A familiar face began calling the shots from the sidelines for the Briercrest College and Seminary women's basketball program at the beginning of the 2011-12 season. After serving as assistant coach with both Briercrest basketball teams four seasons prior, Chad Romanuk was announced as the new head coach summer of 2011.
Briercrest Athletic Director at the time, Stan Peters, wanted to make sure he was getting the right fit to pick up where the recently resigned Shane Sowden left off.
"One of the key things that we have been looking for to fill the position is someone who 'bleeds blue and gold,'" Peters said. "Someone who has a passion for basketball and someone who has a passion to see student-athletes grow in their faith, in their academic pursuits, in their ability to lead themselves and serve others."
Peters was excited about the newest member of his athletic department team.
"After a thorough search we are convinced that the person we were looking for was here all along", Peters said. "Chad is a grad of Briercrest College and Seminary, he is passionate about his faith, he is growing as a leader and he has spent the past three years with us serving in any capacity that we have needed."
Romanuk is no stranger to Briercrest and the Caronport community. His family first moved to Caronport when he was four. They later moved to nearby Caron, but Romanuk attended Caronport High School for Grade nine through to graduation. He enjoyed success with basketball at the high school level, winning two provincial silver medals in four years.
After graduating from CHS, Romanuk moved out to B.C., where he attended Capernwray Bible School on Thetis Island for one year. From there he moved to Calgary to work and later attend Rocky Mountain Bible College. While at Rocky, he got back into basketball competitively, playing with the varsity team and earning honors as the team MVP.
From there, Romanuk felt called back to Caronport to attend Briercrest College. He wanted to pursue a degree in sports ministry and play basketball in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC). During his three seasons playing for Briercrest, Romanuk twice received the ACAC Academic Athlete and CCAA Academic All-Canadian awards.
After graduating with his B.A. in Sports Ministry in 2006, Romanuk got involved with coaching various basketball camps, including NBC camps in B.C., Alberta, and Saskatchewan, along with the Mano Watsa camp in Ontario, and even overseas in Haiti with the Haiti Arise organization. He has also coached at and helped lead the Briercrest Sports basketball camps for the five summers before becoming head coach.
In 2008, Romanuk came back to Caronport and took on an assistant coaching role with both the men's and women's basketball programs at Briercrest. Romanuk has been dedicated to helping both college programs succeed through his countless hours in the gym, working with individual players. He has also given of his time to work with the high school and elementary school basketball programs at CHS and CES. Romanuk has also shown great leadership skills in organizing missions trips to Haiti for Briercrest athletes.
Romanuk believes that he has developed strengths that will allow him to be successful as a head coach at Briercrest.
"My strengths as a coach are that I am a very fundamental and technical coach-I am good at developing players and enabling them to play within the system. I am very passionate about not only skill development but character and spiritual development as well."
Peters recognized the strengths that Romanuk will bring to the women's basketball program.
"I have observed Chad grow as a teacher of the game of basketball," he said. "He is a 'gym rat'-he loves being in the gym working with players, and he is a learner who is always looking for ways to improve his ability to teach and help student-athletes understand the game. Chad is the right person for the job and we are excited to support him as he builds the women's basketball program to become champions on the court and champions in life."
Romanuk is looking forward to the challenge ahead and is excited for the future of Briercrest women's basketball.
"I have seen the women's program take huge strides over the last few years under Shane Sowden's leadership and I am excited to take the reins and continue what he has started," Romanuk said. "I am also excited about the girls we have coming back. The fact that we have so many girls coming back, especially under the circumstances (not having a head coach during the majority of the recruiting season), says a lot about the program."
"With the girls we have coming back and the girls that are coming in I expect to be very competitive in our league."