Nathan Bennett, shown here coaching the Saskatchewan Huskies last season, is the new head coach for the UFV Cascades men’s volleyball team.

Bennett named UFV men’s volleyball head coach

Huskies bench boss joins Cascades as they move from PW to CW

The winds of change are sweeping through the University of the Fraser Valley Cascades volleyball program, and an arrival from the prairies is the first sign of the new era at the school.

The UFV men’s volleyball program announced Nathan Bennett as the new bench boss for the 2019-20 Pacwest season, which will be the final year of competition for the Cascades in that league.

Bennett, who helped lead the University of the Saskatchewan Huskies to a 15-10 record in Canada West men’s volleyball action last year, will guide the ship for the program in its final Pacwest journey and then steer the ship as it enters Canada West play for 2020-21.

UFV volleyball was approved to join Canada West play back in May, ending a span of 17 seasons in Pacwest competition. In conjunction with that move, the Cascades volleyball coaching position is now a full-time position as opposed to a part-time one in years past.

Previous coach Kyle Donen and the program parted ways back in March. The 2018-19 season was a challenging one for the men’s team, as they finished with a record of 2-22 and missed the Pacwest playoffs.

Bennett arrives to the program with significant volleyball coaching experience at both the Pacwest and Canada West levels. He served as an assistant coach at Thompson Rivers University from 2014-18, and was also coached the Capilano University Blues from 2012 to 2014, earning coach of the years honours in 2013. The team also won the Pacwest title that year.

He said he’s thrilled to take on the opportunity with UFV and be closer to family and friends in B.C., but said he understands it will be a unique transition.

“Canada West is the beat league in the country but I’m ready for the challenge,” he said. “Compared to the Pacwest, the physicality is much higher, you have bigger and stronger athletes and just more polished players.”

He said the final year in the Pacwest will give him the chance to see what he has, and build for the debut at the Canada West level.

“We will be doing a lot of evaluating this year,” he said. “Both of our players and our systems. I don’t want to take anything away from the players we have now – they will have the first opportunity to move with us to Canada West. I also want to look at some older CCAA athletes that may want a shot in Canada West for a year or two. From there, we will begin recruiting high-end talent and I know Abbotsford as a community as a lot to offer in that regard.”

Bennett said he’s familiarizing himself with the roster he has right now, but said there are some basic qualities and a playing style he wants his team to use.

“The word relentless is going to come into play,” he said. “I want players with a never give up attitude and fight till the end of the day. It doesn’t matter what the score is, people that will do whatever it takes for the team. But I’m just excited to get in there and see what kind of team we have.”

He said he’s aware of the competition in Canada West, with strong programs nearby like Trinity Western University and UBC.

“There is a lot of competition for volleyball talent and we have to show players the good things we have here to entice them to come,” he said. “But we’re not just looking for the best player or athlete – they have to fit in with our culture and chemistry. They have to also be good students in the classroom and good people in the community.”

The Cascades will begin their final Pacwest season in October, and Bennett officially ends his time with the Huskies on Aug. 1.

“My wife and I are really excited for the challenge,” he said. “It’s a bit of a strange situation to come in for one year in the Pacwest, but UFV is a proud volleyball school and Abbotsford is a proud volleyball community so we’re both looking forward to it all.”

For more on the program, visit gocascades.ca.

Just Posted

Chat with a Chilliwack cop over coffee

Public invited to informal meeting with local officers at Harvest on July 23

Young musicians get chance to win opening act spot at Chilliwack Fair

Three finalists will vie for top spot at the Fair’s Saturday night show

Getting a new ‘Gig’ easier with new innovative program in Chilliwack

Program will take 12 young adults and help them prepare for their career path

VIDEO: Bloodhounds join the search for missing Chilliwack woman

Petsearchers Canada arrive in town Monday afternoon to help out

‘No little nook and cranny that’s too small’ in search for Chilliwack woman, say RCMP

Residents urged by police to assist in search for Grace Baranyk by checking property thoroughly

VIDEO: Reports say Lashana Lynch is the new 007

Daniel Craig will reprise his role as Bond one last time

B.C. adding fast-charge stations for electric highway trips

Okanagan, Vancouver Island, Kootenay stations ready for use

Worried about bats? Here’s what to do if you come across one in B.C.

Bat expert with the BC Community Bat Program urges caution around the small creatures

B.C. on right road with tougher ride-hailing driver rules, says expert

The provincial government is holding firm that ride-hailing drivers have a Class 4 licence

B.C. Ferries cancels two sailings Monday due to mechanical issues

Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay run affected in order to repair Queen of New Westminster

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

New home cost dips in B.C.’s large urban centres

Victoria, Kelowna, Vancouver prices decline from last year

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

Nine kittens and cats rescued after being locked in bins in northern B.C.: SPCA

SPCA says cats were starving, and matted with feces and urine

Most Read