Football: Shawn of a new era at UBC, and Doug Mitchell ain't happy

UBC has scheduled a press conference for tomorrow afternoon, where it's widely expected that the university will hire SFU Offensive Coordinator Shawn Olson as the new coach. From The Province's Howard Tsumura:
"Sources indicate that Shawn Olson, the quarterback of UBC's 1997 Vanier Cup winning team, is expected to be introduced as the successor to fired former head coach Ted Goveia at a press conference Wednesday...His success in both three- and four-down football, and his strong ties to UBC's football alumni met two of the strongest job requirements as stated by UBC athletic director Bob Philip when the hiring process began in late November."
This is one where you need a lot more than what it is in the press release.

Vancouver radio host Jim Mullin has a report stating former CFL commissioner Doug Mitchell, the Thunderbirds' biggest booster — his name is on the new indoor arena there, people! — is boycotting Wednesday's press conference.

There is also a good thread on
"A source close to Doug Mitchell told CKNW that he was 'beyond furious' with the process of hiring a new coach for the program.

"Mitchell informed Philip that he would not attend the media conference because according to the source, 'Doug thought the hiring process was a total sham and he wasn't going to validate it.'

"Mitchell intends to contact UBC President Dr. Stephen Toope to voice his displeasure with the process.

"The opposition of UBC's most noteworthy donor also casts a shadow on Philip's intention of moving the T-Bird programs to NCAA Division II.
Meantime, Olson will have to rebuild a program, change a culture of losing, deal with a substandard stadium, the possible move to the NCAA ... there's a lot there to deal with. On the other side, this has got to be his dream job, and he'll be given the time to turn things around.

Olson hiring at UBC not popular with all (Jim Mullin, CKNW)
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  1. Blunderbird Alumni1/19/2010 7:00 pm

    Apparently UBC could have hired Gary Etcheverry, the Defensive Coordinator from The Saskatchewan Roughriders. A team that was in the 2009 GreyCup. He is a coach of over 30 years experience at ALL levels of football from highschool to the NFL. But instead they are going to hire Shaun Olson, another inexperienced local product with less then 7 years of Coaching experience at ANY level? Once again it looks like Bob Philip has dropped the ball. (4 bad hires in a row Bobby) Guess this process will take place again in another 3-5 years when The Thunderbirds continue to be the laughing stock of CIS West Football. Makes me embarrassed to call myself a former T-Bird!

  2. T-bird follower1/19/2010 8:00 pm

    One needs to remember that Etcheverry used to be on staff at UBC and was turned down for a promotion earlier. Granted he has probably learnt a few things since then but if you don't think somebody has the intangibles to run your program once, unlikely that changes when it's the same people making the hire decision.

  3. The process has finally been completed. And well worth the time with the decision to hire Shawn Olson. This brings a winner to the program not only as a player but a human beiging. I coached Shawn when he was a Q.B. with the Surrey Rams and he was winnere on and off the field. Great decision Bob Philip.

  4. If you met Shawn Olson just once you would realize, what a great person he is. He will do wonders for the program. 41

  5. Gotta love boosters...who's calling the shots, anyway?

  6. He who pays the piper calls the tune, to some extent.

  7. Indeed, Neate.

  8. Remember the state the SFU football program was in before the new coaching staff (including an offense run by Shawn Olson) was implemented. Two years after they went to the CanWest final. He was a MAJOR part of that turnaround. Shawn is a great coach, knows how to interact well with players and UBC will be happy with him.

  9. Well, who turned down Etcheverry in the first place, Bob Philip?
    "Granted, he probably learnt a few things in the mean time"?
    "Learnt" a few things?
    HELLO!! He's been coaching about as long as Olson's been alive!
    His last job was the defensive co-ordinator of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
    I mean, if you want someone with experience, why not go with Etcheverry?
    I know Olson's done good things with SFU program but really, how can you overlook Etcheverry's CV?
    I know, if you are Bob Phili[, apparently quite easily.

