Capilano University Blues assistant coach Jenn Bodnar of Agassiz (at left with Blues guard Simrat Dosanjh and at right in her nurse scrubs) has switched focus from the sidelines to the front lines of public health. She will soon be moving to California, continuing nursing and living with her boyfriend. (Contributed Photo/Capilano University)

Capilano University Blues assistant coach Jenn Bodnar of Agassiz (at left with Blues guard Simrat Dosanjh and at right in her nurse scrubs) has switched focus from the sidelines to the front lines of public health. She will soon be moving to California, continuing nursing and living with her boyfriend. (Contributed Photo/Capilano University)

Agassiz-born coach turned nurse bids Capilano U fond farewell

Moving to the States, Jenn Bodnar leaves impactful legacy on and off the CapU court

A Capliano University legend with local ties will be sorely missed as she heads to her next great adventure.

Agassiz-born basketball great Jenn Bodnar will now head stateside to combat coronavirus from California, moving shortly before Christmas to be with her boyfriend. Earlier this year, Bodnar stepped away from her assistant basketball coaching position at CapU, devoting full-time work to fighting COVID-19 on the front lines as a registered nurse.

While it sustains her medical career, Bodnar’s move away from Canada “ends a special association between Bodnar and Blues basketball that began almost exactly 10 years ago,” according to a statement from Cap U released Thursday, Dec. 10.

“It’s just tough,” Bodnar said in a statement. “They’ve become my family, really. Just the memories and the friendships I’ve made. All the people I’ve worked with, the athletic department, everyone has been so supportive, I can really say they’re family. They’ve been there through everything. They’ve supported me so I’m proud to be able to call myself a Blues alum now.”

RELATED: Blues to scrubs: Former Agassiz basketball coach works COVID-19 frontlines

It was by a chance encounter she departs Canada and CapU for good, but it was a chance encounter that started her journey with the Blues in the first place, when she met then-head coach Paul Chiarenza. She met the coach during a basketball game in Agassiz, where she was watching her younger sister Leanne play in a tournament game against Chiarenza’s Southridge high school team.

The coach recognized Bodnar, helping her get enrolled at CapU and onto the team as a point guard in late 2010. Quickly becoming a team leader, she won numerous accolades during her time playing with the Blues, including CCAA Academic All-Canadian, Blues Female Athlete of the Year and Women’s Basketball Team MVP.

“I think my favourite playing memory would probably be winning a championship; that’s what you work towards the whole time,” says Bodnar. “And then getting to go to nationals was probably the highlight just because not very many teams get to go. Our nationals that year were in Niagara Falls… it was really neat to see that part of Canada.”

Bodnar ultimately took on an assistant coaching position following a decorated career as a Blues basketball powerhouse. She worked through the nursing program at British Columbia Institute of Technology while remaining on CapU’s coaching staff.

RELATED: Front-line workers named Canada’s Newsmaker of the Year by editors

The Blues’ amazing 2020 season – Bodnar’s sixth as assistant coach – was cut short, costing them the chance for a 202 CCAA national title and a chance for Bodnar to give a proper goodbye to her team.

Through the uncertainty 2020 brings and the continued threat of the pandemic, Bodnar’s players have looked after her.

“All the support all my players have shown me, sending messages saying ‘We’re here for you,’ ‘Do you need groceries?’,” Bodnar said in an earlier statement. “They’re checking in on me.”

Head coach Chris Weimer said moving ahead without Bodnar would be a tough adjustment.

“She’s going to be really hard to replace,” Weimer said in a statement. ““It’s not so much the X’s and O’s stuff. It’s those other things like the rapport she has with the players, players feeling comfortable talking to her. For something that almost wasn’t, it ended up being 10 years of her life. I think everyone appreciates what she’s done, that she stuck around and she’s been committed.”

Though she’s sad to leave, Bodnar wants to give back to the program that’s given so much to her and keep in touch with her CapU family.

“I’m lucky to be able to be part of such a great program,” she said. “It’s tough to put into words what it means to be a Blue.”

#wereinthistogetheragassizCollege sportsCoronavirus

Just Posted

Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay
Webinar looks at sexual abuse prevention among adolescents

Vancouver/Fraser Valley CoSA hosts free online session on June 15

One person was transported to hospital with minor injuries following a two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road June 10. (Adam Louis/Observer)
One hurt following two-vehicle crash on Hot Springs Road

Agassiz Fire Department, B.C. Ambulance Service attended with RCMP

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month in Canada. (ADOBE STOCK IMAGE)
Shining a light on brain injury in Canada

June is Brain Injury Awareness Month

The pictures of Agassiz Secondary School’s graduates decorate the side of the school. (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: A summer send-off for the class of 2021

AESS graduates had personal ceremonies again, followed by grand grad parade

Harrison Hot Springs Elementary School issued this apology following the announcement of plans to film a music video of students wearing red and white, singing ‘O Canada’ for the village’s upcoming virtual Canada Day celebration. The filming has since been canceled until further notice. (Facebook/Harrison Hot Springs Elementary
Harrison Elementary apologizes, cancels ‘O Canada’ filming amid grief over Indigenous lives lost

Officials called the timing of the ‘O Canada’ music video ‘disrespectful’, cancelled plans

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Denmark soccer player Christian Eriksen collapses during game against Finland

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Most Read