When Heather Semeniuk retires this spring after 21 seasons at the helm, a new era of UBC Okanagan basketball will begin.
At the forefront of the transition will be Claire Meadows, the new head coach of the Heat women’s program.
Meadows spent the last three seasons as the lead assistant coach for the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns.
“I am excited and honoured to be appointed the next head coach for the UBC Okanagan women’s basketball program,” said Meadows. “It has been a dream of mine to coach in the CIS since I played at this level in university. I am fortunate to be given a position to be able to influence and shape young women and future leaders in the community.”
As expected, there was plenty of interest in the position from all across the country. In the end, UBCO athletic director Rob Johnson said Meadows was the most logical choice.
“Claire presented a comprehensive plan on how she will start from the foundation Heather has created and continue to build the strongest possible program at UBC Okanagan,” said Johnson. “Her playing and coaching experience, her commitment to her development as a professional coach—she recently completed a Master’s degree in coaching—and her work with provincial teams, along with her obvious passion for coaching made this the right choice.”
Meadows will become the school’s second women’s basketball head coach since UBC Okanagan started Canada West and CIS competition in 2011. She replaces Heather Semeniuk who held the position for the past 21 years.
Following a one-year assistant coach role at the University of Alberta Meadows was hired by Basketball Alberta as head coach of the Alberta Centre for Performance in the South and, before moving to Lethrbidge for the last three seasons.
“Her basketball resume is strong,” Johnson said of Meadows ,who played five years at Queen’s University earning first and second team OUA East All-Star awards and finished her career as a team captain and as Queen’s second all-time leading scorer.”
In addition to her coaching experience at the U of A and Lethbridge, Meadows was an assistant coach at Queen’s and a head coach for Alberta Basketball and the U17 Jr Horns team in the Prairie Elite Basketball League (PEBL).
With the UBC Okanagan program still in its early stages in Canada West, Meadows is excited to have the opportunity to shape the program and continue to build on what has been implemented by Semeniuk.
“Coach Semeniuk has created a strong foundation for the program in the CIS and I look forward to having the opportunity to build on that, said Meadows. “Moving forward, I am excited to begin the recruiting process. Once the current CIS season has concluded and I am in Kelowna, I will begin working with the current student-athletes to plan and shape the vision of the program moving forward.”
Meadows will officially start April 1 but will go to work immediately identifying and connecting with recruits.