Sports

Whalers coach Hines steps down in Parksville

Sean Hines, right, is retiring as head coach of the Whalers. His assistant coach, Jeremy Conn, left, takes over. - news file photo
Sean Hines, right, is retiring as head coach of the Whalers. His assistant coach, Jeremy Conn, left, takes over.
— image credit: news file photo

Sean Hines says he’s looking forward to being the biggest Whalers fan on the sidelines — the sideline opposite the coaching area on the field.

Hines, the head coach of the Ballenas Whalers varsity football team, announced his retirement from the job last week, and the news has trickled out. He told The News today that he had hoped to go quietly, but with social media out there and people sad to see him go, it was inevitable that some attention would be paid. The News was tipped off about Hines’ retirement by a parent of a player on the team.

“I’m leaving the game,” Hines said. “It just felt right now. Honestly, I wanted to go quietly into the past.”

He said he’s stepping away after some 13 years with the Ballenas Secondary School football program for personal reasons and is hoping to work full time on the next stage of his life. He said he will be staying in the city.

Hines started coaching local minor football in Parksville in 1998, after moving to the area from Oregon. He came to Nanaimo in 1988 and found his way to Parksville. He started with the Whalers as defensive co-ordinator, under Joe Martino, who started the program. Hines eventually became head coach and led the team to a provincial championship in 2002. Last season, his team lost in the provincial semi-finals to eventual B.C. champ, Mission.

Hines said he is leaving the team in good hands, with coach Jeremy Conn, who has been part of the coaching staff for a few years now.

“He’s the guy,” said Hines. “He is a fantastic person, a great coach and leaving the team in his hands is the least of my concerns.”

Hines told the school administration and Conn of his decision early last week, then informed the entire team on June 7. He said this year’s squad looks very strong, and he tasked them with pushing for another championship this year.

Jennifer Yacoboski, a parent and BSS Whalers support society chair this year, said Hines’ retirement has sparked a lot of reaction of the players and community.

“He has kept kids in school,” she said, “he checked after their grades and got some of them tutors. My own son (Marc) played for him and Sean often would check on him and help guide him.

“He has just been so large for so many people.”

Hines said apart from the 2002 title, his biggest accomplishment has been getting to know his players and their families on and off the field, and helping young men finish high school and graduate.

“Not everybody is wired for university or can go on to another level in football,” he said, “but they all have the ability to focus and get their Grade 12 done.”

Hines admitted it was a tough decision to step away form the game as a coach, but did not rule out a return to the game — until he’s gone on with the next stage of his life.

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

SPCA hosts annual fundraiser
 
Welcoming Committee
 
Haunted Halloween house helps the hungry
Prince Rupert Rotary Auction raises more than $57,000
 
City expresses concerns with recycling dropoff
 
Prince Rupert RCMP deem social media evening a success
Kicking off the new year by jumping into the lake
 
Reducing waste with the Clean Bin Project
 
Operation Popcorn thanks KBRH staff

Community Events, October 2014

Add an Event




Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Oct 30 edition online now. Browse the archives.