Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers Director of Athletics Russell Willms departs the position held since 2008

Willms accepted a position at UBC (Okanagan) for start of 2022

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers Director of Athletics Russell Willms departs the position held since 2008. Willms accepted a position at UBC (Okanagan) for the start of 2022. CMU will announce their new Director of Athletics before the start of the second term of the 2021-22 Manitoba Colleges Athletic Conference (MCAC) scheduled to begin on January 13, 2022.

During his time at CMU, Willms oversaw the Athletics program, including the Blazers varsity sports teams (soccer, volleyball, basketball, and futsal), Summer Sports Camps and recreation and fitness opportunities on campus.

“I have had the privilege to work with Russell for the last nine years. His enthusiasm, creativity and love of sport has allowed him to grow the program at CMU and create an environment that others look to emulate,” stated Shane Ray, MCAC. “He was a key leader and driver in the effort to join the CCAA and helped make it a reality for the MCAC. He was a champion for the MCAC constantly looking for ways to make CMU and the Conference better, succeeding in both areas. He will be missed by all of us but we are very excited for this opportunity for him. I wish Russell and Jira all the best in BC.”

CMU and MCAC highlights for Russell Willms

– Contributed to the building of the MCAC’s Operating Code to align with the regulations required by the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA)

– Head Coach of CMU’s Men’s Soccer and Futsal (2008-2018)

– MCAC’s Men’s and Women’s Soccer Convenor (2008-2021)

– Introduced the Copa de la Paz Futsal tournament to MCAC which eventually became the sport of MCAC Futsal (2014)

– MCAC’s Vice President – Technical (2016-2021)

– Led CMU to a Copa de la Paz win (2017)

– Contributed to MCAC’s achievement of conference acceptance into the CCAA (2019)

– Served on the CCAA’s Sport Development Committee (2020)

– Served on the CCAA’s Board of Directors (2021)

– Led initiative to debut Treaty One inspired uniforms for the 2021-22 MCAC basketball  and volleyball season (2021)

Prior to CMU, Willms had previous experience as the director of a non-profit organization and many years working in the Athletics Departments at University of Manitoba and Providence University College in event organizing and coaching.