Q & A with Jack Gilliland

Q&A with Broncos Offensive Lineman Jack Gilliland

Story: Brenden Escott

Q: Where are you from?
A: Kamloops.

Q: How did you get you start in football?
A: Well in grade 11 the coaches had been asking me for about four years to come play so I decided that I would humor them and ever since then I’ve played.

Q: Was that based solely on your size, do you figure?
A: Yeah, pretty much.

Q: What high school did you play for?
A: South Kamloops Secondary.

Q: What brought you to the Broncos organization, aside from just being a local?
A: In grade 12 we were having our year-end banquet and Dino [Bernardo] and coach Duncan [Olthuis] were there and they asked me to play—and they were the only people who asked me to play so of course I said yes.

Q: How long have you been with the team now?
A: Five years.

Q: You’ve been with the team through some ups and downs—leading up to last year it had been a bit of a struggle—but you’ve seen the rebound so how do you see things going in the second half of the season for this team?
A: Especially after that last game, if we keep playing like that it’ll be great. It’ll be many times better than in previous years. Like going in, we could probably beat Langley and get another franchise first. Yeah, at this point I can’t see us going anywhere but up.

Q: What do you think of the TCC and of Kamloops when you’re talking about bringing recruits in to play for the Broncos?
A: I love it here. I can honestly tell you if I was offered to play football anywhere else, even if it was CIS, I wouldn’t. This place is so great and so enjoyable, the team is great and the facility is amazing—it’s the best one in B.C. Even the change rooms are great. Everywhere else they’re pretty much a little hole in the wall but here we actually get lockers which is nice. And the field is perfect too. A lot of other fields are either too new or too old or are just terrible grass so it’s nice to get to practice on ours everyday. There’s lots of jobs here and lots of stuff to do. I’m never worried about finding stuff to do here and I’ve never been out of a job. If you’re worried about having a job and moving here there are no real problems. As far as football goes, it’s a pretty great place to be.

Q: Do you have a football idol?
A: I respect Angus Reid in the CFL playing for the Lions because he’s played so long and done so well. Otherwise in high school I really looked up to this guy named Ethan Schnell. He was just really good and he taught me pretty much everything I knew. He really made it so I could go to the next level.

Q: What about a favorite NFL team?
A: I don’t really watch the NFL. When you watch CFL football you play the same rules. Playing offensive line is actually very different between the two so I can watch and know what’s going on and compare it to what I’m doing. It’s actually way more beneficial. And because of that, because I watch all the CFL games I can, I just don’t really have time to watch the NFL.

Q: Talk to me about your strengths as a player.
A: Well I’m pretty much the shortest and heaviest offensive tackle, but because I’m so different I think it gives me an upside because people don’t really know what to do against someone like me. I can move my feet fast enough to counter fast guys and I’m heavy enough that really strong guys can’t pick me up. My weakness is I’m probably four inches too short to play my position so I’m always out of reach of the truly good defensive ends.

Q: What’re your plans after your football career ends?
A: Well I’ve been putting off school for a long time to play football but as soon as I get out I’m going to get a trade. I’m not interested in playing CIS after this. Then after that I’ll go get a job as a millwright machinist.