The dismissal of two coaches, the promotion of another, and the return of a familiar face to the coaching staff marked an eventful and turbulent 2011 B.C. Football Conference season for the Okanagan Sun.
In February, the Sun relieved Peter McCall of his duties after two years as the club’s head coach.
A former player who had a long history with the team, McCall was dismissed not for his coaching abilities, but his apparent lack of attention to off-field issues.
“Our head coach did not give recruiting the level of importance that we knew was necessary to maintain elite status and regain championship form,” said Sun president Bill Long. “We do not consider Pete McCall a bad coach.”
For McCall’s part, the decision came as a shock and a disappointment.
“I just want the kids to know I didn’t quit on them. I’ve been with this team for three decades, I’ve been involved in football all my life. That’s why it’s such a tough pill to swallow.”
Taking over for McCall was Jason Casey, who was promoted to the Sun’s head coach from defensive co-ordinator in March.
“I’m so excited for the opportunity,” said Casey, 36. “I love what the Okanagan Sun is and has been, and I’m extremely excited to be the next head coach, keep moving forward and get that championship that’s been so elusive for more than a decade.”
There would be one more change before all was said and done as Casey relieved offensive co-ordinator Tony Lindsay of his duties midway through the season.
Lindsay’s replacement was Jay Christensen, who served as the Sun’s head coach for seven seasons before stepping down in 2008.
The Sun finished the 2011 season in second place with an 8-2 record, then lost the BCFC semifinal to the visiting Langley Rams, 31-29.