Football community mourns young coach

Bryan James coached at Earl Marriott Secondary and with the White Rock-South Surrey Titans

Former Earl Marriott Mariners football coach Bryan James died Friday.

The Semiahmoo Peninsula football community is mourning the loss of a former coach, after Bryan James died suddenly last weekend after apparent heart complications.

James, 32, collapsed Friday evening while at a Christmas party in downtown Vancouver.

James was one of Earl Marrriott Secondary’s founding football coaches – he was the school’s first Grade 8 team coach – and prior to that, was a longtime coach with the White Rock-South Surrey Titans.

“Way too young, just way, way too young,” said Brian Hillhouse, a former EMS football president who helped start the football program in 2005.

A moment of silence was held for James at the Mariners’ annual, end-of-season football banquet Monday night.

“It was nice we were able to honour him, and able to talk about him as a group,” said EMS head coach Michael Mackay-Dunn said.

James coached at EMS for the first three seasons – the program’s current Grade 12s were on James’ last Grade 8 team.

“Bryan was just bigger than life,” said Mackay-Dunn.

“Boisterous, brash, funny – he was all of that. He was just a big kid who oozed confidence.”

As evidence, Mackay-Dunn pointed to the year James, who worked as an associate investment advisor with National Bank Financial in Vancouver, volunteered to coach Earl Marriott’s basketball team.

“We all thought it was pretty funny,” he said.

“He didn’t have a clue what he was doing. He didn’t know anything about basketball, but he knew he’d be able to do it, and would figure it out – that was just Bryan.”

Mackay-Dunn said the mood was understandably somber among the coaches and players who knew James.

“I feel for his family, for his friends, but I still just can’t believe it,” he said. “I mean, 30-, 31-years-old? It’s just… I can’t believe it.”

James is survived by his parents, Ron and Diane, sister Lyndsay and brothers Jordan and Andrew.

A service is planned for Saturday, at Peace Portal Alliance Church in South Surrey (15128 27B Ave.) at 2 p.m.

A trust fund, the Bryan James Foundation, has been set up in James’ name to provide funds for youth to participate in sports. Donations can be made at Saturday’s service.

 

Just Posted

Grieving mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Stay home, cats – only pet dogs are OK to attend ‘Cat Walk’ at Surrey park

Surrey Community Cat Coalition’s second annual fundraiser planned Saturday

White Rock’s Mueller wins World Series of Poker bracelet

Third career WSOP win for former professional hockey player

Surrey high school teacher receives Loran award

First ever to be given to Surrey teacher, district says

ZYTARUK: Canal isn’t Surrey’s first ‘different’ idea

Anyone up for waterskiing in Doug’s Ditch?

VIDEO: Trans Mountain expansion project gets green light, again

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the decision in Ottawa on Tuesday afternoon

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Update: Multiple fires along the railway tracks in Pitt Meadows

CP rail has closed tracks while firefighters work

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Most Read

l -->