Posted on: July 28, 2005
By BRONWEN SCOTT
KAMLOOPS – One of Canada’s most experienced basketball coaches, whose credentials include a CIS Coach of the Year award, will lead the TRU women’s basketball program into its first year of CIS competition this fall.
Ken Olynyk, TRU Director of Athletics, has decided he will return to the hardwood for one season, as head coach of the WolfPack women’s team, before opening the job up to a full national competition next spring.
After reviewing several applications for the one-year position, Olynyk, whose extensive basketball background includes CIS, Canadian National Team, and NBA experience, decided this was the best option for the program this year.
“I’m not taking anything away from any of the individuals who showed an interest in the position,” he said, “but I feel that having me coach for this year gives the Athletics Department an opportunity to ensure everyone interested in the fulltime position next year will have the opportunity to make an application.”
“We had some very good people express an interest,” said Olynyk. “I expect this means that when the position is formally advertised in the early spring of 2006 we will receive interest from many people across the country.”
Olynyk is not concerned that his duties as director of athletics and recreation at TRU will conflict with team needs.
“I will look to hire an assistant to work with the program on this interim basis in order to look after many of the day-to-day duties associated with the basketball program and also work with identifying and contacting potential recruits,” he explained.
Olynyk, who holds a master’s degree in education from the University of Victoria, has served in a variety of key positions related to basketball throughout his 30-year career. In the past 15 years, he held the position of head coach for the University of Toronto Varsity Blues basketball team, was observing coach for the Toronto Raptors, was head coach of Canada’s Under 22 National Team, assistant coach of Canada’s Men’s National Team for the World Championships, and was head coach of Canada’s Junior Men’s National Basketball Team.
“I am excited about working with our student athletes on the women’s basketball team and look forward to the challenges that lie ahead for each of them,” he said.