KELOWNA, B.C. (ISN) – UBC’s Okanagan campus Director of Athletics and Recreation Rob Johnson announced today that men’s basketball Head Coach Darren Semeniuk has stepped down. Semeniuk, citing family reasons, decided to hand over the reins after completing his seventh year at the helm.
“My wife and I have three young kids and they are getting to the age where they are very active and I just don’t want to spend that much time away from them on the weekends – the time that they are the busiest,” says Semeniuk. “I felt my passion being redirected and I need to do both right, which is why I made the choice to step down.”
“Knowing Darren, I am not surprised by his decision and I respect it,” said Johnson. “Anyone who knows the Semeniuks, knows value they place on “family” – it is one of the reasons they are such good coaches.”
However, Johnson regrets losing the most successful men’s basketball coach in the campus’s history. In the British Columbia Collegiate Athletic Association for six years, Darren’s teams earned four provincial medals (1 gold, 2 silvers, and 1 bronze) and three straight trips to the national championships while compiling a league record of 63 wins and 38 losses. In his first year of Canada West competition, Semeniuk’s team exceeded expectations winning three games with a squad comprised completely of CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) first year players.
“When Darren started, we competed in the Canadian Collegiate Athletics Association (CCAA) and he took our men’s basketball program to national prominence in just two years,” explains Johnson. “Throughout the CIS application process and through our first season of competition at that level, I was where very happy with how he was building his program. There is often the temptation to go for the “one-year wonders”, veteran players who appear to offer improved chances on immediate wins on the court but typically have academic or other off-court challenges, which is why they are available. While there was no shortage of such players offering their wares, Darren never wavered from our philosophy of building a program with strong, high school student athletes, high-achievers that will be successful on and off the court, but may take a little longer in developing.”
According to Johnson, a national search for a successor to Semeniuk will be conducted with the expectation of having a new head coach named as soon as possible.