UBC OKANAGAN: The University of British Columbia Okanagan Athletic Department is pleased to announce the hiring of four full time coaches for the upcoming season as the Heat continue to prepare for their inclusion into the Canada West conference. Steve Manuel the women’s volleyball coach will be joined as a full time coach at the University by: Heather Semeniuk, women’s basketball; Darren Semeniuk, men’s basketball; and Greg Poitras, men’s volleyball.
UBC Okanagan director of athletics, Rob Johnson is pleased to bring the coaches to the school full time “I believe we have hired exceptional coaches to lead our teams. Previously, as part-time coaches, they have worked very hard to develop programs strong enough to compete in Canada West.” In fact the four coaches have compiled a very impressive track record in the five seasons since UBC Okanagan opened its doors in September of 2005. In those five season’s the volleyball and basketball teams have won a medal in 16 of the 19 provincial championship’s attended six of which were gold. In that same five year span the teams also were able to win over three quarters of their leagues games boasting a robust .755 winning percentage with 253 wins and only 82 losses. With this impressive track record Johnson felt that, “it is appropriate that their loyalty to our program be repaid with a chance to prove themselves as full-time coaches. The combination of a UBC degree on a smaller, more intimate campus, great coaches, wonderful facilities, are all vital components in our recruiting plan. We have one more year to prepare and we plan to make the most of it. Competition in Canada West starts in the fall of 2011.”
Steve Manuel has been coaching at the University for nine years the last two of which he has been a full time employee of the University, in that time he has done nothing but bring success to the Heat program as his women’s volleyball team are back to back provincial and national champions. Steve likes how having coaches can enhance sport in the area saying, “having full time coaches will greatly benefit our programs, our student athletes and the local sport community as a whole. Having more full time dedicated coaching professionals will only strengthen athletics in the Okanagan.”
A veteran of the sidelines Heather Semeniuk has coached at the University for sixteen years and “is looking forward to having more time to spend with the student-athletes coaching and addressing their individual needs.” As her women’s basketball team prepares to take the next step to Canada West. Heather also looks to build on a Junior Heat Basketball Program that has already had some success with young girls saying, ”I am excited about expanding my role in the community by continuing the Junior Heat program as well as connecting with the local KMBA and school programs.”
Darren Semeniuk becomes a full time coach after manning the sidelines for the past five years as full time teacher and part time coach. Darren will be leaving his teaching job at Kelowna Secondary to continue his winning ways as head coach for the Heat, in the past five season’s Darren has taken his charges to the national championship’s three times. “I am really excited for the opportunity to focus on coaching”, said Darren Semeniuk who will now be on campus full time this season “I have always wanted to dedicate more of myself to the program and now that I am a full-time coach I will be able to do some of the things that just weren’t possible before. UBC Okanagan has been very supportive of all of its athletic programs in the past, and now it has taken the next step forward in ensuring that we have successful and respected teams that are competitive at the University level.”
Another former employee of School District 23, Greg Poitras will be leaving his post at Rutland Middle School to guide his men’s volleyball program to new heights. Greg’s been coaching the team since the 2005/06 season, this past year his troops won the National Bronze, in 2007/08 the National Silver. Greg look’s to take his team to the next level as he prepares to enter play in Canada West next September. “For me, becoming a full time coach this year and joining the CIS next year is like getting a new job without having to move. This is the best of both worlds for me as I can now make a living doing something that I have a passion for, and at the same time, being close to my family and living in my hometown. The student athletes we have recruited to our program have been better and better every year, and because of this our program must meet the demands of these elite student-athletes. The university hiring full time coaches this year is a giant step in the right direction in delivering to these student athletes.”
"It's exciting to see the appointment of our first full-time coaches for the Heat volleyball and basketball teams," says Doug Owram, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Principal of UBC's Okanagan campus. "We welcome these exceptional coaches and wish them every success as they prepare our student-athletes to compete at Canada's highest level of university competition."
The Heat team’s will play this season in the BCCAA with basketball and volleyball scheduled for competition in the CWUAA (Canada West Universities Athletic Association) of the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) in September of 2011.
For more information on the coaches or the upcoming Heat schedule go to www.goheat.ca
-- 30 –
For More info contact:
Director, Athletics & Recreation
Follow the Heat this year on twitter: UBCOHeat https://twitter.com/UBCOHeat