Hansen steps down for a year

There’s a change on top of the RDC athletic department, although it will only be for one year.

There’s a change on top of the RDC athletic department, although it will only be for one year.

Athletic director Keith Hansen has been granted a one-year sabbatical, which begins May 15, and will be replaced on an interim basis by long-time RDC coach, instructor and chairman of kinesiology and sports studies, Gord Inglis.

Hansen will work on becoming a certified sports psychologist consultant with association of applied sports psychologists plus work with the Evivo Volleyball Club in Duren, Germany.

“I started thinking about taking a sabbatical about a year ago as I wanted to do it before my girls are old enough to go to school,” explained Hansen. “Besides the degree and working with the volleyball, one thing we want to do is travel and If we wait much longer it wouldn’t be the best for the family.”

Hansen needs “three or four” graduate level courses to get his degree. He’ll take those online then do 400 hours of practicum work, which he made arrangements to take with Evivo Club.

“I’ll fly back and forth from Germany prior to Christmas, with my family moving over in the New Year,” he explained. “I’ll work with the team both as a sports psychologist and as an assistant coach and mentor.”

Hansen was the head coach of the Evivo Club in 2000-01, when he took a year’s leave from RDC.

He’s been invited back on several occasions, but can’t see himself moving back to Europe full time.

“They offered me the job at least three times, but I don’t want to move back full time, but I love going back part time,” he said. “They’re very good to us. We went back a couple of summers ago for a month and so we have some friends there and the kids enjoy it.”

Hansen feels very comfortable with Inglis taking over.

“Gord was my (volleyball) coach at RDC in the mid-80s and is the perfect guy to come in. We have the same philosophies and ideas. There’s a big difference by throwing in an informed idea than an uniformed idea and Gord has an informed idea. He knows the philosophy of the department and how we got there.”

Inglis has been the chairman of the kinesiology department for the last 20 years, and worked closely with a number of athletic directors including Wayne Lalor, Laurel Goodacre, Cor Ouwerkerk, Al Ferchuk and Hansen. He knows the program from the inside out.

“I’m thrilled to take it over. The program has always been about excellence, that’s one of our trademarks,” he said.

“It’s why people say we’re one of the premier athletic programs in the nation. We don’t always get the banners, but we have quality athletes and quality programs and what the athletes go on and pursue is a mark of a great program.”

Inglis said he won’t be making any real changes to the program, but if he can improve it so much the better,.

“It’s a one-year thing and the transition is very good,” he said. “The program is already in place and if I can build on it, that’s good. When Keith comes back I want to hand it back to him in even better shape.”

Inglis added he’s working with “quality people”

“P.J. (Swales) does such a great job in event management and marketing and the support both (program assistants) Janis (Makofka) and Carolyn (Neufeld) give is unbelievable. And the coaches are amazing.”

One of the major areas Inglis needs to concentrate on is the budget.

“That’s a learning curve,” he said. “Other than that maybe I can bring some ideas on event management, such as special features and bringing in more excitement.”

l In other RDC news it was announced that Kaley Gilham, a Notre Dame grad and three-year member of the volleyball Queens program, has committed to join the University of Winnipeg Wesmen.

The six-foot-one Gilham, who also played for the Canadian national women’s baseball team, was a key member of the Queens run to the provincial championship last season.

Contact Danny Rode at drode@bprda.wpengine.com

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