The Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) Blazers have announced that Director of Athletics Russell Willms (pictured above with CMU women's basketball player Jessica Marx-Houndle) is departing the position he has held since 2008. Willms has 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.”


Basketball Manotoan echoes the above sentiments about Russell and we thank him for his dedication to college athletics in Manitoba and wish him success with his new opportunities in British Columbia!

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