Turriff becomes first Humber coach selected to Tim Hortons Brier

by | Feb 25, 2019 | Sports, Varsity

Jacob Phillips, Sports Reporter

Ever since Humber established curling as part of its athletic program, having one of their own head coaches lead Ontario in the Brier has always come up short.

That was until Humber Hawks men’s curling head coach Sean Turriff was chosen to lead Ontario in the 2019 Brier, becoming the first Humber head coach selected for the Brier.

Humber Hawks curling coach Sean Turriff and Sean Armstrong discussing how a rock is being thrown. (Jacob Phillips)

Turriff earned his trip to the Brandon, Man., contest by coming in first at the Ontario Tankard Curling Championship in Elmira, Ont., in January as the head coach for Team McDonald with team captain Scott McDonald.

The Brier is the annual Canadian men’s curling competition held since 1927, the winners represent Canada at the World Curling Championships in the Lethbridge, Alta., between March 30 and April 7.

For the past 92 years Ontario has only placed in the top three only 41 times, finishing first 10 times, second 18 times, and third 13 times.

Humber College curlers Bradey Lumley, Sean Armstrong, Matthew Garner, and head coach Sean Turiff discussing strategy during a recent practice. (Jacob Phillips)

The last time Ontario placed first in the Brier was in 2012 when Ontario’s Glenn Howard defeated Alberta’s Kevin Koe with a score of 7-6.

Howard would then go on to win the gold at the 2012 World Men’s Curling Championship against Scotland’s Tom Brewster with a score of 8-7.

Turriff not only hopes to bring pride to Ontario and win the World Men’s Curling Championship, he wants to bring pride to Humber as well.

“It’s overwhelming just to be apart of it, it’s still hard to process what it means to me as the first Humber curling coach to be in the Brier,” he said.

Turriff said he was surprised when he was told he would lead Ontario in the Brier.

“It took me and the team I was coaching (Team McDonald) awhile to process,” he said. “Right after you win you have to go into a meeting, a ton of paperwork you have to sign, clothing to try on, we didn’t have enough time to soak it up.”

Bradley Lumley, Humber Hawks’ second, and Matthew Garner practicing throwing and sweeping the rock at the Dixie Curling Club in Mississauga. (Jacob Phillips)

Humber second Brady Lumley said Turriff’s trip to the Brier will add depth to his coaching resume.

“I think it’s amazing, we will have the experience and the chance to be coached by someone with that high of a level. I think it’s a great resource to have,” Lumley said.

The head coach of the mixed Humber Hawks curling team Zachary Shurtleff said going to the Brier offers “great exposure” for both Turriff and Humber College.

Shurtleff said Turriff qualifying for the Brier is every curlers’ dream.

The Brier will last for eight days beginning Saturday, March 2 at 3 p.m. and ends on Sunday, March 10.