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Bottcher to join Team Homan as coach, play mixed doubles with Rachel

Brendan Bottcher Brendan Bottcher - The Canadian Press

World champion Rachel Homan is joining forces with Alberta skip Brendan Bottcher for the upcoming curling season.

Homan announced Monday on social media that Bottcher will coach her Ottawa-based four-player team, while the two will team up in mixed doubles with an eye on the Olympic trials.

"Having Brendan join our coaching staff is incredibly exciting. His experience, leadership, and strategy will undoubtedly elevate our game," Homan said in a statement. "With Brendan living in Edmonton near me, his continuous support will be invaluable both on and off the ice.

The 35-year-old Homan, who lives in Beaumont, Alta., is coming off a stellar 2023-24 campaign in which she led her team to a fourth career Canadian women's title in February before capturing Canada's first world title since 2018 a month later.

"This is an unbelievably talented group of curlers, and I am eager to provide strategic support in their quest for an Olympic gold medal," Bottcher said on social media.

On teaming with Homan in mixed doubles, he added: "I have immense admiration for Rachel both as a friend and a competitor, and we are ecstatic about our Olympic journey."

Homan's team finished last season with a 67-7 record under coach Don Bartlett, who said he is stepping back from coaching "to pursue personal travel."

"I am immensely proud of the team for their relentless dedication and unwavering work ethic throughout the past season," Bartlett, a former lead for legendary Alberta curler Kevin Martin, said in a release.

"Being part of their journey, witnessing their historic achievements and, of course, winning my first world championship with such a talented team, was a true honour."

Bottcher split with his team earlier this year despite leading it to a bronze medal at the Canadian men's curling championship.

The 32-year-old from Sherwood Park, Alta., is a seven-time medallist at the Brier and won a national title in 2021.

Homan also announced that alternate Rachelle Brown will continue as a permanent member of her team.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 27, 2024.