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U SPORTS – Olympics of university sport – the second-largest sporting event in the world – slated for August in Taipei City

UBC men’s basketball head coach Kevin Hanson will be behind the bench at his fourth Summer Universiade in August. 

TORONTO (U SPORTS) – U SPORTS announced Wednesday that Miles Pinsent, Peyvand Mossavat, James Gravelle, Daniel Huzar and Kevin Hanson will serve as head coaches of five U SPORTS-selected Canadians teams that will compete in the 2017 Summer Universiade in Chinese Taipei.

As announced last fall, Pinsent (UNB) and Mossavat (UOIT) will lead the Canadian men’s and women’s soccer teams into the 29th FISU Summer Games, while Gravelle (Windsor) and Huzar (UBC) will be behind the bench of the men’s and women’s volleyball teams, respectively. Hanson (UBC) will be the head coach of Team Canada’s men’s basketball entry.

The complete coaching staff for each sport is available below.

The 2017 Summer Universiade is set for Aug. 19-30 in Taipei City. The full Canadian delegation will be announced later this summer. 


Men’s Soccer

Head Coach: Miles Pinsent (Fredericton, N.B.),

UNB Varsity Reds (14 seasons)
2016-17 season: 6-1-5, lost AUS semifinal 
U SPORTS Coach of the Year: 2012 
U SPORTS medals: 2013 (bronze), 2015 (silver)

Assistant Coach: Jamie Pollock, Moncton
Team Leader: George Lucas, UNB
2015 Summer Universiade Team Canada result: 13th 

“What an extreme honour it is to be selected to lead Canada’s men’s soccer team at the 2017 World University Games in Taipei,” said Pinsent, who led the UNB Varsity Reds to three-consecutive AUS titles from 2013 to 2015 and looks to continue his success on the Universiade level. “I have dedicated the past 15 years of my professional life to Canadian university sport so it is exciting to have the opportunity to coach our country’s top student-athletes as they challenge themselves against the best from around the world.”   


Women’s Soccer

Head Coach: Peyvand Mossavat (Maple, Ont.),

UOIT Ridgebacks (5 seasons)
2016-17 season: 13-2-1, U SPORTS bronze medal, OUA Championship
U SPORTS Coach of the Year: 2014, 2016

Assistant Coach: Jose Valdes, McGill
Assistant Coach: Raz El-Asmar (Carleton, 2012-15)
2015 Summer Universiade Team Canada result: 4th

“I’m honoured to be part of the next coaching staff and lead the Canadian women’s soccer team into the next Summer Universiade in 2017,” said Mossavat, who led the Canadian women’s team to a fourth-place finish – the team’s highest ever – at the 2015 Summer Universiade. “We had an incredible group of athletes and coaches in 2015 which lead into our great success at the Games. I’m excited about this opportunity and hope to be able to create a memorable experience for our Canadian student-athletes and raise the profile of U SPORTS soccer at the international level.” 


Men’s Volleyball 

Head Coach: James Gravelle (Windsor, Ont.),

Windsor Lancers (4 seasons) 
2016-17 season: 5-12, missed playoffs

Assistant Coach: Eric Yung, Nipissing
Assistant Coach: William Alexander, Windsor
2015 Summer Universiade Team Canada result: 19th
“I’m very proud to have the opportunity to lead the Canadian Universiade men’s volleyball team this summer,” said Gravelle. “Representing Canada on the international stage is a great honour and a dream come true.  This tournament will allow some of our top young athletes a great stage to showcase their talents while enjoying the experience of such a prestigious multi-sport competition as the FISU Games.” 


Women’s Volleyball

Head Coach: Daniel Huzar (North Vancouver, B.C.), UBC Thunderbirds (Assistant Coach, 9 seasons)
2016-17 season: 20-4, won U SPORTS Championship
U SPORTS medals: 2008-13 (gold), 2014 (silver),

2017 (gold)

Assistant Coach: Michelle Wood, Acadia
Team Leader: Laurier Eisler, Alberta
2015 Summer Universiade Team Canada result: 6th 

“I am very appreciative of the support I have been shown and the recognition that I have developed as a coach to the point that I am ready to lead one of our national team programs in competition at the international level,” said Huzar.

“A number of our best U SPORTS athletes will be representing Canada this summer and many of the players have already been training in Richmond as part of the national team program.  With the rest of the coaching staff, we will be working hard during the coming weeks to ensure we are ready to compete at the level of the FISU games.  I am excited about our potential and you can expect us to play a dynamic and technical style of volleyball that aligns with the approach of our new national team head coach, Marcello Abbondanza.”


Men’s Basketball

Head Coach: Kevin Hanson (Vancouver, B.C.),

UBC Thunderbirds (17 seasons)
2016-17 season: 19-1, lost Canada West quarter-finals
U SPORTS Coach of the Year: 2006, 2010
U SPORTS medals: 2009 (silver), 2010 (silver),

2011 (bronze)

Assistant Coach: Daniel Vanhooren, Calgary
Assistant Coach/Team Leader:

Jacques Paiement Jr., Laval
2015 Summer Universiade Team Canada result: 7th

“It’s a real honor to be able to represent Canada at the FISU games. It’s absolutely an incredible experience and a life-long memory for the players and the coaching staff. We have been to Taipei, Taiwan numerous times for tournaments and we know how much they love their basketball there,” said Hanson, who will be behind the bench for Team Canada at the Summer Universiade for the fourth time, after capturing a bronze in 2003, fifth-place finish in 2005 and a silver in 2011. “The facilities are supposed to be world class, we’re expecting huge crowds and sellout games, so we are really looking forward to being part of this event.” 

About the 2017 Summer Universiade

The Summer Universiade is a biennial international multi-sport event open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.

The 2017 Summer Universiade will feature 14 compulsory sports and seven optional sports. Compulsory sports: athletics, basketball, fencing, football (soccer), artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, swimming, diving, water polo, tennis, volleyball, judo, table tennis and taekwondo. Optional sports: archery, badminton, baseball, golf, roller sports, weightlifting and wushu. 

Official website:     


U SPORTS is the national brand for University Sports in Canada. Every year, over 12,000 student-athletes and 500 coaches from 56 universities vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. U SPORTS also provides higher performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit or follow us on:

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For further information, please contact:

Ken Saint-Eloy
Manager, Communications
Cell: 647-871-7595 

Alan Hudes 
Coordinator, Communications
Off: 905-508-3000 ext. 242
Cell: 647-991-5343