The Regina Thunder would like to announce its recent changes to its coaching staff going into the 2018 off season camps… The Regina Thunders coaching staff continue to be 100% volunteers with a focus on developing young men into becoming solid contributors to our community as well as reaching their personal goals on and off the field.
We are happy to have retained out entire Offensive and Special Teams staff while some changes taking place on the defensive staff… We would like to thank Brent Glen for his efforts in various roles (Recruiting, several defensive positions and most recently Defensive Coordinator), Craig Zimmer (Linebackers) as well as Craig Hammond, who has been with the club for over 15 years as the Defensive Line Coach… Coach Hammond played a major part of the growth of the Regina Thunder and we appreciate his volunteerism in developing several of our players over the years. Brent Glen has decided to move on to other opportunities while both Craig Hammond and Craig Zimmer will be returning in different roles off the field.
We are very excited for Alex Smith (DC, 16 years CFL experience), John Tokar (LB, Balfour) and Bret McMann (DL, Martin) to be joining the defensive staff in 2018. All three will make immediate impacts and add to the growth of the football club. They have already met three times in the last week in preparation for our first indoor camp and their enthusiasm to date is unmatched to ensure an easy transition to the Junior football game.
Also being added to the staff is Brett Strong, a long time referee with CFL experience that will be used in a unique role as he will be focused on coach / player education with the game of football rules.
2018 Coaches (to date) are listed below with bios for new coaches.
OC – Stefan Endsin
OL – Tyson Schroeder, Jason Kostiuk
QB – Reid Quest
RB – Chris Latimer
Rec – Jeff Bolen, Dylan Hart
DC – Alex Smith
DL – Lonnie Horan (moving from Offensive Line), Bret McMann
LB – John Tokar
DB – Andrew Rumbaugh
SPTs – Darcy Olynyk
Quality – Brett Strong
ALEX SMITH – Defensive Coordinator
Alex who taught for 31 years in various Regina High Schools comes to the Thunder with a very distinguished resume. After 5 years as the Defensive Co-ordinator with the Regina Rams Junior Football Club where he was part of three National Junior Championships in 1993, 1994 and 1995, Alex moved on to the Saskatchewan Roughriders… He was with the Saskatchewan Roughriders for 16 years where he was part of the teams that reached the playoffs for the Grey Cup in 1997, 1998, 2010 and won the Grey Cup in 2007. In 2013, Alex moved onto the University of Regina Rams where he was the Special Teams Co-ordinator 2013, 2014, 2015.
JOHN TOKAR – Linebackers
John Tokar grew up playing Football in Regina, beginning with the RMF and then playing High School Football for the Robert Usher Unicorns. John went on to play Football for the University of Regina Rams for 2005/06. From there, John transferred down South to play United States College Baseball in North Dakota for the Minot State University Beavers and finally completing his University travels with the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.
After John’s playing days were over, prior to joining the Thunder coaching staff, John coached High School Football in Regina for 7 years, where he spent the past 5 seasons coaching at Balfour Collegiate, where he spent time as their Defensive Coordinator and Linebacker Coach. John has coached a variety of sports in addition to Football, including Hockey and Baseball. John was a Head Coach in the Midget “AAA” Saskatchewan Premier Baseball League for 5 years where he coached the 2011 Regina Mets to an appearance in the Midget “AAA” National Championship.
John can often be found hosting public speaking events and educating High-Performance Athletes on responsible Social Media usage and Athlete Branding. John is also the President & Founder of the Athletes Against Bullying Alliance. Athletes Against Bullying is a team of current and former athletes determined to use athletic influence and positive role modeling to create a more positive world through active engagement with today’s Student-Athletes.
Bret McMann – Defensive Line
Bret is an elementary teacher with Regina Public schools. Bret grew up and played high school football in Foam Lake as a member of the Panthers. He played 2 years with the U of S Huskies from 2007-2009. Upon finishing playing, Bret started coaching in 2010. He has been involved with coaching high school leaves with the Aden Bowman Bears in Saskatoon and Martin Monarchs in Regina last season. He also coached with the Saskatoon Valkyries, Team North Saskatchewan U16 and Saskatoon Minor football and Kinsmen football league in Saskatoon.
Brett Strong – Quality Coach
Brett has been involved in football for 22 years at various levels including playing in the RMF and for Usher for four years. After high school Brett started officiating and just finished his 16th year. Over the 16 years in officiating he officiated at every level of amateur football and worked 25 games in the CFL over 3 seasons. The Regina Thunder is excited to have Brett come on board in a very unique role where he will work with coaches and players one on one to help grow their knowledge and proactively teach the rules of the game.