geordie Wilson, head coach for the Winnipeg Rifles in the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL), is speaking out and calling for immediate change to protect students.

“I want to make sure that moving forward we have something that has meaning and teeth to it to try to reduce the opportunity for predators to prey on kids,” said Wilson.

BACKGROUND: Winnipeg football coach charged with historical sexual assaults

Last week, Winnipeg police arrested 51-year-old Kelsey McKay, a former coach and physical education teacher at both Churchill High School and Vincent Massey Collegiate.

McKay was charged with five counts of sexual assault after five of his former students came forward with allegations of incidents that occurred between 2004 and 2011. Police say the majority of the alleged offences occurred in his home.

McKay also faces charges of sexual exploitation and luring. He has been released with conditions. He is currently employed with the Pembina Trails School Division in the city. He has been placed on unpaid leave.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

“I was extremely disgusted and disappointed,” said Wilson. “But not super surprised.”

Wilson coached with McKay on the Manitoba provincial football team for a few years and coached against him for several more. Wilson says one interaction with him in particular stuck out.

“We actually exchanged game tapes, but they were VCR copies, so they weren’t digitized,” recounted Wilson. “I remember going to Kelsey McKay’s house on a Sunday night at about seven or eight o’clock and I’m exchanging game tapes and there are five or six kids in his house. And I said, ‘what are they doing here?’ And he said, ‘oh they are just watching the football game.’ And I thought that’s kind of weird and why did he have kids there.”

Wilson says new rules are needed now to protect students and players at all costs. He feels teachers and coaches should not be allowed to have players and students in their homes.

The coach has a meeting set up with Education Minister Wayne Ewasko and Sport, Culture, and Heritage Minister Andrew Smith at the end of April to discuss further changes. He also has written a letter to school divisions in Winnipeg and to Sport Manitoba.

The Winnipeg School Division told CityNews it is cooperating with Winnipeg police and “are collecting information from that situation to determine if any further changes to our policies or staff development may be required.”

Last week Winnipeg police Const. Dani McKinnon said historical cases like these can be difficult.

“We’ll have to go back in and access witnesses, perhaps talk to businesses and institutions, sometimes that may no longer exist. So it could be quite challenging,” she said.

McKinnon anticipates there could be more victims in the case.

Wilson fears the same. He has a son and daughter who played sports while they were teenagers and says the thought of this happening to his kids is gut-wrenching.

“To think how people could do that to our kids, and we have to do everything possible so we can lessen this as much as we can moving forward.

“We’re not stopping until we get meaningful change. And I’m not saying I have all the answers and that the document I have produced is refined to pass through the legislature, but it’s a starting point and it’s a solid starting point that we have to massage to make work, but we’re not stopping.”

Spring camp for the Winnipeg Rifles begins next week, and Wilson says he will have an open discussion about this case with his players before they hit the field.

—With files from The Canadian Press

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