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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A mallard duck swims through Salish Pond in Chilliwack on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
WEATHER: Snow, rain in forecast for Fraser Valley

Fraser Valley has been treated to more than a week of mostly sunny weather, but it’s about to end

VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment, hits milestones in break-out year

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near Chilliwack secondary

Third high-school related assault Rob Iezzi’s cameras have captured since beginning of 2021

Grace Kennedy Editorial Agassiz Harrison Observer image
EDITORIAL: With COVID-19, knowledge is power

Editor Grace Kennedy explains why the Observer is reporting on local case numbers, despite the flaws

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

Giants defenceman Bowen Byram has recorded his first NHL career point (Rob Wilton/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants Bowen Byram records first NHL career point with Colorado Avalanche

Player with Langley-based WHL franchise assisted on goal against the Ducks

Surrey Fire Service responded to a fire in the industrial area of 192nd street and 54th Avenue early Saturday morning (Jan. 23, 2021). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews respond to fire in industrial area

Fire happened early Saturday morning

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

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

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Most Read