WINNIPEG – The faculty of kinesiology and recreation management and Bison sports made a big announcement on Wednesday, naming Gene Muller the new director of athletics and recreation for the University of Manitoba.
Muller, 49, takes over from Colleen Dufresne who announced her retirement in April after a 32-year career with Bison sports —; the last 15 of which were spent as athletic director. Under Dufrense’s leadership, four Bison teams won Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national championships, as well as nine Canada West conference championships.
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A native of South Africa, Muller has served as director of the U of M’s Active Living Centre since October 2014, however his coaching resume is packed with accomplishments. He was the bench boss for South Africa’s women’s national field hockey team at the 2000 Summer Olympic Games and also consulted with the Australian field hockey team during the 2008 Olympic Games. Additionally, Muller was named CIS women’s field hockey Coach of the Year in 2001 as head coach of the Bison’s squad.
“Gene’s resume speaks for itself. We are tremendously fortunate and honoured to have someone with such comprehensive international experience and tangible success leading our sports and recreation services programs,” said Douglas Brown, Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management in a press release.
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Muller has held many hats during his 15-year high-performance coaching and management career, including being at the helm for over 300 international matches. Among his prior titles are Women’s National Coach for the South African Hockey Association, Men’s National Coach for Field Hockey Canada, Women’s National Coach and director of player performance for the Irish Hockey Association and the General Manager of the high performance and national teams for Field Hockey Canada.
Muller had many people to recognize following the news.
“I am both honoured and excited to be appointed as the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management’s Director of Athletics and Recreation. We are fortunate to have a great team of coaches, administrators, directors and coordinators. They fuel my optimism for the future of Athletics and Recreation at the University of Manitoba. I have been lucky to get to know all the staff and coaches of Bison sports. I want to take the opportunity of thanking Coleen [Dufresne] for her impact on Bison sports —; her retirement leaves a void. I am thankful for her generous help in transitioning to the new position,” Muller said in a press release.
Muller will move into his new role starting on September 1, 2016.