Olthuis will join Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame

 Brian Olthuis, longtime educator, administrator, coach, sportsman and athlete, will take his place in the Kamloops Sports Hall of Fame.

Olthuis moved to Kamloops from Edmonton in 1971 to take a teaching position. He spent two years at Valleyview secondary, nine years at John Peterson and 23 years at Kamloops secondary. His passion for football, developed in his playing days with the Edmonton Junior Wildcats and later the University of Alberta Golden Bears, was his calling card in a city that was embarking on the golden years of football.

He coached the JP Adanacs to five city junior high titles and took over the head coaching duties of the Kam High Red Devils from the iconic Rick Nykorack.

The Red Devils won B.C. High School AAA Football Championships in 1981 and 1983 under Nykorack. When Kam High won provincial championships under Olthuis in 1985, 1986 and 1990, the legend of the Red Devils’ accomplishments were written into B.C.  High School football history, with an Interior team having won five titles in a 10-year span.

Olthuis credits coaches like Nykorack and Digger McLeod, who set the standard, and the support of athletic director Jack Buckham, each of whom have been voted into the KSHF. He can’t say enough about assistant coaches Gerry Bond and Ron Pauwels, who were at his side every step of the way. He also lauds the athletes who wore the red and black. Some, like Brad Yamaoka, went on to play pro. Many didn’t, but all had the common bond of pride for the school and city.

Olthuis and his wife, Rendy, raised their family (Raimey, Brent and Duncan) in Kamloops. They were all athletically active. When it came to football, Olthuis served on several steering committees in leadership roles. He rolled up his sleeves to volunteer with the Kamloops Sports Council, the junior Kamloops Broncos and the KSHF. He has also been actively involved  in senior sports such as hockey and slo-pitch.

The individuals joining Olthuis in the Hall this year are Vic Bifano, Bob Smillie and Norio Sakaki, while the Sgt. O’Flaherty’s women’s broomball squad will enter in the team category.

Source: Kamloops This Week