Walch hears Canada calling

Carson Walch is moving on to pro football.

The Elgin native has coached at the college level continously since his playing days ended and he was set for another season at Winona State.

He spent 17 days in Montreal as a "guest coach" from June 1-17 in the training camp of the defending Grey Cup champion Alouettes.

"It was about networking, seeing how they do things, that kind of thing," Walch said this week as he was packing his final bag before leaving for Montreal.  The other guest coach was Chuck Amato, who served as an assistant for 21 years to Florida State's Bobby Bowden.

"It was great," Walch said. "A lot of insights, a lot of stories."


But Walch barely had his bag unpacked upon returning last week when his phone rang. It was Alouettes head coach Marc Trestman. With a job offer.

Walch said Winona State's head football coach Tom Sawyer and athletics director Larry Holstad were very supportive.

"This was tough because it's so late in the summer," Walch said. "Coach Sawyer has been my mentor for a long time. But I'm sure they'll have no problem finding someone very good to step into a program that good."

Walch will be working on the offensive side of the coach staff and also helping with special teams. The team's opener — against Saskatchewan, the team it beat to win the CFL title last fall — is July 1.

Trestman is a Minnesota native who was a backup quarterback at the University of Minnesota in the late 1970s. He began his coaching career in 1981 with the University of Miami while attending law school there and worked with Bernie Kosar, who led the Hurricanes to the 1983 national title.

He was on five different NFL staffs, including the Vikings, and later coached under Amato for three seasons at North Carolina State. This is his third year as Montreal's head coach.

Walch is a 2001 grad of Winona State. As an all-America running back there, in 1999 he was a semifinalist for the Harlon Hill award, which goes to the best Division II player in the nation.

The 1996 Elgin-Millville High School graduate was a graduate assistant at Winona from 2000 to 2002, then spent three seasons (2004-06) on the football staff at Dakota State in Madison, S.D. He was an assistant at the University of St. Thomas for the 2006 season and returned to Winona for the 2007 season.


His duties at Winona last season were assistant head coach, co-offensive coordinator, wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.

Carson's older brother Travis and younger brother Ryan were both also standout running backs at Winona State, and currently share a house in the Twin Cities. Travis also coaches college football; he's offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at St. Thomas.

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