664 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 76 PART 5 SEPTEMBER 2018
mentored law students not just on how to be advocates for the needy and
the poor, but also to care for them as people. Brian always said his position
at LSLAP was infinitely better than being a high school history teacher
because unlike some high school students, all the law students wanted to be
there. Everyone was part of a team working towards the same goal, which
was to use the law to help people in need.
During Brian’s LSLAP years, he returned to coaching football, which he
had done in North Vancouver while practising law in the 1980s. In so doing,
he became a legend to both players and parents in Delta, Surrey, White
Rock, Ladner, Vancouver, New Westminster and North Vancouver. Brian
loved everything about football and was proud of his accomplishments in it.
In 1991 he started coaching the Junior Bantam Westside Warriors, a team
consisting of 11- and 12-year-old players. In 1993, while still with the Warriors,
the legendary Frank Smith5 of the UBC Thunderbirds contacted him
and asked him to coach the defensive line that season. While expressing
great interest in the position, Brian said he had to honour his commitment
to the 11- and 12-year-old players and would have to continue doing so even
while coaching at UBC. Coach Smith was impressed with Brian’s loyalty and
dedication to his young players and hired him on that basis. Later, Brian
would be a finalist for the head coach position at UBC despite the fact that
he was competing against experienced university coaches from across the
For 11 seasons he was the head coach of the varsity team (grades 11 and
12) for the South Delta Sun Devils (“SDHS”). When Brian came on board, the
program was suffering. But through Brian’s efforts, it survived and flourished,
with game attendance sometimes in the hundreds. The Golden Stick
Award has been given at SDHS since 2001 for the most inspirational player.
The genesis of this award was a pep talk that Brian had given before a big
game. Brian yelled at the team, “You gotta want it like a dog wants a bone!”
Seeing a stick on the ground, he picked it up, shoved it in his mouth and
stomped around ranting as only Brian could.
In 2005 he left SDHS, thinking he was done with coaching. But he soon
found he missed it too much. He would go on to help his friend Farhan Lalji
with the New Westminster Hyacks and also to coach at SFU, St. Thomas
More (his alma mater) and Holy Cross. He was preparing to coach at
Seaquam Secondary in Delta before becoming ill.
Throughout his years in football, he did not just teach football but also
gave lessons about life and inspired so many of his players, some of whom
came from difficult backgrounds, to have goals, pursue education and
become the best young men they could be.