Matt Kaminski is trading his Columbia Bible College Bearcats jersey for a shirt and tie.
The 26-year-old, who was playing volleyball for the Bearcats as recently as March, was named the Abbotsford school’s interim athletic director earlier this week. He replaces Rocky Olfert, who is moving across town to take the reins of the University of the Fraser Valley athletic department.
Kaminski graduated from CBC in 2011 with a bachelor of arts in intercultural studies, and began the 2011-12 school year as an assistant AD under Olfert. He re-enrolled in the second semester and suited up again with the Bearcats volleyball men, helping them to a fourth-place finish at the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) nationals, which they also hosted.
CBC has four sports programs in the PacWest college league – men’s and women’s basketball and volleyball.
“It’s a huge opportunity for someone my age to be moving into a role like this,” Kaminski acknowledged. “But I also feel I’ve been around CBC as a player, and last year as assistant athletic director, so I’ve learned quite a bit about how things work around here. I’m more excited than anything.”
Kaminski said his interim label stems from the fact his current resumé lacks elements outlined in the job description, namely a master’s degree and three to five years experience in a similar role. But Olfert’s hiring by UFV in mid-June left little time for a comprehensive search for a replacement. Kaminski hopes to stay at CBC long-term – he’ll be up for review in the spring when his one-year contract expires, and he’s open to pursuing his master’s eventually.
He intends to take a “holistic” approach to developing athletes, emphasizing spiritual and academic growth along with athletic improvement.
“Wins and losses and doing well athletically are important to us, but there’s definitely more to CBC athletics,” he said. “I’ve seen what Tim Demant (the AD who preceded Olfert) and Rocky have put in place, and I’m really excited to continue to build upon the course that athletics is on here.”
Olfert believes Kaminski will be a good fit at CBC.
“He has a passion for the school and the student-athletes,” he said. “He’s got a great skill set. He works hard, he works well with students and staff and faculty, and I have no doubt he’ll represent the college well.”
WIENS NAMED MEN’S VOLLEYBALL COACH
The other half of Olfert’s portfolio at CBC, the men’s volleyball head coaching job, will be taken on by Phil Wiens.
Wiens played five seasons with the Bearcats, and served as assistant coach the past two years. He helped guide the team to a CCAA gold medal in 2010-11, along with the fourth-place finish in 2011-12. The CBC volleyball men also won PacWest silver and bronze medals during that stretch.
“Phil will do a great job,” Kaminski said. “He’s passionate and very knowledgeable about volleyball.”
“I am very excited for the opportunity to build on the strong legacy that the previous coaches have developed,” Wiens said in a press release. “I am also looking forward to joining the dedicated staff that run the CBC athletics department, and actively serving in mentoring student-athletes in the pursuit of excellence – both on and off the court.”