By Nolan Weinmaster
years of experience in team building has led Rod Adrian back to Briercrest College and Seminary as the new men’s basketball coach.
Adrian is an alumnus of Briercrest and played Clipper basketball for four seasons from 1988 – 1992. During that time, his team qualified for the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association nationals all four seasons, winning a CCAA silver medal in his third season. He was named a CCAA All-Canadian in his final season.
A huge highlight for Adrian was also going on a missions trip with the team to the Ukraine the year they won CCAA silver. He was able to enjoy the experience of combining two of his greatest passions: basketball and his love for God.
“We played 19 games in 30 days and shared the Gospel and Bibles with thousands of people”, he said.
After graduating with his Bachelor of Arts from Briercrest, the Vancouver, BC native went on to study at ACTS Seminary on the Trinity Western University campus for his 1992-93 year. From there, Adrian began a career as a youth pastor at Johnston Heights Evangelical Free Church, where he worked with junior high and high school youth.
In 1997, he transitioned into the restaurant business, taking on a position as a restaurant manager at McDonald’s. During that time, Adrian gained valuable experience training, hiring and developing a hard-working team. His leadership and management skills earned him the 2003 Restaurant Manager of the Year award.
Despite the busyness of his work as a manager, Adrian continued to make time for his passion of spiritually developing young people as a part-time youth pastor at Chilliwak Alliance Church.
In 2006, the ambitious Adrian was ready for his next challenge and purchased his first McDonald’s restaurant in Squamish, BC. He subsequently has opened another location in a Wal-Mart as well. He believes that his experience with management and business ownership has prepared him well for his new role in coaching.
“Over the course of my career thus far I have focused on people development and teamwork”, Adrian said. “I have been involved in the employment of over 500 people, most of which were preparing for college or attending college.”
Adrian has also had a great deal of experience as a basketball coach. His love for coaching began when he coached Clipper basketball camps at Briercrest. He has coached in the BC conference of the CCAA with the Columbia Bible College Bearcats, and also with high school teams at Johnston Heights High School, Sardis Secondary, and Don Ross High School. He has also been a league coordinator and lead instructor for Steve Nash Small Ball. Other sports he has coached include soccer, baseball, football, volleyball, and mountain biking.
“Seeing players develop as individuals and seeing a team always improving and working hard to get to the next level” is what he really enjoys about coaching.
Adrian’s passion for athletics at Briercrest is something that runs in his family.
“Coaching basketball at Briercrest is in my blood”, he said. “My parents met at Briercrest, Harvey Adrian (his dad) was Darlene Ericson's (his mom) basketball coach.
The latest Adrian to take on a Briercrest coaching role is looking forward to his new opportunity.
“I'm really excited to be able to focus all my attention and energy into coaching full time” he said. “I have coached as a volunteer for the past 20 years and was never able to bring my whole attention to coaching because of life's other commitments—now I have that opportunity. I love the atmosphere of learning and development, and most of all team building.”
Athletic director, Stan Peters, is looking forward to what his new coach will bring to the Briercrest athletic department.
“I am absolutely thrilled to have Rod Adrian join our staff as the men’s basketball coach!” Peters said. “He is a leader who is passionate about working with student-athletes to see them reach their full potential in all areas of their lives. Rod exemplifies our purpose, vision and values.”
Peters recognizes that Adrian and his family are taking a step of faith to make the move to Briercrest.
“I am blown away as I see the sacrifices Rod, Amanda, and their family are making to become significant members of our community”, he said. “It is not a common occurrence to see highly successful business people sell everything to coach and mentor college student-athletes. It is obvious to see that they are being called to serve with us.”
This calling is coming from a deep desire for Rod & Amanda to share their Godly faith and lives in helping to develop the next generation leader – helping boys become men to serve others (not themselves). The beautiful thing is to see how Rod fits in with all our staff as we align ourselves and lead ours teams to a purpose that is bigger than any one of us.”
Adrian knows he has been blessed with some gifts and experience that will help the men’s basketball program continue to grow into a championship contender.
“I bring a lot of passion and experience in bringing out the best in people”, Adrian said. “My philosophy in people development has always been to give the best training that you can, then release and trust them to execute. I call it ‘Train and Trust’.”
“I'm a very positive coach and while giving corrective feedback will always bring a positive comment”, he stated. “I've found that people don't grow when they're getting trampled on, so I will always look for ways to build up . . . I'm always looking for a competitive edge, and I'm pretty intense. I don't expect my players to be intense and focused if I'm not, so my goal is to be as mentally fatigued after a game as the players are physically.”
The new Clipper coach has some very positive expectations for the upcoming season and the years ahead.
“I have a lot of optimism for this year, as Gene (Wolverton) laid a good foundation for the program . . . and we have good momentum”, Adrian said. “My job will be to grab the baton and run. I've got fresh legs, a positive attitude, a new set of eyes, and an active mind to keep the basketball program on track to the goal that I almost achieved as a player: win a national championship.”
Adrian will be moving to Caronport with his family shortly. He and his wife, Amanda, were married in 1992, and have three children: Brendan (15), Aaron (14), and Ashlyn (11).
“Amanda and I met at Camisall Bible Camp as counselors in the summer of 1990 and have spent more than half our lives together”, said Adrian. “We love doing things together, including biking, skiing/snowboarding, or even just playing games.”
When Adrian says he “loves biking”, he’s serious. The last four years he has competed The Test of Metal, a 67 km mountain bike race. He also biked in the inaugural 120 km Whistler GranFondo race from Vancouver to Whistler.