Jules Owchar (born October 12, 1944 in Lac La Biche, Alberta) is a Canadian curler, curling coach, and golf coach from Edmonton, Alberta. Owchar is best known as the longtime coach of Kevin Martin, a retired Olympic champion, world champion, and Canadian champion. Owchar is also the curling coach of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology curling teams. He is also currently coaching Brad Gushue's Newfoundland and Labrador team. Teams coached by Owchar have won six Briers, one Olympic gold and two silvers, two world championships, 24 Slam titles and 34 conference championship gold medals, as of March 2019 when he was named to Curling Canada's Hall of Fame.
|Born||October 12, 1944|
|Brier appearances||5 (1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997)|
|2 (1991, 1997)|
Owchar was officially listed as the alternate for the Kevin Martin team, which he coached, at the 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, and 1997 Briers. As the alternate, he won various medals with the team, including two Brier titles and a silver medal at the 1991 World Men's Curling Championship.
Owchar is a Level 3 certified curling coach by the National Coaching Certification Program.
Northern Alberta Institute of Technology
Owchar began his career at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) as a physical education instructor in 1969. Throughout his career, he has coached NAIT curling teams to 33 college championships. Along with the golf championships he has also coached his students to, he has over 40 provincial and national championships as a coach. Most recently, he coached the NAIT men's curling team to their first national college championship.
Coaching Kevin Martin
Owchar began coaching Kevin Martin when he enrolled at NAIT in 1984. Martin had enrolled at NAIT specifically to curl under Owchar, and he and Martin were together for thirty years. In their first few years together, Owchar coached Martin to a Canadian junior title and a silver medal at the World Junior Curling Championships. As they continued, Martin and Owchar made their first Brier appearance in 1991 representing Alberta, and won their first Brier title. Martin then lost the championship game in the world championship later that year. In the next six years, Martin and Owchar returned to the Brier four times, and finished within the top three all four times. However, Martin came up short at the world level, losing the semifinal at the world championship in 1997 and the gold medal game at the 2002 Winter Olympics, which had come down to a draw for the win. Martin also missed another opportunity to represent Canada at the Olympics in 2005.
Martin returned to the Brier in 2006, but failed to advance in the playoffs. However, with a new team and with Owchar continuing to coach, Martin made the playoffs at the 2007 Tim Hortons Brier, won the 2008 and 2009 Briers, and won a gold and silver medal at the 2008 and 2009 world championships, respectively. Then, the next year, Martin won the 2009 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials and the right to represent Canada at his third Olympics, and won his first gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics. More recently, Owchar coached Martin to a bronze medal finish at the 2011 Tim Hortons Brier.
Overall, Owchar has coached Martin to a total of ten provincial championships and four Canadian championships. As Martin's coach, he has also coached at three Winter Olympics and four world championships.
After Martin's retirement at the end of the 2014 season, Owchar was recruited by 2006 Olympic gold medalist Brad Gushue to coach his Newfoundland and Labrador team. Since coming on board, the team has achieved much success under Owcher's tutelage, culminating in an emphatic win at the 2017 Tim Hortons Brier on home ground in St. John's and going undefeated to win the 2017 world championship in Edmonton. They repeated as Brier champions in 2018.
Awards and honours
- "Jules Owchar". Vancouver Sun. 21 January 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
- Heroux, Devin (5 March 2019). "Jules Owchar is curling's rock-whisperer and all he does is win". CBC Sports. Retrieved 6 November 2019.
- "Jules Owchar". Coaching Association of Canada. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- "NAIT's Top 50 Alumni – Jules Owchar". Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- Griwkowsky, Con (23 March 2013). "Brown makes NAIT curling history". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- "Player-coach relationship: Kevin Martin & Jules Owchar". Techlife Magazine, NAIT. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- "Coaching Profile: Jules Owchar". Canadian Curling Association. 22 August 2013. Retrieved 22 August 2013.
- "Jules Owchar". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 10 June 2013.