Female Apprentice Coach Program: PACWEST

July 3, 2014 - The 2014-15 Female Apprentice Coach Program participants from the Pacific Western Athletic Association:

Institution: Langara College
Sport: Soccer

Apprentice: Loren Lidin

Loren Lidin is looking to take her soccer career to the next level. In doing so, she’s heading back to her roots.

The Langara College graduate is returning to the Falcons, where she starred for five years, through the Female Apprentice Coach Program.

“My post-secondary soccer career both began and ended at Langara College,” said Lidin, who was never seriously tempted by the opportunities she had to play in the CIS. “I knew Langara College was my home and I felt more than fulfilled as a Falcon.”

Lidin went on to receive her Marketing Management Diploma at Langara and she is grateful for all of the memories created by the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association.

She led the Falcons to the 2008 CCAA Women’s Soccer National Championship and two years later, she was named the 2010 CCAA Player of the Year. Also in 2010, she was named the SportBC College Athlete of the Year.

“(Loren) is very passionate about the game and has an attitude that would strive to make the most of this learning opportunity,” said Jake McCallum, Director of Athletics & Intramurals at Langara.
   
Lidin is looking forward to passing along her knowledge to current players. “I am very confident the Female Apprentice Coach Program will allow me to become an even greater asset as a coach on the team, and learn more in the process,” she said.

“I am extremely excited this opportunity has presented itself so I can further my coaching development.”

Coach: Ryan Birt

Langara’s Ryan Birt is entering his 13th season as head coach of the women’s soccer team and his current assistant is actually a graduate of the Female Apprentice Coach Program.

In 2008, Birt was a mentor coach to Kristine Jack. “I saw firsthand the benefit this program had on Kristine as a coach in allowing her to expand on the knowledge and skills she possessed which also directly impacted the athletes at Langara,” he said.

Birt obviously values the opportunity to work with an apprentice in order to help advance their coaching abilities. And Lidin has great potential according to her former coach. “I feel that the combination of Loren's talent, knowledge and demeanour as a person make her an ideal candidate for (the FACP),” he said.

And Birt, who is a Certified Level 3 coach, knows a thing or two about success. He guided the Falcons to Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association national titles in 2005, 2006 and 2008. Birt was also named the 2007 CCAA Coach of the Year.

“Ryan is a highly respected coach in British Columbia, who is deeply committed to the sport of soccer, and to player development,” said Jake McCallum, Director of Athletics & Intramurals at Langara. “His coaching experience, knowledge of the game, leadership qualities and approachable nature make him an ideal mentor for an upcoming coach such as Loren.”

Institution: Capilano University
Sport: Basketball

Apprentice: Jennifer Bodnar

Now that Jennifer Bodnar’s playing days are over, the Capilano graduate is looking to kick start her coaching career. The Female Apprentice Coach Program will facilitate her dream.

Bodnar comes from a basketball family and she’s looking forward to sharing the many positive experiences she’s gained through the sport.

“I have always dreamed of coaching basketball at a high level after I was done playing,” said Bodnar. “Basketball has been a huge part of my life and I enjoyed every minute of it. Being able to become a coach is my way of giving back to basketball,” she said.

Having finished her fifth year at Capilano University, Bodnar has grown into a strong leader, communicator and someone her teammates looked up to. And, she already has some coaching experience: She teaches at camps in her hometown of Agassiz, B.C. and she is currently the head coach of the Agassiz-Harrison Aquanauts summer swim club.

“I think having that experience will help me transition from playing to coaching basketball much smoother,” said Bodnar. “Having this opportunity to do so and possibly pursue coaching as a career, is simply an amazing experience I look forward to.”

As an apprentice coach at Capilano University, Bodnar plans to take a hands-on approach. “I will make sure all players fully understand every drill, play, defensive strategy, or whatever else they are being taught at practice,” she said. Bodnar is also looking forward to helping the coaching staff with scouting reports, video sessions and team meetings.

“I have no reservation in stating that Jennifer will be a lifetime coach,” said Milt Williams, Department of Athletics & Recreation manager at Capilano. “She loves the sport and is looking forward to giving back to the game.”

Coach: Ramin Sadaghiani

Capilano University coach Ramin Sadaghiani is looking forward to contributing to the FACP because he believes there is a lack of quality female coaches at the grass roots, high school and college/university level.

