EDMONTON, AB - The Concordia University of Edmonton (CUE) Thunder men’s soccer team will have a different look for the 2019-20 season, as veteran head coach Ian Skitch has stepped down to pursue a new position as the OPDL Head Coach for the U13 boys and U15 girls program at the North Toronto Nitros Soccer Club in Southern Ontario.
Skitch, originally from Peterborough, ON, was hired as the head coach in the spring of 2014, replacing former coach Sasha Samadi. In the five seasons with the Thunder, he led the team to an overall 30-23-6 record (25-19-6 in the regular season; 5-4-0 in playoffs), had three straight conference championship appearances (2016, 2017, 2018), and won an ACAC bronze medal in 2016 and a silver medal in 2018. Prior to joining the Thunder, Skitch previously played NCAA Division 1 soccer at the University of Philadelphia (1985-89) and was with the Canadian National Youth Team player pool (1982-84). He also held previous coaching positions at Fleming College (OCAA) and with the Ontario Provincial team program.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Concordia and having the opportunity to build something. We’ve achieved podium consistency becoming a resilient cup team.” said Skitch while reflecting on his tenure with the Thunder. “We’ve improved in multiple areas including academics, but the job is not complete. I hope that we have created a platform for someone to build on and take it to the next level. I look forward to supporting the program during this transition period to a new coach. I would like to thank the players, staff and athletics department for being a part of the journey.”.
CUE Director of Athletics and Recreation, Joel Mrak spoke admirably about the outgoing coach, stating, “Coach Skitch provided outstanding leadership of all aspects of the men’s soccer program here at CUE. He did a tremendous job transforming the program from the ground up, and focused on addressing immediate concerns around student-athlete academics, team retention, and ensuring a high graduation rate during his tenure. Seeing the positive changes in the squad that he was able to make in a relatively short period was impressive, and looks to be a sustainable foundation for the program moving forward.”.
The search for a new head coach will begin immediately.
Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder Athletics
The Concordia University of Edmonton Thunder Athletics program has a proud history of excellence at the highest levels both provincially and nationally. The Thunder have been a part of the Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference (ACAC) since 1992 and have more than 200 student-athletes representing the school in the sports of badminton, basketball, cross country running, curling, golf, hockey, indoor track, soccer and volleyball. To learn more about Thunder Athletics, please visit http://www.gothunder.ca/.
For more information, please contact:
Joel Mrak, Director of Athletics & Recreation
Concordia University of Edmonton, Thunder Athletics & Recreation Department
Phone: (780) 479-9321