(Quebec) The Rouge et Or lost a big piece. Gilles Lépine, program manager since 2004, will leave his post at the end of May. He will become senior athletic director for the University of British Columbia (UBC) Thunderbirds.
A decision both heartbreaking and harrowing, admitted Lépine, who never ceased to enjoy his long adventure at Laval University. I will live a new experience," said Friday that bringing the two-tone jersey in volleyball in the 70s before acting as instructor for women's teams (1978-1979) and men (1981 to 1984) of his favorite sport. "I'll always be the former coach, former player, former head ..."
The call for a new challenge was made stronger for the 61 year old. The first reconciliation took place during the visit of the Thunderbirds in Quebec City for the final of the Vanier Cup in November, also won by UBC.
After discussion with his family, he decided to go for it. The firm "headhunter" in charge of the selection process would have targeted a hundred candidates, according to Lepine. However, he lasted through the stages and his appointment was confirmed by the Chancellor of UBC, Martha Piper.
"I do not want to fully bring what we do in Laval, not at all," said Lepine. However, some changes in management methods could provide, among others, a deeper rooting of UBC sports teams in its region, as is the case for the Rouge et Or in Quebec, he believes.
Most of his colleagues learned of his departure Friday morning. Lépine has also addressed the media in the capital since Vancouver. He had presented his new team at a news conference a few hours earlier.
In addition to sports training, Lépine will be responsible for marketing and communications at UBC. Already fluent in the language of Shakespeare, he admits he still finds "one foot outside his comfort zone." His wife will follow him in this new adventure. His son and daughter, two students in their twenties, seem tempted by the idea of spending a few sessions in Vancouver's University.
Disappointed, includes Gagnon
The Director of sports at Université Laval, Christian Gagnon, said he was disappointed to see from his deputy, although he understands the decision. "His passion, dedication, energy and vision will be missed. Our sports excellence program has seen tremendous strides during his time here, "said Gagnon, who accounts he will quickly start the selection process for the replacement of Lépine.