Jaguars’ baseball coach Terry Puhl will get to chase the Olympic dream as head coach of the Canadian Olympic baseball team this spring. That dream comes to life March 1 to 14 at the 2008 Olympic Baseball Qualifier in Taiwan.
Under Puhl’s leadership, the Canadian team will compete against eight other nations for one of three remaining Olympic spots.
“This truly is a dream for all athletes,” said Puhl, who played major league baseball from 1977 to 1991, and is a native of Melville in Saskatchewan, Canada. “As a player, we didn’t have the opportunity to play baseball in the Olympics. Now as a coach, I’ve been given this opportunity thanks to Baseball Canada and Tim Hudson at UHV.”
According to NAIA regulations, UHV President Tim Hudson had to officially release Puhl from his current duties in order for him to coach the Canadian Olympic Team.
“Well, I expect to be named Baseball Fan of the Year in Canada,” Hudson joked. “I am so happy for Terry. He is a leader of great commitment and class, and I know he will be a great asset for Team Canada,” Hudson said. “We see this as an innovative extension of our recent initiatives in China and around the world. I hope he can sneak on a Jaguars hat every now and then.”
UHV’s School of Business Administration recently signed agreements under the Global MBA program with universities in China. Through these agreements, Chinese students will attend classes in the U.S. for one year after completing their bachelor’s degrees and Global MBA foundation courses at the Chinese partner universities.
Puhl’s Olympic appearance will only increase the global awareness of UHV.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for UHV to gain exposure around the world,” UHV Athletic Director Ashley Walyuchow said. “Millions of people in countries all around the world tune in to watch the Olympics. If students from Europe, Asia, South America and other continents enroll at UHV because of this, then those students, UHV and Victoria will benefit greatly.”
He continued, “I don’t know of another collegiate coach involved in baseball at this level. That speaks volumes about Terry’s baseball knowledge and ability, and helps explain his skill in attracting quality student athletes to UHV.”
Puhl may be one of the last coaches to ever have this honor since baseball is not scheduled to be an Olympic event in 2012. Baseball was granted medal status in 1992.
Jaguars players are thrilled for Puhl but said they would miss their coach.
“We’ll be trying especially hard to keep our momentum while he is in Taiwan,” said Chris Joseph, Jaguars outfielder and UHV senior.