University of Saskatchewan Huskie men’s volleyball head coach Brian Gavlas will be taking his professional leave of absence during the 2016-17 season.Taking over the reins of the Canada West silver medalist Huskies as the interim head coach will be Joel Dyck.

Dyck has been an assistant coach with the Huskies for the last two seasons and played in the 2012-13 season for the green and white. Blaine Donauer will continue as an assistant coach with the team.

“I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to coach the 2016-17 men’s volleyball team,” said Dyck. “It is a great chance for me to develop and grow as a young coach. I have learned a lot working under the mentorship of Brian Gavlas, which I believe has prepared me to coach at this level. I feel privileged to lead this team of experienced veterans and skilled rookies as we compete in the tough Canada West conference.”

Prior to joining the Huskies, Dyck spent four seasons in the Alberta College Athletic Conference with Briercrest College. In 2012-13, he started in 23 matches for the Huskies recording 97 kills and 105 digs.

Dyck has a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology (2014) and a Bachelor of Education (2016) from the University of Saskatchewan. He has worked as a personal trainer and has been the Saskatchewan Volleyball Men’s High Performance Coach since January.  He also has coaching experience with the Huskie Volleyball Club and the Saskatchewan provincial teams.

“Joel was a five-year student-athlete and has been involved with our program for the past four years as a player, then assistant coach,” said Gavlas. “He has also been a club coach and provincial team coach at various levels. He wants to make coaching a career and this opportunity is a major benefit for him to accomplish this goal.” During the leave, Gavlas will take time for professional development opportunities. Since becoming head coach in 1992, Gavlas has led the UofS to four Canada West Championship titles and 12 appearances in the CIS Championship tournament. He has been named Canada West Men’s Volleyball Coach of the Year four times.

Dyck will begin his interim position on August 1.