August 07, 2012
NAIT bids farewell to men’s basketball coach, names interim bench boss
Mike Hansen, head coach of the Ooks men’s basketball team, is stepping down for family reasons, and will be replaced by interim head coach Ben Julius.
During the 2011-12 season, the team under Hansen’s direction posted a 16-4 ACAC conference record and a 20-5 overall record, earning an ACAC bronze medal. It was Hansen’s first season at NAIT.
“It’s with a heavy heart that I’m stepping down as coach of the NAIT men’s basketball program,” said Hansen. “I feel like we’ve made some serious strides to improve the image of the program this year and that the recruiting class we have coming in would compete for a CCAA National Championship next season. In 18 years as a coach I have preached family first, school second, basketball third and I felt like I’d be a hypocrite if I stayed and didn’t practice what I preach. Our student-athletes deserve someone who is not torn in his duties as a coach and father.”
Linda Henderson, NAIT director of Athletics and Recreation, thanked Hansen for his hard work over the past year.
“Mike’s passion for making a difference in the lives of the student-athletes he worked with showed in what he did with them every day both on and off the court,” Henderson said. “Mike was also a well-respected leader on the NAIT campus as he contributed to the academic advising component of the new academic model. We wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Julius comes to NAIT after coaching the men’s basketball team at Medicine Hat last season. He brings with him a vast array of experiences including coaching CIS, NCAA and provincial teams. He also was involved with an internship with the Orlando Magic of the NBA.
“I am very pleased and excited to be a part of the NAIT family,” said Julius. “I look forward to taking the men's basketball program forward in the 2012-13 season.”
Henderson welcomed Julius to NAIT.
“Ben will be a great addition to our staff. His passion and desire to contribute significantly to the lives of the student-athletes at NAIT will be his strengths. We look forward to having Ben’s abilities as an educator, administrator and coach within our department; and are confident that his dedication and enthusiasm will be used to build a successful program for the future.”
NAIT is one of Canada’s leading polytechnics, with almost 80,000 registrations worldwide in key areas including science, technology and the environment, business, health care and trades. Known for real-world education and student success, NAIT also engages with business and industry in applied research and innovation and provides corporate training around the world. NAIT enrolled its first students - 29 communication electrician apprentices - in 1962 and this year celebrates its 50th anniversary.
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