Former Vernon high school hoops star turned coach Joe Enevoldson has been named U16 B.C. boys head coach for the Canadian Basketball Championships July 25-30 in Edmonton.
Enevoldson’s basketball story began in Vernon where he graduated from Fulton in 1995 and played for the Maroons under legendary coach Dale Olson.
Enevoldson decided to take his talents to University College of the Cariboo in Kamloops, playing from 1997 to 2001. He was a 6-foot-6 forward at UCC.
“Joe wasn’t the most athletic player on the floor. What he lacked in ability he more than made up for in court smarts,” said Olson, a University of Victoria Vikings grad.
Enevoldson’s coaching career began when he helped his former Fulton junior boys coach Bob Shannon during the 1995 season.
“Coaching has always appealed to me. I enjoy seeing the development of the kids,” said Enevoldson.
He periodically helped out other high schools during his college years. While in Kamloops, he took a break from playing to coach the Valleyview Vikings in 1998-1999.
Enevoldson got his first shot in the college ranks when he was an assistant coach at UCC in 1999-2000 under Nevin Gleddie.
He left for UBC in 2003 where he was an assistant to Kevin Hansen with the men’s team.
A year later he returned to his alma mater, UCC, which changed its name to Thompson Rivers University. Over his two seasons with the WolfPack as an assistant, he worked under Tom Elwood and current athletic director Ken Olynyk.
“I was a little surprised just how far he took coaching. I’m not at all surprised how successful he has been, he always had a great feel for the game,” said Olson.
After his second stint with the Pack, he left for Calgary where he received his first head coaching gig at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology with the women’s team. He was with the Trojans for one season before moving cross-town to the Mount Royal College Cougars, where he was the head coach of the women’s program for six years.
Scott Clark, current head coach of the TRU men’s basketball team, brought Enevoldson back as an assistant. Coincidentally, it was also the first year the WolfPack men reached the CIS West playoffs.
“He brings in the expertise of being a former head coach,” said Clark. “But my biggest thing is that you got to be a good guy first. I asked around and people had nothing but good things to say about him; choice was easy.”
Said Enevoldson: “I really enjoy working with Scott, he is a strong teacher with a good system. I didn’t look at taking the assistants job as a step backwards in my career.”
It was a perfect fit for Enevoldson.
It allowed him to get back into coaching men’s basketball while he completes his masters of business administration at TRU.
Enevoldson has coached at the provincial level in the past with the U15 and U16 Alberta girls.
Enevoldson’s major philosophy centers around the development of the student athlete.
“It’s important to help the overall level of maturation process of these athletes on and off the court,” he said.
From his experiences at the different levels, he is aware that it is about more than the athletes at big events like these.
“I also try and communicate with the parents as best I can. National tournaments can be stressful on both kids and their parents.”
Enevoldson was clear that he will not be using the U16s as a recruiting trip. He looks to be a head coach for a CIS men’s basketball team in the future.