Tyson St. James is back on the sidelines in the B.C. Junior Football Conference.
St. James was announced as the head coach of the Chilliwack Huskers last week.
He was scheduled to coach the Huskers league rivals, the Langley Rams in 2011, but stepped down prior to the season citing personal reasons.
“That was a situation where I decided it was in my best interests to take a job coaching for Dave Johnson at SFU,” he explained.
“Anytime you do something, you learn something, and the SFU experience was valuable.
“But I decided I wanted to be a head coach again and the phone rang.”
With the Clan, St. James was a defensive line assistant coach.
The 36-year-old played his minor football in Langley, Cloverdale and Westside (Vancouver). He won a provincial championship in 1993 with Westside.
He graduated from Brookswood Secondary in 1993.
After three years in the BCFC with the now-defunct Abbotsford Air Force, he went to UBC for another three seasons with the Thunderbirds.
While at UBC, he helped the team win the 1997 Vanier Cup national championship . He also won the JP Metras award in 1999 as the nation’s top collegiate lineman and earned all-Canadian honours in 1998 and 1999.
In 2000, St. James was the top overall pick in the Canadian Football League draft, selected by the Saskatchewan Roughriders. He played there as a defensive end from 2000 to 2002 and then spent two seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
“It (playing at various levels) has given me a lot of different perspectives and experiences playing a lot of different styles of football,” he said.
“I’ve played for a lot of different coaches and I’ve learned something from each of them on how to approach the game.”
St. James has also coached at the high school level with the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers.
He takes over a Huskers team which is coming off back-to-back winless seasons.
“It’s a significant challenge, but I believe that challenges make you grow as a person and that is important to me,” St. James said.
“As far as the back-to-back 0-10 seasons go, I look at the as the past and we’re heading into the future.”