Coldstream teacher, hoops coach named to BC Sports Hall of Fame

Reni Dolcetti was a member of undefeated 1979-80 UVIC Vikings; team named to 2020 hall class

It was a day of mixed emotions for Coldstream’s Reni Dolcetti.

The day he found out his 1979-80 University of Victoria Vikings men’s basketball team had been elected for induction in 202o to the BC Sports Hall of Fame was tempered by the news that Dolcetti’s Vikings’ teammate and fellow Sudbury, Ont. native Eli Pasquale had died at 59 of cancer.

The 1979-80 Vikes were the first team in the Canada West conference to go 20-0, and won the then-CIAU Canadian title in Calgary, beating the top-ranked Brandon Bobcats 73-65 in the final. Dolcetti was the tournament MVP. Pasquale was a first-team Canada West all-star, Dolcetti was named to the second team.

READ MORE: Dolcetti delivers best of hoops

“It was an honour to be part of a unique group of young men playing the sport we all loved,” said Dolcetti, a 6-foot-8 forward who retired from teaching high school and coaching high school hoops in 2014, and also survived a bout of cancer in his arm. “We had a cohesive team of talented, dedicated athletes coached by Ken Shields, a brilliant tactician.

“Unfortunately, we lost a key member of our team with the recent passing of Eli Pasquale, a fellow Sudbarian and former Olympian. He was a fierce and skilled competitor, contributing to our team’s success.”

Victoria defeated the University of Calgary Dinosaurs on home court in 1980, earning the program’s third Canada West title and a berth to the CIAU championships. Pasquale and Billy Turney-Loos were named Canada West First Team all-stars, while Gerald Kazanowski and Dolcetti were named to the second team.

The Vikings travelled back to Calgary for the nationals and dispatched the University of Windsor Lancers 93-75 in their opener. In Game 2, the Vikes grounded Saint Mary’s Huskies of Halifax 91-75. The Vikings upset No. 1 ranked Brandon Bobcats 73-65 in the finals for their first national title. Shields was named CIAU coach of the year, while Dolcetti was named MVP and all-star.

The Vikings will be inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame in the team category. Joining them in the 2020 Class are athletes Sonja Gaudet, three-time Vernon Paralympic gold medalist in wheelchair curling, baseball pitcher Jeff Francis, cyclist Alex Stieda, former Vancouver Canucks goalie Kirk McLean and former B.C. Lions defensive end Brent Johnson.

Being inducted in the builders-coaches category are Harry White (golf), Bill Mitchell (wrestling) and Valerie Johnson (trampoline gymnastics). Duncan’s Robin Bawa is being inducted in the pioneer category for the being the first South Asian to play in the NHL while Cleve Dheensaw will be inducted in the media category and the W.A.C. Bennett Award will be presented to Kathy Newman.

After his career with the Vikings, Dolcetti joined the Olympic program and made Team Canada in 1980, but the squad did not get to compete in Moscow as Canada joined a number of countries in boycotting the Games for the then Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan.

He coached high school boys and girls basketball for 30 years at Charles Bloom (Lumby), VSS and Kal Secondary schools. Dolcetti helped guide the Kalamalka Lakers to the 2008-09 B.C. AA girls title.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Stagnant Vernon school library gets a boost with books

Mission Hill Elementary recipient of Indigo’s Love of Reading Adopt a School Program

Business savy volunteers sought in North Okanagan

Community Futures looking for members to join advisory panel, board and loans committee

New Vernon resident building skills and community

The Respect Works Here November Multicultural Community Champion

Handwritten notes from ‘Sean’ not a scam or illegal

Notes appearing in mailboxes across Vernon and Shuswap a marketing ploy

Vernon-based Tolko shuts BC divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

VIDEO: Kelowna brew pub opens new tasting room

Dan Taylor takes a tour of BNA’s renovated tasting room

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Malakwa woman still in the running for winning American baking show

Janet Letendre is the only Canadian competing on the Holiday Baking Championship

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

Salmon Arm businesses tipped off to Black Press advantage

Black Press Media hosts day of presentations for local business representatives

Port Moody mayor says stayed sex assault charge related to ‘awkward date’

Rob Vagramov said charge was related to a string of dates in 2015

UBC conference draws fire over speaker from Chinese tech company blacklisted in U.S.

The company that has been blacklisted by the U.S. over links to the repression of China’s Muslim minority

Most Read