BORN ON NOVEMBER 23RD, 1956, he played minor hockey in Canada to major junior and senior levels from 1960. He graduated in phys ed from the University of Manitoba and was picking grapes in the Barossa with Orville Hildenbrand and defenseman Richard Kuryk when he heard about the Adelaide Flyers in the inaugural National Ice Hockey League. In 1981, all three signed-up with the Falcons in the local South Australian league coached by 30 year-old Rusty Smith. That same year, at the age of 24, he lined up with Art Lyon and John Thomas Brown to form one of the deadliest combinations in the NIHL. The Flyers finished on top in the second NIHL season after finishing with the wooden spoon in the inaugural year.
He played with the Falcons for over 20 years until about 2005. He was Most Valuable Player in the South Australia A‐Grade in 1987 and captained the South Australian team in the Goodall Cup from 1986 to 1990, winning it in 1986, 1987, again in 1991 as player-coach, and in 2000, 2001 and 2009 as coach. He played in the National Senior Team in the inaugural D-Pool World Championships in Perth in 1987, finishing with 15 goals 23 assists from 6 games — a scoring average of 6.33 goals per game. It placed him in the top-4 players of the tournament. Australia won gold, their first international hockey medal. He also played with the National Senior Team in the Bi‐Centennial Tournament in 1988.
He was junior development officer of South Australian ice hockey from 1982 to 1988 and state coach at both junior and senior level from 1981 to about 2005. He co‐coached the National Youth Team for the four campaigns between 1984 and 1987, and he was Head Coach of the National Junior Team for the five years between 1996 and 2000 when they returned to the World Championships after a long break. In 1996 he was Assistant Coach of the National Senior Team and Head Coach in 2001.
He was Head Coach of the Adelaide Avalanche between 1999 and 2007, winning 2 AIHL championships, then Adelaide Adrenaline in the 2008 and 2009 seasons, winning another AIHL championship and 2009 IHA Coach of the Year. Between 2008 and 2012-13 he was Head Coach of the Adelaide Assassins and the Adelaide Adrenaline women's team, winning three AWIHL championships. In 2014-15, he was again Assistant Coach / Head Coach of the Adelaide Adrenaline women; Assistant Coach of the 2013-14 and 2014-15 National Women's Teams; and a coaching consultant with the 2015-16 Australian National Women's Team.
Botterill has been both a staff member and manager of The Ice ArenA South Australia from 1981 until 2002, and General Manager between 2005 and 2012, working with and supporting Local, State and National Ice Hockey and Ice Sports Programs. In 2005, he was a co‐organiser and foundation coach of the Ice Factor Program, a collaboration between the South Australian Ice Sports Federation, the Adelaide Ice ArenA, and school communities. He was made Lifetime Member for services to the Falcons Ice Hockey Club in December 2002 and the national association in November 2016.
1. Australia's National Youth Team had a big improvement from 1984 to 1985, but did not win a game in South Korea. The Bronze medal attributed in some sources to Australia's National Youth Team in 1985 is incorrect. They won Bronze in 1986 in Adelaide (Coach Botterill).
2. In 1986, Simon Allatson, National Ice Sports executive director, said "a number of Eastern bloc and Asian countries had utilised full-time sportsmen who ostensibly play for a living." (Canberra Times, 2 Mar 1986:4) In 1987, North Korea were awarded the Bronze Medal at the IIHF Asian Oceanic U18 Championships, but were ultimately disqualified for a breach of competition rules. Team Manager, Sandi Logan, pursued the matter and a few years later it was proved at a Senior World Championship that most of the players had been well over the age limit for the 1987 Under-18 of tournament. The Coach and players of the 1987 Australian National Youth Team received their Bronze medals in the mail.
Ross Carpenter, 'Botterill, John (1956 - )', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia, http://icelegendsaustralia.com/bio-botterill.html, accessed online .
'Windy Point: John Botterill and the power of perspective', Legends article, Aug 2016 Online