Now that his playing career is over, aches and pains are aspects of football Jamie Boreham surely won’t miss.
Instead of hitting and being hit, the 34-year-old Vancouver native plans to satiate his passion for the game through coaching.
Boreham, a veteran of eight Canadian Football League seasons, was appointed this week as special teams coach for the Okanagan Sun.
“Waking up sore every morning for four months every season, I’d had about enough of that,” Boreham said with a laugh. “I’ve always loved football and knew I wanted stay involved after I quit playing. Coaching is the best way for me to do that.”
Before and during his professional career as a kicker with Hamilton, Saskatchewan, Toronto and Winnipeg, Boreham developed his coaching chops for 18 years at the high school and elementary levels in Vancouver.
Combined with his experience as a player at the highest level, and his passion for the game, head coach Gavin Lake said Boreham’s addition will be invaluable to the Sun.
“Jamie really brings a multitude of things to our team,” said Lake. “How many coaches have played at every level and have that kind of credibility with 17- and 18-year-old players ? He has the technical expertise, the personality that lends itself well to coaching, and just a lot of experience within the game. He has all that, not to mention the ability to recruit for us in Vancouver. He has the complete package and our football team can’t help but be better for having him here.”
Lake and Boreham have crossed paths several times over the years, including in 2000 at UBC spring camp, and again in 2007 in the CFL when Boreham played with the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Lake was an assistant with the B.C. Lions.
The two began corresponding this spring, and the more Boreham talked to Lake about the Sun, the more intrigued he became with the idea of joining the Okanagan staff.
Boreham looks forward to working with the Sun head coach to achieve a common goal.
“It just seemed like the right fit. Coach Lake has vast experience in the game and hopefully I can learn a lot from him, some of the inside stuff and how coaching works,” said Boreham, who won the Grey Cup with Saskatchewan in 2007. “I’m here to win, to help the team win, and try and help the guys that I’m coaching be as good as they can be.”
The coaching job isn’t Boreham’s first exposure to the Sun, as he played against the Kelowna-based junior club several times as a member of the Abbotsford Air Force in the late 1990s.
“I remember coming up here in junior, seeing all the fans and how loud they were,” said Boreham, a CIS all-Canadian as a safety and punter with the Manitoba Bisons in 2001.
“It was always exciting and a fun place to play. It’s nice to be back and coaching here.”
Boreham has teaching experience and has done substitute work at Notre Dame Secondary in Vancouver.
While coaching for the Sun, he hopes to pursue teaching opportunities this fall in Kelowna.