Walt Brandl (Back row) pictured with the 2011 Adidas Premiership champions, Burnaby Lake Rugby Club.
Walter Brandl, head coach of Burnaby Lake Rugby Clubs’s Women’s Premier team was inducted into the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame this past February for his accomplishments over the last 16 years.
This past year Brandl was at the helm of Burnaby’s women’s XVs program which went on to win the 2011 Harris Memorial Cup (Adidas Premiership – provincial title) and the 2011 Anna Schnell Cup (Lower Mainland Women’s Tier One title).
Former BLRC President Randy Johal provided a summary of Brandl’s coaching career, submitted along with the nomination form to the selection committee…
Walter graduated from Burnaby South High School in 1976 and commenced studies at Simon Fraser University while continuing to play rugby with the Vancouver Trojan Club. When injuries forced Walt to stop playing rugby he turned his efforts to coaching. During his tenure as coach with the Trojans, he led the club to two Miller Cup appearances, which at that time was emblematic of rugby supremacy in the Vancouver Rugby Union.
When the Vancouver Trojan Rugby Club and Burnaby Buffaloes merged in 1994 to form the Burnaby Lake Rugby Club (BLRC) Walt continued coaching and his accomplishments soared.
In 1996 Walter was appointed head coach of the BLRC men’s program where he led the Premier team to three Fraser Valley Rugby Championships, two Miller Cup Championships and two appearances in the BC Rugby Rounsfell Cup Final, emblematic of club rugby supremacy in BC.
During this period Walt coached Ryan Banks, Pat Riordan and Brad Major, whom all went on to represent Canada on the international stage.
During this period Walter stepped down from coaching the senior men’s teams and focused his energy as coach of the BLRC’s under 19 boy’s team. He took this young inexperienced group of players to the playoffs in both years.
2002 – Present day
During this period he took on the challenge of coaching the BLRC’s Women’s Premier team and his reputation as a top level coach was acknowledged by many of his peers.
He coached the team to five BC Provincial Championships and helped establish the BLRC Women’s program as a premier program in BC and Canada which continues to attract players from across the country. Players coached and developed during this period include Julia Sugawara, Kim Donaldson, Corinne Jacobsen, Kary Steele, Anna Schnell and Heater Wilson Banks; all of whom went on to represent Canada.
In 2009 Walt coached BLRC team to a historic win over the Japanese National Team at the Burnaby Lake Sports Complex. This is the only time in Canadian rugby history a senior women’s club side has defeated a national team.
Also, from 2005 – 2009 Walter took on the additional coaching duties of the BC Senior Women’s Representative Team coach. His accomplishments with BC include a 2005 victory over a heavily favored Ontario team to win the first National Championship which was held at Burnaby Lake. Also, during this period he coached the BC team to the championship in the newly structured National Women’s League.