TWU Athletics

Identity area

Type of entity

Corporate body

Authorized form of name

TWU Athletics

Parallel form(s) of name

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules

Other form(s) of name

Identifiers for corporate bodies

Description area

Dates of existence



In 1963, a large barn located on the property of Trinity Junior College was converted into a gymnasium; the resulting building was fondly referred to by staff and students as the "barnasium." The David E. Enarson gymnasium and Auditorium was completed in 1969, and dedicated in 1970. It was the largest such building in the Fraser Valley at the time of construction. (Architect: Mr. William K. Noppe.)
In 1981 the gymnasium floor suffered water damage, and had to be repaired; in the summer of 1986 the floor was completely replaced.
In 1990 Northwest Baptist College funded the construction of an Annex to the gymnasium.

The Grand Opening of the field complex was celebrated in March of 2001.*

From 1963 to 1969 TJC Athletics teams competed primarily against local high school teams.*
The 1966 Pillar Yearbook records that "this year the TJC Spartans did not participate in a regular league, but played exhibition games with local high schools instead." (p. 38)

In 1970 TJC joined the Totem Conference Athletics Association as a founding member.* In 1977/1978 Trinity Western College joined the National Christian Colleges Athletic Association (NCCAA). The school rejoined the Totem Conference in 1984/1985.
In 1986 the Totem Conference changed its name to the British Columbia Colleges' Athletic Association (BCCAA). The BCCAA is the governing body for college/institute athletics in B.C. (Source:
In 1998 TWU joined the Canada West Universities Athletic Association (CWUAA) and the Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU). The CIAU changed its name to Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) in 2001.

School colours were originally brown and gold, thanks to a suggestion from Dean Leland Asa: "One of my early satisfactions was helping to set up some of the traditions, or some of the events that would later become tradition. I helped the students to set up student government, helped them to build a constitution, helped them to select school colours. Actually, the way the school colours came — which are brown and gold, as you know ... I had been at the University of Wyoming the year before, and the colours there were brown and gold, and I had a bit of partiality, and I suggested brown and gold, and they seemed to accept that, and that first year they designated them as school colours, and for these twenty-one years they've survived. The students were looking for a name for their athletic teams, and they cast around and chose the name the 'Spartans' the first year. (Source: TWU Archives Oral History Interview with L. Asa January 29, 1983. Transcript is available online at:
A memo dated November 8, 1983, from Arvid Olson to Gary Naylor (Director of Physical Education) states that "The Administrative Committee has approved your recommendation that the athletic team uniform colours become blue/gold/white rather than brown/gold/white. Student Council has supported this colour change ..." (F 3; Box 15; File 11)

On October 7, 2004, it was announced that "2010 LegaciesNow and the Province of British Columbia have invested $33,272 to support high performance athletes at Trinity Western University. The funding comes from the 2004-2005 BC Athlete Assistance Program (AAP), one of four provincial athlete support programs in Canada." (News release from 2010 LegaciesNow)

*Source of asterisked items: "History of TWU and Spartan Athletics" (2002) (F 69 Box 1 File 10)


Legal status

Functions, occupations and activities

Entry in 2004/2005 University Calendar:
Murray Hall, Director

In furthering the University mission, Spartan Athletics purposes to foster a dynamic environment in which individuals can succeed as they persistently advance to the edge of their ability, shape and transform sport and culture, and embrace the sovereignty of God and the need for a growing, personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

While remaining vigilant to spiritual mindedness the values of Spartan Athletics are summarized in three words: integrity, excellence, and teamwork.

Trinity Western University offers a first class athletics program in a Christian environment. The University is a member of Canadian Interuniversity Sport and competes regionally in the Canada West division with the following universities: University of Victoria, University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Calgary, University of Alberta, University of Lethbridge, University of Saskatchewan, University of Regina, Brandon University, University of Winnipeg, and University of Manitoba.
The varsity sports menu includes teams in mens and womens basketball, soccer and volleyball. Indoor teams compete in the David E. Enarson gymnasium while the Spartan Field Complex is home for the soccer teams.

Complete Champion Approach
The Complete Champion Approach enables student-athletes to address the whole person (spiritual, physical, intellectual, emotional, and social). The Complete Champion Approach helps student-athletes use their God-given talents and intellect to live a life of significance, experiencing true personal success and powerfully influencing their family and their community.

Partnering with the Student Life division of the University, Spartan Athletics intentionally strives to develop the Complete Champion in five areas.

Athletic Development
Technical skill development, high level competition, strength and conditioning, nutrition, sport psychology and video analysis.

