RDC Queens volleyball head coach Chris Wandler chats with his team as training camp gets underway at the new Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre on Thursday. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Chris Wandler steps in as RDC Queens volleyball coach

Talbot Walton has stepped away from the team due to medical reasons

Chris Wandler will step in as the RDC Queens volleyball coach for the 2021-22 Alberta Colleges Athletic Association season.

Wandler will replace Talbot Walton, who is taking an indefinite medical leave of absence.

“It is unfortunate that Talbot won’t be able to begin the season doing what he loves, which is coaching his promising group of student-athletes, but at this time it is important for him to take the time that he needs to recuperate and take care of his health,” says Sharon Hamilton, dean of School of Community, Wellness and Health.

In September 2000, Walton was diagnosed with Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, a liver disease. He battled the disease before receiving a liver transplant in January of 2017.

He returned in 2018-19 to help the Queens and in 2019-20, returned as head coach. He coached the Queens to back-to-back Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women’s Volleyball National Championships in 2014 and 2015.

In 2019-20, Walton led the Queens to a bronze medal at nationals.

Wandler was an assistant coach with that group, as well as from 2003 to 2012. As head coach, Wandler guided the Queens to a pair of ACAC bronze medals in 2016-17 and 2018-19.

The Queens will host the 2022 ACAC Women’s Volleyball Championship at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre next February.

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