Jul. 06, 2017
The Ooks women’s basketball program, NAIT Ooks Athletics, and NAIT are honored and proud to have been selected to participate in the CCAA Female Apprentice Coach Program for the upcoming 2017-18 CCAA season. Cassidy Taal, a recent alumnus of the Women’s Basketball program, was chosen as the Apprentice Coach from among a very deep and talented group of applicants for this year’s program. Ooks omen’s basketball Head Coach Todd Warnick will serve as the Mentor Coach for Cassidy in this upcoming season. This is a role the experienced and accomplished coach has done in the past both at NAIT in 2013-14 season and while serving as the Head Coach at Concordia University of Edmonton in 2007-08.
The CCAA Female Apprentice Coach Program is a ground breaking program that over the past number of years has met the purpose of being designed to identify and support female graduating student-athletes who demonstrate the desire and skills for coaching by providing them opportunities to share in the coaching experience in CCAA National Championship sports. The program provides grants to assist institutions in hiring and developing female apprentice coaches with the goals of increasing opportunities for young women to have access to the coaching experience while supporting those identified women in the professional development of their coaching and leadership skills, and at the same time providing qualified CCAA Coaches with advanced training and mentorship opportunities.
Cassidy Taal will serve as this season’s apprentice coach for the NAIT program fresh off of playing a key role on the team as the Ooks hosted the 2016-17 CCAA women’s basketball championship and battled to a fourth place finish in the tournament despite being seeded 8th. Cassidy knows the value of the opportunity she has saying, “I am very grateful to be selected to this program this year. Basketball has always been a big part of my life, and I am excited to be able to continue to be involved with the game now that I have finished my eligibility. Although I have been coaching for more than 5 years, I am excited for the challenge and differences of coaching versus playing in the ACAC.” She goes on to describe the learning she expects to take place while being the apprentice, “I hope to be able to learn more of the details that go into being a coach at this level, as well as improve my in-game detection skills and my ability to give adjustments.” In closing Cassidy also recognizes what she can bring to the program. “I think the FACP gives former student athletes a really unique opportunity to be able to transfer their playing knowledge to the coaching side. I am excited to be able to share that athlete perspective with the coaching staff, as well as the coaching side with the team.”
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Cassidy’s mentor for this fantastic opportunity is no stranger to the CCAA the Apprentice Coach Program or the rigors of coaching at a National Championship level. Todd Warnick, entering his 8th season at NAIT and 16th season as a head coach in the CCAA overall has a wealth of knowledge and experience for Cassidy to draw from. He is a NCCP Level 3 certified coach and has lead 3 different institutions to the CCAA National Championship tournament coaching both male and female athletes. He has won ACAC Championships at both NAIT (2015-16) and Concordia University of Edmonton (2006-07). Additionally he has led teams to National medal winning CCAA Bronze at Vancouver Island University coaching Men’s Basketball (2004-05) and again in 2015-16 at the NAIT Ooks Women’s Coach. He has a 158-61 record coaching ACAC Women’s Basketball and a 24-16 playoff record with 4 National Championship appearances. He has served as a FACP Mentor in 2007-08 and again in 2013-14 of which he says, “Both my mentorship experiences through the Female Apprentice Coach Program where tremendously rewarding and benefited the teams and institutions I coached for beyond measure” Warnick goes on to describe Cassidy as a “perfect fit” saying, “Cass is what you hope for in the program; someone who brings a passion for the sport and a knowledge that will only grow through this experience. We are so fortunate to have her with us and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her this season. Our team will only get better because of her presence and energy”.