The Holland College Hurricanes are looking to a familiar name to lead the football program.
Former student-athlete Owen MacWilliams has been named the interim head coach. He served as a member of the ’Canes coaching staff for the past two years.
He replaces Steve Letner, who stepped down from the position recently after serving in the role during the 2019 season following five years as an assistant coach.
“I am incredibly honoured for this opportunity and I would like to thank the athletics and recreation department at Holland College for having faith in me to lead this program,” MacWilliams said. “We are completely dedicated to building off of the foundation that past coaches have laid and want to continue to build a championship program that shapes young men into community leaders.”
MacWilliams, an alumnus of the sport and leisure management program at Holland College, was a member of the Hurricanes in 2011, 2013 and 2014, helping lead the ’Canes to Atlantic Football League (AFL) championships in all three seasons. He was named an AFL all-star in all three years while also receiving the team’s most valuable lineman award.
MacWilliams was invited to the CFL’s eastern regional combine before spending time at the U Sports level with the Laurier Golden Hawks in Waterloo, Ont., and Acadia Axemen in Wolfville, N.S.
After his playing career, MacWilliams entered the world of coaching. For the past two seasons he was the offensive co-ordinator and assistant head coach for the Hurricanes. He had previous coaching experiences ranging from under-16 flag football to U Sports with Acadia.
MacWilliams is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist, having worked with both university and professional athletes.
“We are very excited to have Owen step into the role of interim head coach,” said athletic director Albert Roche. “Owen has been around since the inception of our program as a former student-athlete of Holland College. He brings a focused approach to player development, student-athlete discipline and academic success. We are confident he will create a positive atmosphere where all players will be pushed to achieve their potential and our football program will continue to grow.”
The 2020 AFL season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, the Hurricanes lsot the championship game to the UNB Red Bombers.
“Our staff is keen to build the program with a grassroots focus involving Island-born players, while also recruiting well,” MacWilliams said.
More on the program is available online at www.hollandhurricanes.com.