Thursday, 3 September 2009

UNBC Drops Director of Sports

This is newsworthy since UNBC has applied to become a member of Canada West and has recently hosted CCAA championships. Former Brandon interim coach Mike Raimbault is the head men's basketball coach at UNBC.

UNBC Dumps Sports Director

Len McNamara was fired Wednesday as UNBC’s athletics and recreation co-ordinator. McNamara said he could not comment on his dismissal until he had received legal counsel. McNamara was hired nine years ago as UNBC’s athletics director, after a long association as general manager and coach of the Prince George Spruce Kings.

“Len is not with UNBC, pursuing other opportunities, and other than that there’s not much I can add,” said UNBC external vice-president Rob Van Adrichem.
“The coaches have been informed and we’re working with them and other people in the athletic community to come up with something that will be in the best long-term interests of athletics.”

Although they had yet to speak to McNamara personally, UNBC basketball coaches Loralyn Murdoch and Mike Raimbault were informed of his dismissal Wednesday. Both have been in Terrace this week teaching a basketball camp.

“I heard that (McNamara) won’t be our athletic director anymore but I haven’t heard of any grounds on a firing and I haven’t spoken to Len, so I don’t really have a comment,” said Murdoch, the women’s team head coach.

“He’s been a great ambassador for UNBC athletics and he’s done a lot for our program, for sure. He’s got the utmost respect from me for what he’s done for the women’s basketball program. We’ve moved into a new sports centre, we’ve got a provincial banner, and we’re well on our way to going CIS and Len was a huge part of that. He’s a good guy.”

McNamara was the author of UNBC’s bid to join Canadian Interuniversity Sport’s Canada West Conference. CIS officials who toured the city’s sports facilities in November 2008 commended McNamara for the work he’d put in in preparing the bid and ranked it among the best of several competing bids. In May, CIS officials informed McNamara a vote on whether to accept UNBC as a CIS member would be put off until 2010.

McNamara helped UNBC host the BCCAA women’s basketball in 2007, seven months after the Northern Sport Centre opened, and watched as the Northern Timberwolves used their home court to capture their first championship. In March 2008, UNBC also hosted the men’s Canadian Colleges Athletic Association national championship, which involved the T-wolves as host team.

UNBC currently has teams that compete in the B.C. Colleges Athletic Association in men’s and women’s basketball, as well as men’s and women’s soccer.

“We don’t have much to go in terms of information but I am aware of the situation and feel sorry for Len,” said Raimbault, hired by McNamara a year ago to head the men’s basketball program.

Van Adrichem said nobody has yet been identified as a possible replacement for McNamara. “There’s some discussion that still needs to happen in terms of what exactly what will be the combination of skills that will be the best in that job,” Van Adrichem said. “That’s going to take place over the next little while but we’re committed to moving quickly on this.”

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