Heat hire new coach
By Cary Mellon on January 6, 2015
The process of building a strong women’s basketball program at UBC’s Okanagan campus moves forward as Claire Meadows is chosen to lead the team after the retirement of Heather Semeniuk.
“I am excited and honoured to be appointed the next Head Coach for the UBC Okanagan women’s basketball program,” said Meadows. “It has been a dream of mine to coach in the CIS since I played at this level in university. I am fortunate to be given a position to be able to influence and shape young women and future leaders in the community.”
“As we have seen with previous postings for our coaching positions, there was very strong interest with qualified candidates applying from across Canada,” says Rob Johnson, Director of Athletics and Recreation. “It is certainly a nice problem to have but one that makes the Selection Committee’s job very difficult. In the end however, Claire was our unanimous choice.
“Claire presented a comprehensive plan on how she will start from the foundation Heather has created and continue to build the strongest possible program at UBC Okanagan,” say Johnson. “Her playing and coaching experience, her commitment to her development as a professional coach – she recently completed a Master’s degree in coaching – and her work with provincial teams, along with her obvious passion for coaching made this the right choice.”
Meadows will become the school’s second women’s basketball head coach since UBC Okanagan started Canada West and CIS competition in 2011. She replaces Heather Semeniuk who held the position for the past 21 years. Following a one-year assistant coach role at the University of Alberta Meadows was hired by Basketball Alberta as Head Coach of the Alberta Center for Performance in the South and, in addition, has spent the last three seasons as the Lead Assistant Coach of the University of Lethbridge women’s team.
“Her basketball resume is strong. Claire played five years at Queen’s University earning first and second team OUA East All-Star awards and finishing her career as a team captain and as Queen’s second all-time leading scorer,” says Johnson.
In addition to her coaching experience at the U of A and Lethbridge, Meadows was an assistant coach at Queen’s and a head coach for Alberta Basketball and the U17 Jr Horns team in the Prairie Elite Basketball League (PEBL). She was also invited this past December to try out for a coaching position with the Cadet National Team. Final coaching selections will be announced later this spring.
On top of her coaching duties, Meadows was the driving force behind the Jr. Horns Basketball Club in Lethbridge, experience that should serve her well with the growing Jr. Heat program here in the Okanagan. Further, she organized and ran the academic study hall program for U of L Athletics.
“Claire is a very high-achieving person, she is thought of very highly in the national basketball community,” Johnson notes.
With the UBC Okanagan program still being in its early stages in Canada West, Meadows is excited to have the opportunity to shape the program and continue to build on what has been implemented by Heather Semeniuk.
“Coach Semeniuk has created a strong foundation for the program in the CIS and I look forward to having the opportunity to build on that, said Meadows. “Moving forward, I am excited to begin the recruiting process. Once the current CIS season has concluded and I am in Kelowna, I will begin working with the current student-athletes to plan and shape the vision of the program moving forward.”
Recruiting potential student-athletes that are the right fit both academically and athletically will be a priority, says Johnson, noting that to compete in Canada West it will be important to identify the top players locally, provincially and nationally.
“Once Heather made the decision to retire, recruiting for next season was the main reason we hired at this time,” he says. “We did not want to miss a recruiting class and potential student athletes need to know to whom they are committing. Claire’s connections in both western and eastern Canada and with the provincial and national programs will be a definite asset moving forward.”
Meadows will officially start April 1 but will start immediately identifying and connecting with recruits.
For more info contact:
Director | Athletics & Recreation
The University of British Columbia | Okanagan campus
Phone: (250) 807-9700 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Head Coach (As of Apr. 1, 2015) | Women’s basketball
UBC Okanagan Heat
Phone: (403) 332-3121 | Email: email@example.com