The Ottawa Fury are pleased to announce that Stephen O’Kane will return as the head coach of the Ottawa Fury PDL team for the 2012 season. O’Kane resigned as the club\’s head coach following the 2009 season, due to personal reasons, after leading the club to its first-ever post-season on the shoulders of an undefeated regular season.
“I am ecstatic to be back coaching the Fury PDL team. I’ve missed it every minute since I left and I am over the moon to have another turn at the helm,” said a vibrant O’Kane. “I care very deeply for the PDL team and its success and I’ve already started the work of building this team to reach even higher levels than we were able to reach before.”
With the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group securing a professional soccer franchise to play in the NASL, O’Kane believes that this will result in further interest for players to get involved with the Fury and is looking forward to helping further the careers of these talented players.
“First, a big vote of thanks to Klaus Linnenbruegger who stepped in as interim head coach 3 games into the 2011 season. Klaus’ vast experience was evident as he brought stability and confidence to a squad who finished the season a much-improved team,” commented Fury Owner and CEO John Pugh. “Moving forward, we are very pleased to welcome back Steve O’Kane as head coach of the 2012 Ottawa Fury PDL team.
“The Program made great strides under his leadership and his return will be much anticipated. During his two-year tenure, he elevated our program into one of the best in the entire 64-team league, created many opportunities for our players to move on to higher levels in the game, and fostered a really exciting brand of football for our fans to enjoy.”
O’Kane first joined the Fury in 2005 as the head coach of the Club’s U17 Boys, leading them to a perfect 15-0-0 season and the New England Division title. O’Kane would go on to coach the Fury U20 team in 2006, leading them to a second-place finish in the newly formed USL Super-20 Division, and in 2007 his U16 Boys captured the New England Division title and also earned a bronze medal at the prestigious Foyle Cup in Northern Ireland.
Prior to plying his coaching trade with the Fury, O’Kane was named the youngest head coach at Algonquin College, leading his alma mater to three Provincial Championships (2004-2006), two National Silver Medals (2004-2005), and the National Championship in 2006. As a player at Algonquin College, O’Kane won the Provincial title in 1999 and was a finalist at the National level. He was also a 3-year team captain and OCAA All-Star selection.
Stephen had trials with Sheffield United in England where he played with their academy team as well as the University squad. He received a soccer scholarship to Geneva College in Pittsburgh.
Another familiar face will be returning to the Fury alongside O’Kane – Marc Lapointe. Lapointe served as team manager in O\’Kane\’s previous two seasons as head coach and was also instrumental in managing the 2010 Fury PDL squad that advanced to the Conference Championships under Carl Valentine.
In his first season at the PDL helm, O\’Kane led the Fury to its best year ever, posting a 9-4-3 record and dominating at home with a 6-0-2 record, but a loss on the second day of the season to Newark proved to be more costly than originally thought as the Ironbound Express would earn the playoff spot over Ottawa on the tie-breaker head-to-head rule.
Determined to improve on a successful season O’Kane returned in 2009 and proved to the league that his team was for real as they went undefeated through the regular season (12-0-4) securing the club\’s first-ever playoff berth and Divisional Crown before falling in extra time to Ocean City in the opening round of the playoffs before a capacity crowd at the Algonquin College Soccer Complex.
O’Kane returns to the Fury following the worst PDL season since 2007. Despite the efforts of interim head coach Klaus Linnenbruegger, the team was unable to overcome a poor start that saw Steve Payne removed as the head coach very early in the season, but proved a far more competitive team down the stretch. The Fury Men will be entering their 8th PDL campaign and in the seven years prior sport a record of 55-34-23.
Fury PDL Head Coaches:
2005-2006: Colin MCCURDY, 16-13-3
2007: Chris ROTH, 3-8-5
2008-2009: Stephen O’KANE, 21-4-7 (Playoffs: 0-1)
2010: Carl VALENTINE, 11-2-3 (Playoffs: 1-1)
2011: Steve PAYNE, 0-2-1
2011: Klaus LINNENBRUEGGER, 4-5-5
HELP SHINE A LIGHT ON LOCAL SPORT! The Ottawa Sports Pages has proudly provided a voice for local sport for over 10 years, but we need your help to continue another 10 and beyond. Please donate to the Ottawa Sports Pages Fund today.