Broncos: New head coach
One of the worst-kept secrets in the Tournament Capital is out of the bag — Duncan Olthuis is the Kamloops Broncos’ new head coach.
Othuis, the son of local coaching legend Brian Olthuis, was officially named the Canadian Junior Football League (CJFL) squad’s bench boss by Broncos’ president and GM Dino Bernardo at a press conference on Wednesday, Feb. 16.
“Duncan gives us strong local ties to community football and to high school football in Kamloops, which is where we feel we need to do a better job of getting local kids to stay in Kamloops and play football,” Bernardo said.
Darryl Chow was named the Broncos’ assistant head coach at the same press conference, which was held at the Tournament Capital Centre.
The Broncos’ new head coach is taking over from Rob Ellis, who stepped down after leading Kamloops to its winningest season in franchise history (3-7).
Three wins in 2010 was the most the Broncos have won in any given season, but they did not make the playoffs, and four years without a sniff of post-season football has Bernardo chomping at the bit.
“This is year five for the Broncos,” Bernardo said. “It’s been our goal for the last four years [to make the playoffs], but I think it is this year, more so than any other year.”
Chow will handle the offensive play-calling, while Olthuis, who served as the Broncos’ defensive co-ordinator last season, will dial up the defensive plays.
Othuis said he expects his father —who coached the powerhouse Kamloops High Red Devils for decades — to be “in his ear” giving him advice, but the Broncos’ head coach will also be able to rely on his own knowledge base.
He played football with the CJFL’s Okanagan Sun, the now-defunct Kamloops Cowboys and the University of Saskatchewan Huskies of the Canadian Interuniversity Sports ranks.
Olthuis also spent nine years coaching at Kamloops High, which became South Kamloops secondary during Olthuis’ tenure at the school.
With 140 players already registered for spring camp in May (79 players were registered for camp at this time last year), Bernardo said the club has never been in better shape.
Hard work and “business every day” is Olthuis’ motto, he said, noting he is not a coach who often uses fear as a motivational tool.
“I’m not a fear-striking guy. I would say I’m a fair coach.”
The pressure to make the playoffs is real, Olthuis admitted, but he is more concerned about fielding a hard-working football team than worrying about wins and losses, at this early stage of his Bronco career.
“There will always be that pressure,” he said.
“I won’t say anything about records. We just want to put a good
product on the field.”