Coach no longer working Knights
Nathan Groenveld leaves Niagara to take over York men’s V-ball program
Nathan Groenveld, a Welland native who led Niagara College to its first team medal at a national championship, has left the region’s community college to coach at the university level.
He had been scheduled to return for a ninth year as head coach of the men’s volleyball team, but an offer to take over the men’s program at York University was too much for the one-time Canadian national senior team member to pass up.
Groenveld, who played volleyball professionally in Qatar after graduating from McMaster University, is leaving the college with mixed emotions.
“Today is a bittersweet day for me as a coach, the last eight seasons have been outstanding,” he said in summing up his time overseeing the Knights. “My time with this program and the terrific student-athletes that I have had the privilege to work with have been truly a truly outstanding experience.
“But I am excited to accept this new challenge with the York Lions.”
He was hired to become the fourth head coach in the history of the York men’s volleyball program following a nationwide search. Terms were not disclosed in a story posted on the university’s website.
“Nathan is one of the top volleyball coaches in the country and brings a wealth of experience and an outstanding track record to York,” Jennifer Myers, the university’s director of athletics and recreation, said. “Throughout his career he’s demonstrated the type of team-building and leadership skills we value at York.”
Groenveld said he is looking forward to being back in the Ontario University Athletics (OUA) after starting in his new job Wednesday.
“This is a special university that values the complete studentathlete experience, which is something that aligns with my coaching philosophy very strongly,” he said. “I cannot wait to get started and begin working this incredible group of young men.”
In five years playing in the
OUA, the 6-foot-7 Notre Dame College School graduate helped McMaster to two OUA championships from the middle position.
Groenveld’s individual honours while playing for the Marauders include a first-team, all-Canadian selection, OUA player of the year, as well as two conference first-team, all-star selections.
He played on the senior nation team from 2007-10 and after finishing his playing career in 2010 went on to compile an overall record of 96-62 in eight seasons coaching the Knights.
In 2014-15 Niagara followed up its gold medal at the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) by winning bronze at nationals.
Eight players were honoured as Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Academic All-Canadians and three were named All-Canadians during Groenveld’s coaching career at the college.
Since 2014 Groenveld has also been involved in coaching at the provincial and national levels, including a stint as lead coach of the youth national team east selection camp and as an assistant with the national B team.
The coaching vacancy is the third the college will have to fill since the end of the 2017-18 season. One-time University of Alberta assistant Natasha Spaling was hired last week to succeed Nathan Janzen as women’s volleyball head coach and Phil Mosley was promoted from assistant coach after interim head coach Mike Hurley opted not to take the job on a permanent basis.
Janzen left Niagara after two seasons to become a full-time assistant at McMaster. His teams won a bronze at provincials followed by a silver.
Welland native Nathan Groenveld is leaving Niagara College after eight seasons to take over the men’s volleyball program at York University in Toronto.