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Media Release: Kamloops coaching legend Brian Olthuis to be honoured with Bob Ackles Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted on 2016-03-29 07:48:21

Legendary Kamloops football coach Brian Olthuis will be honoured with the Bob Ackles Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual Orange Helmet Awards, presented by Coast Capital Savings, on Thursday, April 7, 2016 at The Westin Bayshore in Vancouver.

Receiving the Bob Ackles Lifetime Achievement Award is part of a busy week for Olthuis who will also be inducted into the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday, April 9, 2016.

Video: Brian Olthuis talks about the OHA and Hall of Fame induction

Olthuis has been a staple in the Kamloops community since moving from his native Edmonton in the early 1970’s. A star offensive tackle during his playing days, Brian’s first gig as a coach began as an assistant at Valleyview Secondary but it was his stint at John Peterson Secondary where the birth of a legend took place.

As head coach at John Peterson, Brian led the school to an unprecedented nine consecutive city championships. Even then, it would be his next stop that would truly put Kamloops football on the provincial map.

Brian joined Kamloops Secondary Secondary (better known by many as Kam High) in 1984. At the time, they were the lone AAA provincial school in all of high school football. He promptly led them to back-to-back provincial championships in 1985 and 1986, something unheard of from an Interior program. They would go onto to win another championship in 1990 and make another finals appearance in 1994. During that time, Brian was named the Kamloops Sports Council Coach of the Year twice in 1990 and 1994.

Brian has also been involved with coaching at the provincial level and was part of the Team BC that won the Canada Cup in 1999.

Despite retiring from active coaching in 2005, Brian remains an integral part of the football landscape in BC. He became heavily involved in the officiating side of the game following his retirement and can still be found running up and down the field at games, and continues to give back to the coaching side delivering NCCP programs as a Master Learning Facilitator for Football Canada and through his work as the VP Programs with Football BC.

Previous Bob Ackles Lifetime Achievement Award winners include Larry Reda, Lorne Davis, Lorne Cullen, Ron White, Frank Smith, Bob Ackles (award renamed in his honour in 2009), Cal Murphy, George Oswald, Jack Armour, Dr. Bill MacGregor, and Jerry Mulliss.

The Orange Helmet Awards dinner will also be presenting pioneer awards to: the late Bill Kushnir, a longtime volunteer who laid the foundation for football in New Westminster and Delta; Joe Connelly, a longtime coach and administrator with the North Surrey Minor Football program; and Bill Vance, whose name is synonymous with football in East Vancouver.

Brian Brady (Carson Graham Eagles, North Vancouver) will be presented with the Scholastic Coach of the Year award, while Brent Calvert (South Delta Rams) will be honoured as the Community Coach of the Year.

The Orange Helmet Awards will also recognize the 2015 provincial champions in amateur football including winners from the community, junior and high school levels. The UBC Thunderbirds will also be presented with an award in recognition of their 2015 Vanier Cup championship.

The 2016 Orange Helmet Awards will feature former BC Lions defensive end and current Miami Dolphins all-star Cameron Wake as the keynote speaker.

Tickets can be ordered by contacting Michelle at or calling 604.930.5481.

For more information, visit