Throughout the 2017-18 season, U SPORTS sits down with one key athlete, coach, and staff member of each U SPORTS athletic program in our new interview series “Getting to know…”
- Name: Dave Crook
- School: University of Winnipeg
- Position: Athletic Director
- Seniority: Three years
- Previous job/position: Marketing & Sponsorship Manager; Kinesiology instructor; Men’s basketball head coach – Winnipeg Wesmen
- Hometown: Winnipeg, Man
1. How did you get to your current position, and what do you enjoy most about our job?
The university approached me after our previous director left the program. I enjoy the opportunity to watch our student-athletes train and compete every week.
2. Who has had the most influence on your career?
I wouldn’t be where I am today without a few key people. Bruce Enns, who started my career as a coach, Dr. Gary Bowie, who brought me to Canada West and the University of Lethbridge, and Dr. David Fitzpatrick who asked me to become the Athletic Director at Winnipeg.
3. What is your greatest sporting moment or achievement?
Coaching Canada to the bronze medal at the U21 Men’s Basketball World Championship in Argentina where we beat the USA in the quarter-finals.
4. How would you define a University of Winnipeg student-athlete?
I believe a Wesmen student-athlete is somebody who commits to academics and finds a way to find that balance between athletics and academics, which is highly demanding and not easy to do. We’re lucky that we have been able to attract so many great ones.
5. What does success look like for the University of Winnipeg athletics program?
A successful season is obviously one where no one gets injured. But short of that, we also want to see our teams make playoffs, and be competitive nationally. Years like we had in 2017-18 with multiple winners of national awards are certainly deemed successful.
6. What’s the biggest challenge you face in today’s sports world?
Money. Varsity sports are not cheap and costs are not going down, so we need to stay ahead of the curve.
7. Where would you like to see Canadian university sport in the next three to five years?
I would like to see it growing in popularity with students and fans and being an important part of the Canadian high performance stream.
8. If you could sit down for dinner with one person in the sports industry (athlete, coach or manager), who would it be?
Jose Mourhino. Why? I think he is an interesting person in a sport I love.
What would we talk about? Hopefully what makes him tick and why he is the Special One.
9. What would you say to a sports fan who’s never watched a U SPORTS game/tournament/competition?
Give it a chance you will be surprised at how great it is.
10. What do you enjoy doing when you’re away from work?
I love to ride one of my bikes, travel and read.