McCannel named Regina's interim head coach
REGINA, Sask. - University of Regina athletic director Dick
White announced Friday that University of Regina cross country and
track & field head coach Carla Nicholls will take a year's
leave of absence, effective May 1. Current U of R assistant coach
and former Cougar athlete Bruce McCannel has been named her interim
Nicholls has guided the U of R's cross country and track & field teams since April of 2004, when she became the program's first full-time head coach after serving as an assistant coach for several seasons. Nicholls is leaving to take a position as a national event group coach for jumps, combined events, and hurdles with Athletics Canada.
"Carla has been instrumental in establishing the Cougars as a nationally competitive track & field program during her tenure here," White said. "We have been fortunate to have one of Canada's top coaches working with our program and we know that Athletics Canada will benefit from her passion and expertise."
In terms of team performances, this past season was the strongest of Nicholls' five seasons as head coach. Led by Janine Polischuk, who was named the CIS Field Athlete of the Year for the second consecutive season, the women's track & field team scored its highest finish ever at the Canada West meet, finishing in second place and narrowly missed out on its first conference championship. The men's track & field team finished in third place at the Canada West meet, while the men's cross country team entered the national rankings for the first time in program history and was ranked as high as No. 8 during the fall season. University of Regina athletes earned three major individual CIS awards during Nicholls' tenure, including Polischuk's two Field Athlete of the Year awards and high jumper Jeremy Eckert, who was recently named the CIS Rookie of the Year.
McCannel has volunteered as a jumps coach for the University of Regina for the past three seasons while working as an intergovernmental analyst for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Finance. Under McCannel's guidance, his jumpers secured eight of the 12 available medals at the 2009 Canada West Championships. He was also a prolific athlete for the U of R, winning nine conference medals and four CIS medals during his CIS career.
"We were fortunate to have an outstanding young coach in Bruce on our staff who is able to step in during Carla's leave," White said. "He'll be able to maintain the momentum that this program has gained in the past few years."
McCannel will assume the reins as interim head coach on Friday, May 1.
Sports Information Director
University of Regina