After five years at the helm of the men’s volleyball squad, Kyle Donen and the Cascades decided to go their separate ways. This comes after a hard-fought season for the program, which saw the team go 2-22 and miss the playoffs. The uncharacteristically poor season was not all for nothing, as the Cascades played with incredible passion and commitment. The same can be said for Donen, who continued to rally the team and be a positive reference for them all season. The departure was tough but needed for the Cascades as they plan to take their program to the national level with Canada West and USPORTS.
His record with the team stands at 52-68, which sounds lower than average until you factor in this year’s contribution. Prior to the 2018-19 season, Donen maintained a winning record at 50-46. In his five years as coach, Donen’s highlights include a 17-win, second-place regular season campaign in 2016-17 as well as two CCAA All-Canadian nods for former players Adam Chaplin and Joel Kleingeltink.
The change of staff comes at a time when UFV awaits a decision that could fundamentally change the program: the Cascades have their sights set on moving to the Canada West stage, a conference already containing their basketball, soccer, and wrestling programs. It would be quite a statement for the school, as they would then be one step closer to having their entire range of varsity sports in Canada West.
Director of athletics and campus recreation Steve Tuckwood spoke well of Donen upon his departure from the program.
“We’re thankful to Kyle for his commitment to the program over the past five years and wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” Donen said.
This rings true for many, as the commitment of Donen cannot be questioned on the court. A somewhat reserved coach, Donen was always there for his players come game time and could be seen on the sidelines giving advice and directions as the Cascades played.
Donen also spoke highly of UFV in comments to UFV Athletics, expressing his gratitude for his involvement with the Cascades.
“I’m thankful for my time at UFV, and the experience I had with the athletes I was fortunate enough to meet and grow with. I also enjoyed working with the staff at UFV Athletics, and I wish all the best to the program in the future,” Donen said.
It is comments and quotes like these that communicate coach Donen’s respectful approach to his time with the program. He will be missed by not just the players, but by fans as well.
Now the program will look for their next head coach as they prepare for their 2019-20 season which begins in the fall of this year.
Image: UFV Cascades Flickr