“I believe the (FACP) will help develop new, motivated and knowledgeable female coaches in Canada,” said Sadaghiani. “If we are successful in developing strong female leaders in the basketball community, it will help us grow the game.”

Sadaghiani, who has been a head coach at Capilano since 2012, is a Certified Level 3 Coach. He has plenty of experience at both University and High School levels and he also coaches a very successful 3D Community Basketball Club.

One of the main reasons Sadaghiani wanted to participate in the program was to give back to the sport that has given him so many wonderful friendships and memories in his 13 years as a coach. “By mentoring Jennifer, perhaps I will motivate her to pursue this career further and she will also have the privilege of coaching such a great sport and impact the lives of other athletes,” he said.

Sadaghiani believes he will also grow professionally through this new experience. It’s a challenge he’s looking forward to and one he will take very seriously.

“You simply could not find a more suitable individual to be a mentor coach,” said Williams. “Coaching basketball is Ramlin’s lifetime passion and profession.”

Institution: Capilano University
Sport: Volleyball

Apprentice: Lauren Stockstad

Lauren Stockstad has a rich playing history at college, university and international club team levels. Now, she’s headed to Capilano University thanks to the Female Apprentice Coach Program.

“I have fallen in love with the sport and now that I have finished playing at a competitive level, I am ready to give back with my knowledge and experience through coaching,” said Stockstad.

After three years at Douglas College and two seasons at Thompson Rivers University, Stockstad went on to play four years for a professional club team in Denmark.

While playing overseas for Holte IF, Stockstad had the opportunity to coach as well: She taught Level 1-3 volleyball to children ages 8-12 and in addition coached a men’s team.

Recently, Stockstad was an assistant coach with Seaside Volleyball Club’s U-14 squad. “It was a lot of fun and extremely rewarding to witness my comments and critiques in action with such young yet talented girls.”

Her role on any team she has been a part of has always been that of a “mood lifter”. During tense moments on the bench or court, Stockstad is always positive and there to provide a smile.  “I am amazed at how much something as little as a smiling face can change a team’s dynamic on the court which is something I try to teach young players,” she said.

Through the FACP, Stockstad hopes to broaden her coaching skills on a more technical level.

“Lauren absolutely loves the sport of volleyball and she enjoys teaching others what she knows about the sport,” said Milt Williams, Department of Athletics & Recreation manager at Capilano. “We are excited about giving Lauren the opportunity to transfer her knowledge of volleyball to our collegiate players.”

Coach: Cal Wohlford

With 23 years of coaching experience, Cal Wohlford has the understanding of what it takes to be a mentor coach. He will get that opportunity this season through the Female Apprentice Coach Program.

“Technically, tactically and strategically he is an outstanding coach,” said Williams. “I have every confidence that Cal will make an exceptional mentor coach for Lauren.”

Wohlford, who is a Certified Level 2 Coach, is currently working on his third level. He has coached at public and private secondary schools, colleges, university and club levels. This will be his third season as head coach at Capilano University.

“I feel that the skills, knowledge and experiences that I have acquired form a sound basis for my role as a mentor coach,” said Wohlford, who supports the CCAA’s effort with the FACP.

“I feel that this program will create many opportunities for female coaches to pursue career goals in coaching and sports,” he said.

Wohlford looks forward to having Stockstad as his assistant because she displays exceptional instructional and organizational skills. “Lauren is an outstanding and keen student of the game,” he said. 

Institution: Vancouver Island University
Sport: Basketball

Apprentice: Heather McCarthy

During her five seasons at Vancouver Island University, Heather McCarthy proved you can be successful in both athletics and academics.

Now, as a Female Apprentice Coach Program participant, McCarthy will be able to pass along her experiences to current Mariners.

McCarthy suited up for VIU’s women’s basketball team for five seasons and in that time, she was placed on the Dean’s Honour List all five years. She also held VIU’s President’s Scholarship and earned an Academic All Canadian award in her final year.

“I believe that the example I have set, and will continue to set, will encourage and influence the current players,” said McCarthy. “It is as important to be a high achieving student as it is to be a high achieving athlete and I have proven it is possible to be both,” she said.

Throughout her playing career, McCarthy was also involved in the Mariner Summer Basketball camps, where she was responsible for developing and running warm-up and skill development drills. The young girls were receptive to her style of coaching, particularly because it was individualized to each player.

