Eagles’ basketball coach cites personal reasons, resigns
February 7, 2011 by Hayley Woodin
The 2010-’11 basketball season will be the last for Bernie Love, the head coach of Kwantlen’s men’s team, who announced his resignation last week.
Love, who has coached the team for nine of the past 12 years, said his reasons for leaving were personal, and had nothing to do with the team’s poor record: He is moving to Trail to be closer to family.
“It wasn’t an easy decision. If I was not moving back there, then I would be back,” he said, explaining he had made up his mind several weeks ago.
When Love broke the news to his team, he was met with an “expressionless” response.
“They’re a bit of a quieter group. Not a lot of them said anything,” he said. “Maybe when the season’s done, then the goodbyes will come.
“I think that the last Saturday night will probably be a little bit tough.”
According to guard Doug Meyers, the silent reaction on the team’s part may have been for less-obvious reasons.
“There’s definitely a player-coach tension. It may not show, it may not come out in front of the team, but guys talk: It’s just the nature of the game,” said the second-year student.
“The problem here that I have most with Bernie is there’s a lack of accountability and perceived caring on his part and it leads to the team.
“Things that come from the coach definitely effect what goes on on the floor. I’m not going to say that it’s 100 per cent the coach, that it’s 100 per cent the players, it’s definitely a combination.”
The Eagles have suffered through nothing but losses since late November, a combination of poor shots and missing links on the players’ part; a lack of accountability and cancelled practices on the coach’s, according to Meyers.
He said that while the Love gave him “a lot of confidence” to be able to grow as a player and reach his potential, he didn’t follow through with his high expectations for the team.
“Talk the talk, walk the walk. In my opinion, Bernie’s a talker. It sucks to say, I haven’t seen a lot of walking,” he said.
On a personal level, Meyers went through what the team as a whole is struggling with.
When he was in Grade 9, he knew he loved the game; he also recognized that he “sucked.” But he confronted his coach with the goal in mind to be the team’s star by Grade 12. He was playing on the provincial team by the end of high school.
“I understand what it takes to get to that level [and] I just haven’t seen it here,” Meyers said.
Despite the effects of the coach’s “negative undertones” on the team, according to Meyers, Love is able to acknowledge part of the tension and focus on the positive.
“There’s wins and there’s losses,” Love said. “Obviously we’d like to be doing a lot better than we are… I don’t call this a waste of a year at all.”