Realty One

Monday, December 19, 2016


SASKATOON - Brian Towriss is stepping down after 33 years as the University of Saskatchewan's head football coach.

Towriss, 60, a native of Moose Jaw, Sask., was a defensive lineman with the Huskies from 1974-77 before joining the program as an assistant coach under Val Schneider in 1980. He became head coach in 1984.

Towriss led the Huskies to three Vanier Cup titles and his 196 wins and 315 coaching appearances are the most in Canadian University history.

"I want to thank all of those that have supported me throughout my career at the University of Saskatchewan and all of the fans in Huskie Nation,'' Towriss said in a statement. "I have had a fulfilling and wonderful career here.

"It wouldn't have been possible without the support of my wife, Vicki, and my two wonderful children, Kellie and Jake. I have also had the pleasure of working with a loyal group of coaches and support staff that have shared my vision and passion for the program for a longtime. I am proud to say that we won a lot of football games and we did it with honesty, respect and hard work. I wish the program continued success and a return to national prominence.''

Saskatchewan also won 11 Hardy Cup titles and made nine Vanier Cup appearances under Towriss, who was Canadian university football's top coach in 1994. The Huskies sent 47 players to the CFL during Towriss's tenure.

In 2007, Towriss received the Order of Merit, Saskatchewan's highest honour.

"BT has had a long distinguished career as a coach, but moreover as a well-respected leader in sport across the Canada West and U Sports,'' said athletic director Basil Hughton. "While the term legend is reserved for only a select few, I truly believe that it is fitting to describe BT and his accomplishments as one.

"He is the consummate professional, the ultimate team player and a well-respected voice around our Huskie coaches table. I am truly happy for him and respect his decision to devote more time to himself, his family and to whatever else his future holds.''

The school said the search for Towriss's successor will begin immediately, with an interim coach expected to be named early in 2017.


Anonymous said...

It's about time. Towriss overstayed his welcome by a decade and the Huskie football program is in a slow decline because of it.

People like Ballsy are deluded when they think that somehow the way Towriss was forced out was unjust or should have been handled differently. You're damn right he was forced out - he had to be. He was given several chances to improve his record and bring in some new ideas and fresh perspectives and all he did was circle the wagons and bring in guys like Guebert and Flory, who had no coaching experience but wouldn't question Towriss. And he kept his best friend Carleton there even though his outdated coaching schemes led to a consistently bottom ranked defence, especially pass d.

It was rumoured that Towriss was even picking his successor in Flory to take over when he was done in five years - what gall to think that he can pick his successor and choose when he's done, even with first round exits in 9 of the past 10 seasons. Finally there is some accountability for a team that is clearly in decline, even though Towriss STILL won't actually admit he is accountable for the decade of playoff failure (as usual, I'm sure he blames the players).

As we have seen in UBC in 2015 and with the Rams last year, the right coach makes all the difference. It is the hope of this Huskies fan that the next coach, and the entire coaching staff, comes from outside of the organization and from outside of the province. Carleton, Flory and even Sargent are not the people who will turn take this program from mediocrity to national contenders - it needs to be someone with a new vision and who has won at other levels.

Congratulations on a great career, Brian. You were certainly a great coach. However, your time is up and U of S is doing what is necessary to take this program to the next level.

Glenn said...

Just throwing it out there, but do you think the next move for BT is in politics?

Anonymous said...

With the kind of financial and moral support the Huskies enjoy, there is no reason they shouldn't be one of the top teams in the nation. No doubt the Huskie Athletics BOD knows this and will do an extensive search for the new coach. BT was a great coach and had his time in the sun but it's time for a new direction. I'll never forget being at the Mitchell Bowl in 05 against Laval. What an atmosphere! The Huskies need that kind of magic back.


Russell Cone said...

I want you to give me ONE example of Towriss putting the blame on his players?

I seriously doubt you'll find one.

BT's biggest fault is he lost his edge with recruiting. But unlike some coaches he always followed the rules.

I only wish Grant Shaw had made that last second field goal at home in 2009 or that Kit Hillis had caught the ball in Manitoba in 2013 or that Drew Burko doesn't throw the pick six at home against Manitoba in 2014. Those 3 things happen and we're not mentioning his playoff failures.

Unlike you, I'll leave my name.

Russ from Saskatoon

Clarkenstein said...

Well done Barney. Good Moose Jaw boy.

Anonymous said...

Well, Russell, if this happened and if that happened doesn't matter in the end. What really matters is real record. Nine losses in the first round of the playoffs, including the last six straight. Losing well respected coaches from his staff. Going from having the most players in the CFL to having similar numbers as St. FX and Windsor. As for blaming his players, just look at pretty much any interview. It's always about playing better, being more disciplined, executing on the field, etc. Only ONCE have I ever heard him say anything about the coaches needing to be better. He doesn't single out players, but he also doesn't put the blame where it belongs. It's time to turn this program around, and getting rid of Towriss AND HIS ENTIRE STAFF is the only way to do it.


Anonymous said...

Glenn you never know. Premier Brad is a big fan of his, wouldn't be too surprising.

Russell Cone said...


You proved my point exactly. He said they need to execute better....

2009 - Grant Shaw misses (badly) a relatively easy 35 yard field goal.
2013 - Leading at the time, Kit hillis has a ball hit his hands while he was WIDE OPEN which would have put the game away.
2013 - same game, kicker misses a last second field goal that would have won the game. Bad snap, ball didn't even get above the line of scrimmage.
2014 - Leading Manitoba by a lot, Burko gets happy feet and throws a 50-60 yard pick six and Manitoba rolled to victory.

Seems like the players didn't execute to me.

Also, you don't make the playoffs that many years by accident.

But that said, the time for a change is here.

My first choice would be Greg Marshall currently the coach at Western.

This will be a very highly sought position.

Russ from Saskatoon

GWil26 said...

It was simply time to make a change. BT has been an amazing coach and ambassador for the program but the recruiting just has not been up to par with the rest of the conference.

It's been 10 years since we made the Vanier Cup and it feels like the program has been spinning it's tires. I have always felt there needs to be a bigger emphasis on recruiting outside of Saskatchewan and that's because the best players en masse are from other provinces. You can see that BT has already started this movement with the influx of Alberta talent the last 2 seasons, but Quebec and Ontario are two markets that seem to be missing.

There is no need to slight the successes BT had with the Huskies there has just come a time to make a change. I truly feel that a program with that funding, that fan base, and that quality of education should be a perennial top 5 team.

Here's hoping that the transitional period is smooth. I would like to see a guy like Nixon and some other young blood get an opportunity to play a greater role in the program.

Anonymous said...

I think it's important to realize how big this change is. It's not just BT going, but also his coordinators. We may end up with an entirely new staff. Had BT done that in the first place by getting rid of Ed Carleton, who has been the biggest problem with the program for the past 20 years (had they stopped a 3rd and 17 attempt by Laurier they would have won the 2005 Vanier - good ole prevent!). But BT refused to get rid of his buddy. He got rid of Schneider and brought in Scott Flory, who had never coached a game. That was, at best, a lateral move. So now it comes down to a complete house cleaning instead of a legendary coach exiting on his own terms. Unfortunately, BT made this mess, which forced the hand of the University. We're about to see a complete overhaul of a once-great program.

Anonymous said...

he is a unionized employee with tenure - he wasn't going anywhere.

Anonymous said...

Looks like it's official, Ed Carleton is gone as well. The house cleaning continues.

Anonymous said...

It's about fn time, good ridence to that blowhard To arise and his cohorts. Mr Frank McCrstal would turn that program around asap!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Time to bring in Sarg!