“Every person is motivated in a different way and I recognized individual strengths and challenges in each player and helped them to learn in a way that they responded to,” said McCarthy, who was named team captain in her final two seasons at VIU.

“These experiences have strengthened my leadership skills and I hope to continue to develop these skills as an apprentice coach,” she said.

McCarthy earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree with a major in Sport, Health and Physical Education and she will pursue a Post Baccalaureate Degree in Elementary Education. While the FACP is providing McCarthy the opportunity to give back to her community in a coaching capacity, it also fits seamlessly into her career path of coaching and teaching.

“The experience and knowledge I can gain from this position will help to build my confidence and skills to one day become a head coach,” she said.

Bruce Hunter, Athletics Director at VIU couldn’t agree more. “She has always led by example and is highly respected by her coaches and teammates,” he said.

“Heather is exactly the type of person who would make an excellent head coach in the future,” said Hunter.

Coach: Bill McWhinnie

The Canadian Collegiate Athletic Associations’ reigning women’s basketball Coach of the Year is adding another weapon to his bench thanks to the Female Apprentice Coach Program.

Bill McWhinnie, head coach of the VIU Mariners, has been selected as a mentor coach. Last season, he guided his team to an impressive 20-1 record and the top ranking in the PACWEST. The Mariners finished third at provincials.

After coaching Heather McCarthy for five seasons, McWhinnie will now have her as an apprentice. He believes McCarthy is the ideal candidate for the program.

“Heather is an outstanding young woman, who is going to be an outstanding coach,” he said. “She has been a role model for her teammates for several years and I can see her doing the same for the young players she coaches.”

McWhinnie, who is a Certified Level 3 Coach, recognizes the importance to have more female coaches in Canada. “We are in need for our young girls to have female mentors and coaches they can look up to and I think this program is a terrific opportunity to do this,” he said.

With two apprentices this season, Hunter and VIU are committed to the FACP. He’s confident that McCarthy and McWhinnie will make an excellent team. “Bill is a dedicated and knowledgeable coach who will make a very good mentor for Heather,” he said.

Institution: Vancouver Island University
Sport: Soccer

Apprentice: Allison Bach

Allison Bach joins the Vancouver Island University women’s soccer team through the Female Apprentice Coach Program. Her resume, both as a player and a coach, is quite impressive.

Bach grew up in Parksville, B.C. and played numerous sports at a competitive level. Her club soccer team from Nanaimo won both the provincial and national championships in 2003. Bach was also a member of the B.C. soccer program from U-14 through U-18.

She played varsity soccer for the University of Victoria for five seasons. There, she helped UVic qualify for four National Intercollegiate Championships and a National Title in 2005. Bach has won scoring titles and received all-star berths and she was an All Canadian in 2007.

“Having played at a very high level Allison brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the women’s (soccer) program and is an excellent addition to the coaching staff,” said Bruce Hunter, Athletics Director at VIU.

Bach has experience coaching at many levels, from school soccer to the Vancouver Island Premier League, and she has experience running the youth development sessions for Oceanside Youth Soccer Society.

She is excited to join the VIU coaching staff and believes she has much to contribute from her athletic experiences. Bach is also an advocate of a good balance between academic and athletic participation.

“I have always been taught that community’s support for elite athletes is an investment in future leaders,” she said. “It is a privilege for me to give back to the community that was so supportive of my athletic endeavors.”

Coach: Anup Kang

Anup Kang is a highly respected soccer instructor with two decades of experience. Now, he’s a mentor coach as a part of the Female Apprentice Coach Program.

Kang, a Certified Level 3 Coach, has been with the Vancouver Island Mariners women’s soccer program for seven years. He takes pride that VIU ranks academics high within its varsity program as well; this past semester, 14 student-athletes earned Academic Excellence.

“During his time at VIU, the women’s program has steadily improved to the point where they are now a dominant team in the B.C. league,” said Hunter. “Anup is a highly motivated and skilled coach who will make an excellent role model for Allison,” he said.

Kang has high praise for Bach and looks forward to sharing ideas and philosophies with his apprentice, ultimately pointing her in the right direction as a head coach.

“Allison has been a successful varsity athlete and student at the highest level in Canada,” said Kang. “She has the passion and dedication to learn and commitment required to be a head coach one day,” he said.



The CCAA is a national sport organization that enriches the lives of student-athletes through intercollegiate competition.

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