The University of Victoria Vikes men’s field hockey team will have a new face in charge next year as head coach Kevin Laidman is stepping down after three seasons at the helm.
“Kevin has been a valued contributor to Vikes Athletics as a coach, a player and an ambassador,” said Clint Hamilton, Director of Vikes Athletics and Recreation. “His leadership has been instrumental in the building of a solid core that includes athletes representing the Vikes at the national level and we appreciate all Kevin has done for our program.”
A former player with the Vikes from 2006-10, Laidman took over from Michael Lee in August, 2013 after serving as Lee’s assistant coach in 2012-13. As a player, he competed at multiple national championships with Team BC and played at the elite level with the Victoria Selects. The 30-year-old earned his first international cap with the men’s senior national team in 2011.
“It has been a pleasure and honour to have both played and coached with the Vikes for the past 10 years,” said Laidman. “Coaching the Vikes has been a very rewarding experience as I had the opportunity to develop the next generation of elite field hockey players.”
Under Laidman’s leadership, a number of promising young athletes were recruited to play for the Vikes, including junior national team standouts Amardeep Sidhu, Josh Brown and Harbir Sidhu. Harbir, who will compete for Canada at the Junior Pan Am Games in May alongside Amardeep, committed to the Vikes after winning silver with Canada at the 2015 Youth Olympics in Beijing.
Laidman and the Vikes put up a number of impressive performances during his time as head coach, most notably a 3-2 victory over UBC in January. The Vikes, who hadn’t beaten the Thunderbirds in 10 years of premiership hockey, got a late goal from rookie forward Christopher Lee—the first of his university career—to complete the upset.
“I have worked to grow our squad over the past three seasons and the trend is continuing,” said Laidman. “Our team is getting more competitive and the future is looking bright. I am sad to leave the program at this time, but I am excited for the future of the team.”
The search for the next head coach of the Vikes Men’s Field Hockey program will begin immediately. Interested candidates should contact James Keogh, Manager of Athletics, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 250-721-8411. A full job description can be found here.