Spiritual Development
Discipleship, mentoring, sport ministry, national training camp, bible studies, Alpha program, Playbook (Sunday Night Alive), prayer teams, winter retreat and short-term cross-cultural mission trips.

Academic Development
Athletes have access to an academic resource person, the Learning Resource Centre, Study hall/study skills, tutoring, advising, technical support as well as a Collegium membership.

Leadership Development
Student-Athlete Council (SAC), SLOW/O-Week, fall leadership retreat, leadership opportunities, professional development for SAC and team captains, and community service opportunities.

Personal Development
Life skills seminars, career planning, time management seminars, counseling service, special speakers bureau and toastmasters.

Other Services
There are many components to the Athletics infrastructure and developing Complete Champions (well-rounded, well-developed graduates) requires the coordinated effort of many athletic services.

Sport Therapy
Under the leadership of certified therapists, and in concert with campus health workers a comprehensive prehabilitative (prevention of injuries), strength and conditioning program, injury assessment, and rehabilitative programs take place year round. More than 20 student therapists receive on-the-job training, certification, and assist with the delivery of therapy services to 100 student athletes.

Event Management
Under the leadership of the Events Manager, 20 students gain experience hosting campus and community spectators at 80 sporting events each year. More than 15,000 people watch Trinity Westerns home games every year.

Athletics Marketing, Promotions, and Advertising
Athletics marketing, promotions, and advertising is responsible for raising the profile of Spartan Athletics in the business community, and supporting the efforts of student-athletes. These business partnerships include sponsoring signage in the gymnasium and on the soccer fields, game-night sponsorships, program advertising and providing entertainment for Spartan fans. It also participates in the annual golf tournament that raises funds toward endowed scholarships for student-athletes.

Sports Information
The sports information director, student assistants, and head coaches provide coordination, guidance, and direction to the public relations program. Several students are mentored each year in journalism, public announcing, statistical data entry, and photography. Sports information is disseminated in a variety of methods including web pages, Spartan Hotline, press releases, and bulletin board displays.

Spartan Athletics, under the administrative leadership of the Director of Athletics and the Athletics Council (composed of faculty, administrators, and students), is chaired by the Vice-President for Marketing and Enrolment Management and Strategic Projects.

David E. Enarson gymnasium
Tel: 604.513.2131
Fax: 604.513.2065
Hotline: 604.513.2001
Web site:

Mandates/sources of authority

Internal structures/genealogy

According to the 1966 Pillar Yearbook, coaching duties were shared by Bill Meier and faculty member John Woodland. The 1967 yearbook includes a photograph of "Coach" Donald Danielson. In the 1968 yearbook, Danielson is identified as "Athletic Director." In 1969, the Pillar records that Donald (Don) Tavolacci and Donald Danielson were both serving as "Instructors in Physical Education." A 1970 memo identifies Tavolacci as "Director of Phys Ed & Athletics." (F 69 Box 1 File 1)
In 1978 Timothy Voss accepted the position Athletic Director and Assistant Professor of Physical Education. (F 69 Box 1 File 4)
From 1981 to 1984 Gary Naylor served as part-time Athletic Director; he later served as Sports Ministry Coordinator. He was succeeded as Director by Bill Luke (1984-1988). Murray Hall has served as Athletic Director since 1988.*
In March 2006 Gary Naylor retired, "after 25 years of faithful service ... in the Human Kinetics Department." (Email message from Evelyn Wiens, March 21)

Jake Braun accepted the position of basketball coach at TWC in 1970, and served in Athletics for 14 years. TWU’s Tim Teer, who coached the Spartans for 16 years from 1983-1999, received the Coaching Excellence Award in 1995. In 1999 five part-time coaches were granted full-time status.*
Coach Ron Pike was named CIS Coach of the Year in 2005.

In May of 2001, Bahta Melles retired, after serving for 26 years as Facility Manager for Physical Education (Human Kinetics) and Athletics.

*Source of asterisked items: "History of TWU and Spartan Athletics" (2002) (F 69 Box 1 File 10)

I am pleased to announce that Dr. Blair Whitmarsh will commence a third five-year term as the Dean of the School of Human Kinetics (and Athletics) in 2016 – 17 ... Blair has provided very capable leadership during his two terms as Dean and as Chair of the Human Kinetics Department before that.
Source: June 15, 2015 email from Provost Bob Wood

Tuesday, January 17, 2017 it was announced that Jeff Gamache (TWU Alumnus 1995) had been appointed the new Director of Athletics for Spartan Athletics.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

Created December 19, 2013




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