VANCOUVER, BC – The CIS announced the coaching staffs for Canada’s 2015 International University Sports Federation (FISU) hockey teams yesterday and both the men’s and women’s teams will be led by Canada West head coaches. Dave Adolph of the Saskatchewan Huskies will be leading the men’s team while Jon Rempel of the Manitoba Bisons will coach the women’s team when Team Canada hits the ice at the 27th Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain on February 4-14, 2015.
Men’s Team. Joining Adolph on the men’s coaching staff are Regina’s Todd Johnson as Team Leader, and Manitoba’s Mike Sirant and Calgary’s Mark Howell as Associate Coaches. Lethbridge’s Spiros Anastas will serve as Video Coach while Calgary’s Chris Linder and Alberta’s TJ Mussbacher will be in charge of Equipment and Athletic Therapy.
The men’s team will be comprised exclusively of Canada West student-athletes with each institution sending at least one representative.
“It’s a true privilege to have the opportunity to represent my University at the Winter Universiade,” said Adolph, who took over the Huskies program in 1993 after four seasons at the University of Lethbridge. “The opportunity to coach the best players in Canada West does not come around very often, and I am looking forward to the challenge of coaching this group.”
This will be Adolph’s second time as head coach at the Winter Universiade, having led Canada to a bronze medal in 2003. The two-time Canada West Coach of the Year currently owns a 368-275-57 conference career record, just 10 wins away from breaking the CIS record for most wins held by Clare Drake.
“This is an opportunity for 22 elite Canada West men’s hockey student-athletes to represent Canada. Wearing the maple leaf on your jersey is a dream of every young player. A lot of these athletes have been on the edge of playing for Team Canada in the past and now we are providing them with this special opportunity,” Adolph explained.
“We'll need guys that will be able to skate on the bigger ice and players that will make good decisions out there, because there's going to be some fantastic teams at this tournament," Johnson added.
The men’s coaching staff plans to meet on the October 24-25 bye week for discussions regarding player selection, with the final roster expected to be named in December.
Women’s Team. The women’s team will consist of student-athletes and coaches from institutions across the CIS. Kelsie Graham of the Saskatchewan Hockey Association will serve as Team Leader, while working under Rempel are UPEI’s Bruce Donaldson and Windsor’s Jim Hunter as Assistant Coaches. Jean Huynh of McGill will manage the Equipment and Nadine Smith of Carleton will be in charge of Athletic Therapy.
Rempel is entering his 11th season at the helm of the Bisons women’s hockey program, having won Canada West Coach of the Year Award twice, in 2005 and 2007. He was an assistant with the provincial team that won bronze at the 2007 Under-18 National Championships in Kitchener, and the head coach in the 2009 tournament in Surrey, where his team finished at fourth place.
"FISU is a great way to let the hockey world see what a great level of play we have in Canada West, how well these players are coached and also how student-athletes develop over their time spent in our various programs," Rempel says. “Players in our conference are used to a lot of demands being placed on them every weekend, physically, emotionally and mentally, and I think it's a great training ground for playing internationally in an event like FISU.”
The selection process starts with evaluation throughout the summer with the aid of CIS coaches and previous FISU coaching staffs. “We want players that can skate and force the play at the international level, players with character that understand the significance of putting on a Canadian jersey and we want to be a team that pushes the pace and plays well at both ends of the ice,” Rempel explains.
The final announcement regarding women’s team selections is expected late this year.
Schedule. The teams are scheduled to depart from Calgary on January 31, a day after the last game of the men’s regular season, and to arrive back from Spain on February 15, in time for the start of the Canada West playoffs on February 20.
TEAM CANADA COACHING STAFF – MEN
Team Leader: Todd Johnson, University of Regina
Head Coach: Dave Adolph, University of Saskatchewan
Associate Coach: Mark Howell, University of Calgary
Associate Coach: Mike Sirant, University of Manitoba
Video Coach: Spiros Anastas, University of Lethbridge
Equipment/Athletic Therapy: Chris Linder, University of Calgary
Equipment/Athletic Therapy: T.J. Mussbacher, University of Alberta
TEAM CANADA COACHING STAFF – WOMEN
Team Leader: Kelsie Graham, Saskatchewan Hockey Association
Head Coach: Jon Rempel, University of Manitoba
Assistant Coach: Bruce Donaldson, University of Prince Edward Island
Assistant Coach: Jim Hunter, University of Windsor
Equipment: Jean Huynh, McGill University
Athletic Therapy: Nadine Smith, Carleton University
About Canada West Universities Athletic Association
Canada West is the premier athletic conference in the country and is home to champion student-athletes that excel on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. As the winningest conference in the CIS with over 100 national championships in the past decade, Canada West and its 17 member institutions commit to a student-athlete experience where competitive excellence, scholarship and sportsmanship equally contribute into molding our future professional athletes and leaders. Find out more by logging on CanadaWest.org and following @CWUAA on Twitter.
Contact: Pic Ocampo ([email protected])
Photo Credit: Josh Schaefer