  10. T-bird follower1/20/2010 4:59 pm

    When did UBC say they valued experience over attributes? And further to your point, Etch learnt very little since he was passed over by UBC the first time (since he has been coaching for so long, obviously hasn't changed his ways much). Can't teach an old dog new tricks. If he wasn't popular then, he hasn't done anything since then to change/adapt or show he is ready to lead a university program. Coaching a pro defence, although impressive, says little about his ability to coach 18-24 year olds with varying skill levels on both sides of the ball.

  11. Can't teach an old dog new tricks?
    How many coaches has Bob Philip gone through again?
    The last one didn't work out, and it was his call, right?
    If Olson is 0-5 out of the gate, be prepared for a slew of "Shawn of the Dead" jokes.

  12. SFU went 0-8 in their first year under new coaches. It doesnt happen overnight and fixing what Goveia left the program with isn't a simple task

  13. And who hired Goveia?

  14. BoBo Phillips is from the East and hasn't quite figured out the West yet. He fired the winningest coach at his post back there too.

    Arrived at UBC and ended up firing the winningest coach. Promoted Casey,(which was probably his only good move). Promoted Johnson,(no degree), had to fire him because of publicised punch up. Hired Prepchuck,(no college experience coaching outside of pre-season guest coach), he resigned, tried to hire Johnson again, but President said no way,(again past history,and no degree), hired Deslauriers (again part-time off campus coach for two seasons, very little college experience), Deslauriers, being a genius, fired Buchler (best offensive line coach in the province), hired Govia, who eventually put the knife in Deslauriers back with BoBo's blessing), hired Govia, (who nobody would hire back east), and now has hired Olsen,(again very little college experience, and basically rode Johnson's coattails to S.F.U.).

    I wonder how the A.D. at SFU feels now that he knows Johnson tried to get into UBC? Did BoBo contact the SFU A.D. and inform him or obtain permission to talk to Johnson? Mind you, they are no genius' either as they hired him, again no degree. How does a University hire somebody to run a major program who does not have a University Degree? BoBo has tried to do it twice.

    This whole thing has the Canada West coach's laughing. When he hired Govia, the entire eastern conferences were laughing their heads off. BoBo should be evaluated, or is audited the correct term?

    His idea to put UBC into Division 2 NCAA is nuts.
    Go to either papers sports web page and look up the conference they are going to. Their chances of ever getting to a National Championship are slim to none. At this point in time the first team in that conference has to be ranked nationally even to get into the regionals as they only have 5 teams. Every one of those schools has 5-6 fulltime qualified assistants plus another 5-6 grad coach's during the season. Travel is brutal, you pay for everything, Dixie Cup you pay to go to if you happen to be 2nd in conference. A 3-5 record won't even get you a sniff at playoff structure. BoBo has probably figured after a couple of years, football can be eliminated for some obscure reason.

  15. It's honeymoon time for Olson, who may be inexperienced but has the basis to be a pretty damn good coach.

    Jay, Lou and Ted are not the problem in the equation, it IS the mighty BoBo.

    BoBo, David McLean and Team Hanson ensure that it's men's basketball first and everything else last.

    They'll keep operating this way, because nobody gives a sh!t.

    Hope you have a detailed, comprehensive contract Shawn.

  16. I don't know how anybody can rip Olson for being a bad choice or bad coach when there has not even been a snap of the new season. All you can do is look at his past which is impressive; has been a winner and knows what it takes to be a winner in every level has been at, was basically the head coach running the show in Vienna in a semi pro league that either won chapionships or made it to championships and now since he has been gone they are bottom dwellers. Has an eye for talent and take a look what he did at SFU with bringing in a good quaterback with great intangalbes with the late Bernt dietrich and players that not just fresh from high school but junior football, US college and untapped resource of Europe. This program has not done two things since the last championship season and that is bring in players that ready start not learn and then start in their 3rd or 4th year, I am talking about jr or US players that can start and make a differennce right away and the other is recruit the best in your own back yard of BC.

  17. Bob's the problem! That's obvious! Who cares what a nice guy Shawn is! Jay is a hell of a nice guy, so is Dave Johnson. So am I for that matter. Philip isn't a winner and doesn't care if the program is either. He's a civil servant, with a nice cushy job. He's the one who should go. A university like UBC with a pathetic, joke of a football program. How sad, and how embarrassing.