Karren takes on recruitment portfolio
The recipe for Brad Karren’s success was always pretty simple - work the phones harder than anyone else and reap the rewards down the road.
Karren built a powerhouse women’s basketball program at Lethbridge College by being the best recruiter in western Canada, bar none. When he made the move to the University of Lethbridge as an assistant to Pronghorns men’s head coach Dave Adams this past fall, it only seemed natural that Karren would assume some of the recruiting responsibilities for the Horns program. Recently, the Horns made it official, naming Karren the Pronghorns Basketball Operations Manager.
“We are looking at this as our first step in introducing and recruiting great southern Alberta basketball players to the University of Lethbridge, and Pronghorns Basketball,” says Sandy Slavin, executive director of Sport and Recreation Services. “Basketball is the fastest growing sport in Canada West, and many schools are already utilizing the services of paid Operations Managers/Assistant Coaches to assist with recruiting. As the league continues to grow, we need to compete at the same level as the other schools for the top recruits.”
Karren will continue as an assistant to Adams but will lead recruiting efforts for both the men’s and women’s programs.
“I’m excited, it’s something I’ve done for a long time and had some success at, so hopefully I can help out and bring some strong players into Horns basketball,” says Karren.
Another major focus of Karren’s role will be to co-ordinate all the Horns’ youth basketball programs, reaching out into the southern Alberta community with a consistent message and focus.
“It’s a really important part of this position,” says Karren. “What we’re trying to do is build a better base of interest in Pronghorns Athletics, and if we can get out there in the community and run our programs well, it should generate that interest. If we can start getting kids interested in basketball and the Pronghorns at a little younger age, hopefully we can get back to where these kids all want to be Horns athletes.”
His natural ties with Lethbridge College will also be utilized. The Horns and Kodiaks have worked hard in recent years to establish a relationship where select players can begin their post-secondary careers at the college level before moving on to the University. It benefits both the athlete and the student.
“There are some kids who could play CIS basketball right out of high school but there are only so many spots available,” explains Karren. “So does it help a kid to sit the bench and not play at the CIS level where they could be playing significant minutes and developing their games at the college level?
“And academically speaking, it’s a little easier step to go to college first, and that speeds the transition to the university level once they get here.”
Slavin sees Karren’s acquisition as an ideal fit for the vision of the Horns program going forward.
“Brad provides us with a unique set of qualifications, having been involved at a high level with both the men’s and women’s games,” she says. “We are very excited to have Brad joining the Pronghorns basketball program in this role.”
GET THE FACTS
• Karren spent 11 seasons at Lethbridge College, guiding the Kodiaks women’s program to three provincial titles and one national championship (2003-04).
• He compiled a 182-46 conference record while coaching the Kodiaks. He was named ACAC South Coach of the Year on five occasions and was the 2008-09 CCAA National Coach of the Year.
• Karren is a native of Magrath, Alta. and continues to live in the southern Alberta community.
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