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A partnership between Okanagan College and the Kelowna College Basketball Society will see the College offer women’s and men’s collegiate teams in 2017.
The partners signed an agreement on Tuesday that will create capacity for two new teams who will compete under the Okanagan College Coyotes athletic brand. The teams will begin their first season with a strong exhibition schedule and will be working toward inclusion in the PAC-WEST.
Longtime Okanagan basketball coach Dino Gini will be the head coach of the men’s team as well as an assistant on the women’s team. The women’s head coach will be announced shortly. Doug Sperling will be an assistant with the men’s program and Chris Oddy will be responsible for recruiting and development, along with Jamie Boreham and Gene Wolverton. Altogether, the coaching staff has more than 85 years of coaching experience and are looking forward to filling a void that has been evident in the region.
“We are incredibly excited about this new partnership with Okanagan College,” says Gini. “We are situated in a hotbed of basketball in the province and we have a number of players who are talented enough to play beyond their high school careers. The College is growing every year and offers such great programming that it was a natural fit to add a second athletic team to OC.”
Okanagan College also has a baseball team that is in its ninth season of competition in the Canadian College Baseball Conference (CCBC). It operates under a similar partnership between the College and the Kelowna College Baseball Society.
“We are looking forward to working with the society to provide a great athletic opportunity for our students,” says Jim Hamilton, President of Okanagan College. “We don’t have the kind of athletic team model that allows us to fund intercollegiate sports but through our experience with the baseball team, we have found a way to support the team and provide opportunities for students who have aspirations to be collegiate-level athletes. It’s a great example of working with our community to offer an expanded student experience.”
Under the terms of the agreement, the Society will cover all operating costs associated with the teams.
“We are grateful for the support of Okanagan College to help us see this vision through to reality,” says Gini. “We’re excited to bring the varsity spirit to the hallways of the College and to build upon the OC Coyotes athletic profile.”