Boreham giving back after following his football
Brian Swane, Special to Canada West
His football journey took many turns, down di erent paths,
across the Prairies to the shores of the Paci c, each leading to the
Finally, Jamie Boreham set foot on the campus of the University
He’s bled brown and gold ever since.
“Manitoba just ended up being the right t - the right people,
the right place, I got into my program – it was just all-around a
good situation, so when all the pieces t together like that it just
made perfect sense to be there,” Jamie says.
After spending a year each at Saskatchewan and UBC, playing
three award-winning seasons in the BCFC, and being selected
in the CFL Draft by his hometown B.C. Lions, Jamie joined coach
Brian Dobie’s Manitoba Bisons in 2001, culminating with a
personal evolution that echoes throughout the man he is today.
“Coach Dobie put trust, responsibilities (and) leadership on me,”
continues Jamie, now 39. “He let me be who I was, and I excelled
at being that.”
Over three years at Manitoba, Jamie helped the Bisons reach the
Vanier Cup for the rst time in 31 years, was twice named an All-
Canadian, and graduated with his Bachelor of Physical Education.
A lengthy and well-traveled CFL career with stints on several
di erent teams followed, before Jamie transitioned in his postplaying
life as a junior football coach with the BCFC’s Okanagan
Sun, and athletic director at Immaculata Catholic Regional High
School in Kelowna.
“I’ve got to be one of the luckiest people in the world, because
when I was ve, I said, ‘I want to play professional football’, and
when I got into high school, I said, ‘I’m going to be a teacher like
my dad and I’m going to be a coach’,” Jamie says.
“So everything I dreamed I was going to do, I got to do, and
12 CANADA WEST YEARBOOK
there’s not a whole lot of people that get to say that. It took me
a whole bunch of places and di erent situations to accomplish
everything, but it’s a pretty neat thing.”
Lessons Jamie learned all those years ago are the same he now
imparts upon the next generation. Jamie’s teachings bare all
the markings of Brian Dobie, one of the most revered coaches
in Canadian university football who is now in his 32nd season
guiding the Bisons, and father Michael Boreham, who has taught
grade school students in Vancouver for four decades, many of
them as principal.
“Lots of stu I learned was from my dad. He was my rst coach,
and at the end of the day he’s probably going to be my last coach,
because I still talk to him and he still coaches me on how I should
be coaching,” Jamie says. “With how personal and sincere coach
Dobie is, he understands players need more than just a coach,
and sometimes he’s your dad and sometimes he’s your coach and
sometimes he’s just an ear (willing) to listen.”
There likely isn’t a young player that Jamie can’t relate to. After
all, if there’s something to experience in Western Canadian
football, chances are he’s seen it. Not only has he played all over
the map, he’s lined up all over the eld.
As a rst-year university player at UBC in 1996, Jamie played
running back, slot receiver, wide receiver, cornerback, safety,
kicker and punter. He played the next two seasons in the BCFC
with Abbotsford, where he played running back and safety,
handled kicking and punting duties, and returned both kicks and
punts for the Air Force.
His duties were just as extensive during his season with the
Saskatchewan Huskies in 1999, and again when he returned to
Abbotsford for one more year of junior football in 2000.
The B.C. Lions drafted Jamie in the second round of the 2001 CFL
Draft with designs of making him a full-time kicker. When he
was released prior to the start of the season, deciding to go to
Manitoba was “the easiest thing ever.