Jennings takes reins of Dinos women’s basketball
Source: Calgary Sports Info
CALGARY – The University of Calgary Dinos’ search for a new women’s basketball coach went global, and athletic director Ron Wuotila announced Wednesday that Damian Jennings will take over the program this fall.
Jennings, 33, comes to Calgary from Wales where he has led the Cardiff Metropolitan University (formerly the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff) women’s basketball program since October 2005. Under his leadership, the UWIC Archers became one of the elite teams in the England Basketball League’s Division I, winning the league title in 2010. In 2011-12, Jennings led the Archers to a 19-2 record, winning the regular season title before losing in the championship game. He was named EBL coach of the year in 2008-09.
The Archers also won three consecutive British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) national titles from 2008-10 under his leadership.
In addition to his basketball duties, he has also been a senior lecturer in sports management at UWIC since 2004. Jennings received a BSc (Hons) in sport development in 2001 and an MA in sports development and coaching in 2004, both from UWIC.
Jennings has also been involved with Great Britain Basketball since its inception in 2006 after London was awarded this summer’s Olympics, coaching in more than 110 games to date for Britain. He has worked with the U20 program for most of that time, helping it achieve promotion from EuroBasket Division B to Division A, where he was named eurobasket.com coach of the European tournament. He guided the national U20 team to the European Division B title in 2010 and was head coach for the British entry in 2011’s Summer Universiade in Shenzhen, China.
In 2009, Jennings received his FIBA Europe Coaching Certificate, graduating at the top of his class. He will be on the bench for the British senior women’s team as an assistant coach at London 2012.
Wuotila, who serves as the high performance manager with the British men’s side, has a long history with Jennings.
“I am thrilled to have Damian join us,” said Wuotila, who is currently in the United Kingdom with the British men’s team preparing for the Olympic tournament. “He is a young coach with a proven track record of success, both domestically and internationally. Damian's commitment to player development and his ability to establish a culture of excellence within his team will serve our players and the department well. I look forward to working with Damian for many years to come.”
For Jennings, the chance to move into coaching as a full-time profession was key to the decision to accept the Dinos job.
“This is a particularly exciting move for me and my wife,” said Jennings. “I am very much looking forward to working for and with the University of Calgary, building alongside the great traditions that the Dinos represent. I have no doubt that we can build one of the best women’s basketball programs in Canada – but it starts with building an identity and a brand of basketball and performance lifestyle that ensures the student-athletes achieve and compete to the best of their abilities on a daily basis.
“I look forward to meeting the players and building this identity with them.”
Jennings will arrive in Calgary in August following the Olympic Games. He replaces Shawnee Harle, who resigned after 17 seasons with the program earlier this year and has since taken a new position with Basketball Alberta.
The Dinos, who upset No. 1 Regina in the national quarterfinal while hosting the CIS tournament last March, open the 2012-13 regular season Friday, Nov. 2 when they host the Manitoba Bisons in the Jack Simpson Gym.
Ticket packages for the 2012-13 season will begin July 1 with the launch of Dinos Gold Card sales. For just $100, enjoy access to all regular season home games in all sports, discounts and deals from Dinos sponsors, the opportunity to purchase discounted parking, and much more. For more information, visit www.goDINOS.com/tickets.
University of Calgary Dinos
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COACHES
Dr. Jean Leiper
Theresa Maxwell (1972-75)
Marilyn McNeil (1975-79)
Donna Rudakas (1979-90, 1991-94)
Jane Anne Smith (1990-91)
Shawnee Harle (1994-2012)
Damian Jennings (2012-)