With files from the Canadian Collegiate Athletics Association (CCAA)
Prompted by a serious lack of women in head coach positions, the CCAA introduced the Female Apprentice Coaching Program in 2005. Apprentice coaches are given opportunities to increase their coaching competency through professional development opportunities and through working with a mentor head coach. This fall, Augustana Campus welcomes Vikings women’s basketball alumna Rachel Warrack (BSc Phys Ed ’15) to men’s basketball coaching under Dave Drabiuk!
It’s not unusual for an FCAP apprentice to be mentored by a male coach, but it is unique to be involved with a men’s team.
“It is a rare opportunity for a woman to be offered an authority position on a men’s team. It’s a testament to the sports program we have here at Augustana as well as to the people I will be working with for the next year,” said Warrack.
Greg Ryan, Director of Athletics and Campus Recreation at the University, has hired female coaches to work with men’s programs before. His motivation then was simple: he wanted the best possible assistant coach available. He sees the same opportunity with Warrack.
“With Rachel, we have the opportunity to support one of the most promising coaching talents that I have recently experienced,” said Ryan. “She has demonstrated commitment to excellence in basketball and academics in her time here, making her an excellent role model for our student-athletes.”
David Drabiuk has extensive experience in mentoring student-athletes and assistant coaches during his tenure as a coach and sessional instructor at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus. Drabiuk has coached at Augustana since 2004; he is also the associate Head Coach for Team Alberta’s U17 boys’ team. He is a course conductor for Basketball Alberta (Level 1, 2, 3) and is a certified Level 4 coach. Part of Drabiuk’s professional development plan for Warrack includes her introduction into the NCCP stream and beginning her journey toward certification. He believes he can provide Warrack with a positive and meaningful experience as a coach.
“I am truly excited for Rachel to begin her coaching journey with our basketball program here at Augustana,” said Drabiuk. “I am looking forward to the challenge of having a new face and a keen young mind asking questions and demanding answers to help me elevate my coaching as well as hers.”
“David has continually demonstrated that he has the ability to develop excellent rapport with both students and athletes,” said Ryan. “As a consequence David continually exhibits the ability to work effectively in a mentorship and coaching role.”
Warrack is pursuing a career in respiratory therapy and would like to one day be a mentor for female student-athletes in her community. “Having a strong, positive female role model was a large part of my basketball life growing up and I would like to become the type of female coach that athletes learn from and respect,” said Warrack.
The CCAA states that 63% of FACP participants were in coaching positions as of 2014. Over 30% of the apprentices acquired Level I theory and technical certification while about 28% completed Level II and a few finished Level III during their apprenticeship year. The participants overwhelmingly described the program as good or outstanding and listed its strengths as: increasing awareness that female coaches are needed, getting women involved in coaching, providing financial support for new female coaches, creating professional development opportunities, and the promotion of female coaches at high levels.