Donen to helm UFV men’s volleyball program

Donen to helm UFV men’s volleyball program

Kyle Donen boasts a uniquely broad volleyball skill set, with experience as a player, a coach and even a play-by-play broadcaster.

Kyle Donen boasts a uniquely broad volleyball skill set, with experience as a player, a coach and even a play-by-play broadcaster.

He’ll bring all those experiences to bear in his latest gig – head coach of the University of the Fraser Valley men’s volleyball squad.

“It’s very exciting – it’s a dream come true to have an opportunity to work at this level,” Donen said. “I appreciate being able to coach at any level and helping kids out. But taking it one step further and being able to do it at the college/university level is something that I’ve always wanted to do.”

The 26-year-old White Rock native takes over for Greg Russell, who had helmed the Cascades since 2005 but whose contract was not renewed by the UFV athletic department in April.

The Cascades men’s volleyballers won PacWest medals four straight years between 2007 and 2010, with a fourth-place finish at nationals in 2009, but didn’t approach those heights in more recent years and missed the playoffs last season with an 8-16 record.

Donen has a good feel for his personnel already – he served as an assistant coach with the UFV men over the season half of last season.

“Some of the key pieces are returning, and it’s a strong core,” he said. “With the group last year, I think they beat every team at least once time. Unfortunately they weren’t able to string together multiple wins against some of the teams they needed to, which would have really been the difference between making (the playoffs) and not making it. It’s definitely a tight league.

“But I don’t see any reason we can’t be successful. I’m hoping to try and change the mindset of some of these guys, and make them more driven to want to have that success and earn that berth to go to nationals this year.”

Donen played university volleyball for the Thompson Rivers WolfPack from 2006 to 2010, attending three national championships during that time. He was also a longtime member of the B.C. provincial team, and was part of the Canadian Jewish national volleyball squad that competed in Tel Aviv in 2009.

Donen has previously coached with White Rock’s Seaside Volleyball Club and at Semiahmoo Senior Secondary and Elgin Park Secondary.

Also an accomplished play-by-play broadcaster, he has been the voice of many volleyball championships over the past few years, including last year’s Canada West men’s Final Four hosted by Trinity Western University.

“I think you have a certain level of learning as a player, but when you finally get a chance to watch it from afar or behind the mic, you kind of see the game in a different way,” he said. “You do see a lot of different things and you can think about them as a coach, and I’ve definitely done that. I’m going to bring as much of that to my coaching as possible.”

UFV athletic director Rocky Olfert said Donen has “so many of the qualities that we were looking for in a coach.

“I believe he will be key in leading this program forward,” Olfert said. “He is very professional, well-prepared, and passionate about developing student athletes at UFV and in the surrounding communities that we serve.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey Police Service to begin public consultation late June, early July

Community input, chief constable says, ‘will occur’

Surrey RCMP reunited three stolen puppies with their mom. (RCMP handout)
Puppies stolen from South Surrey home located, reunited with mom

Surrey RCMP said they found the stolen puppies on April 16

Welcome to your park sign marks the spot where 84th Avenue will continue east from King George Boulevard 
to 140th Street as part of a $13 million road project. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Road Rage: Opposition mounts anew to Surrey’s plan for 84 Ave. at south end of Bear Creek Park

Same place, same project, same fight as Surrey prepares once again to connect 84th Avenue between King George and 140th Street in Newton

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/ screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

John Wekking, Merritt Road Report - Facebook
 Coquihalla Road Report
Wildfire sparks off Coquihalla in Merritt

The wildfire is located near the Dollarama off of Highway 5

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read