The University of Calgary Dinosaurs athletics program has their Hannibal to direct them over the athletic Alps for another season.
Women's volleyball coach Kevin Boyles led his team to nationals eight times--with seven final-four appearances--in a row and now plans to lead the U of C's athletic program to excellence, continuing the role of interim athletic director for the next year.
Boyles took the position in the new year, after former athletic director Don Wilson was dismissed last Oct. Boyles decided to continue on with the job last week for the 2008-09 school year.
Kinesiology dean Wayne Giles explained Boyles was chosen because of the unique style of leadership Boyles portrays, as well as a number of well-defined strengths he brought to the job.
"He has built his program from scratch to a place of national prominence," said Giles. "Second, he is very familiar with building community and university relationships and that's an important part of the direction we want to head. And third, the way Kevin develops a student athlete is exactly what we're after. His student athlete graduates in a timely fashion and the best of them play for team Canada."
Boyles plans to do a full overhaul of the athletic department, from the staffing structure to programs. He noted the department is facing financial challenges and he plans to examine current resources and programming, determine where resources don't match the programming and then look at where new resources can be obtained.
"Our goal is to have every one of our programs be able to compete at a level that makes them a top three program in the country," said Boyles. "We feel that the U of C and the city of Calgary have the resources and the capacity."
Despite having to leave the leadership role of a team he has invested a great deal in, Boyles noted he is excited to deal with the department on a whole.
"I am really looking forward to the opportunity to try and impact the department on a greater level than I have in the past, to be involved in trying to get us on a better path than the one we were on," he said.
However, Boyles pointed to the difficulties of hiring a coach for the short period of time. He noted this might mean a younger coach would be suitable, someone who could maintain the culture of the program and continue on their successful path.
Kinesiology director of communications Don McSwiney stressed the new coach would have big shoes to fill, noting Boyles is one of the best volleyball coaches in the country.
"On one hand, we're delighted to have somebody of that caliber as the athletic director for the University of Calgary, but on the other hand, trying to find somebody to replace him is a pretty tall order," said McSwiney.
McSwiney added that having Boyles as the interim athletic director was interesting because of the different, useful perspective he could bring to the position as he's coming from a coaching background.
"'Nothing short of excellence' has been Kevin's MO as a coach," McSwiney commented. "It's been his track record and his history. I think he's going to extend that same philosophy and direction to the Dinos athletics as a whole."