Ben Macauley will be back on the Okanagan Sun sidelines in 2018.                                -Image: Warren Henderson/Capital News

Ben Macauley will be back on the Okanagan Sun sidelines in 2018. -Image: Warren Henderson/Capital News

Macauley back to lead Sun in 2018

Ben Macauley is returning for his third season as head coach of the junior football team

The 2017 football season didn’t end the way Ben Macauley envisioned.

On the other hand, the 32-year-old head coach couldn’t be more encouraged by what the future holds for the Okanagan Sun program.

Both were important factors in Macauley’s decision to return to the helm of the B.C. Football Conference club for the 2018 campaign.

“We have some unfinished business on the field,” said Macauley, who signed a one-year extension with the Sun. “Off the field, we feel like we’re starting to put a mark on the program. We have a number of really good things going for young men, developing not just football players but well-rounded individuals.

“We’ve brought in guys who line up with the vision of the program,” added Macauley, “and along with the players we’ve inherited, we really feel like we’re headed in the right direction.”

During his tenure, the Regina native has led the Sun to a 15-4-1 regular season record, two second-place finishes and back-to-back playoff appearances.

Still, 2017 ended in a disappointment for the Sun who lost at home to the Vancouver Island Raiders in the BCFC semifinal.

Macauley expects the lessons learned over the last two seasons will serve the Sun coaching staff and returning players well in 2018.

“We felt we had a better team than we showed, and that’s on the coaches,” Macauley said. “As coaches we need to do a better job of preparing our players. It’s been a learning experience for us, mistakes are made, but it’s up to us to prove we’ve learned from those.

“We believe 2018 is ours.”

Team president Les Weiss said the Sun has taken some positive steps under Macauley’s guidance, both on and off the field.

“We’re pleased to have extended Ben’s contract for the 2018 season,” said Weiss. “His hard work and dedication is evident when you look at all the young talent he was able to assemble last season, and we believe the organization is in good hands moving forward.”

Macauley took over as he club’s head coach after the departure of Shane Beatty following the 2015 season.

In a previous stint with the Sun, Macauley worked as an offensive line coach in 2012 and 2013, before serving as head coach of the KSS Owls in 2015.

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