Associated with the Rouge et Or of Laval University since the mid- 70s, Gilles Lépine will don new colors from July. The head honcho of Laval Sport Excellence program was named senior athletic director at the UBC Thunderbirds.
Lépine also abandons his post of deputy director of the Department of sporting activities from Laval University. He held this position and that of responsible sports teams Rouge et Or since 2004. It was not without difficulty that he left the university in Quebec.
"It's huge to leave, it's heart-breaking, but I had to do it to live another adventure. That said, I will not leave Quebec. I'm going to live a new experience. The Rouge et Or will still be imbued in me," said the 61-year old via conference call after being presented to the press in Vancouver.
Lépine went through a rigorous selection process before getting the job. "A hundred applicants at first, then it went to 18, five and two. It's flattering. They are not many Francophones in senior positions at other universities [in the country]. The reputation of the Rouge et Or beyond our regional and provincial boundaries. "
The Thunderbirds had begun to explore the interest of the former volleyball player Rouge et Or, who also led the men's and women's program in the last final of the Vanier Cup, the UBC has won on the field PEPS, in November. "At that time, I told them that I was so much in Laval, but there was one place that I could watch and it was UBC," revealed Lépine.
Discussions with his family and children later confirmed his desire for a new challenge; at over 5000 km away, in another province and in an English town.
Off the beaten track
Even if he knows the language of Shakespeare, Lépine feels some nervousness at the idea of now make his first working tool.
"My wife is perfectly bilingual and my daughter is studying to become an English teacher. She told me it would be fine! I would not have expected to work in English in the last few years. It is said that happiness is outside the comfort zone. I have one foot outside the comfort zone!" remarked Lépine, who gives three months to be fully at ease.
Lépine begins at UBC on 11 July. Until then, he wants to "flip the page" with Laval until the end of May.
(This article was translated with Google Translate)