Long-time head coach Brian Towriss, the winningest coach in Canadian football history, ended his remarkable tenure on December 19.
U of S President Peter Stoicheff said Towriss’ legacy reaches all corners of the campus and far beyond, especially when considering his leadership and mentorship of the thousands of Huskie student-athletes who he guided on and off the field.
“Beyond the wins, the records and the Vanier Cups, which certainly raised our university’s profile across the country, Coach Towriss’ most important contribution to our campus is undoubtedly the impact that he had in the lives of thousands of student-athletes,” Stoicheff stated. “I often talk about excellence being a transferable skill, and I know Brian taught that to all of the student-athletes who he coached. Those students now exemplify the excellence that he instilled in them and are the mark of his true legacy.
“We look forward to celebrating Coach Towriss and his wonderful contributions in the coming year.”
The 60-year-old Towriss leaves a legacy unmatched in the country. Towriss holds the record for most victories (196) and most games coached (315) in Canadian university football after taking over the program as head coach in 1984 following a four-year stint as an assistant. The Moose Jaw native led the Huskies to three Vanier Cup championships and nine appearances in the national final, while also being named Canada West coach of the year nine times and earning the national award once.
“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,” said Towriss, who played four years for the Huskies from 1974-77 before beginning his coaching career.
“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 long time. 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.”
Affectionately known as BT, Towriss has coached 71 All-Canadians and 154 Canada West conference all-stars, 160 players who were All-Academic team members, and 47 Huskies who have gone on to play professionally in the Canadian Football League. Towriss also joined a prestigious group in 2007 when he earned 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 Canada West and U Sports,” said athletic director and long-time friend Basil Hughton, who also recently announced that he will be retiring on June 30. “He has impacted many young athletes, coaches and staff throughout his years of service as their mentor and friend. BT has devoted countless hours promoting our university to not only prospective athletes, but to many other audiences across Canada. 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.”
The search for a new head coach has begun, with an interim coach expected to be named shortly.