Volume 93, Issue 101

Friday, April 7, 2000


The Chairman of the board

Misty water coloured sporting memories

The good ole Mustang game

Still dreaming the impossible dream

The Chairman of the board

Gazette file photo
"AND I WOULD LIKE TO THANK THE GAZETTE'S SPORTS SECTION FOR COMING UP WITH '20 QUESTIONS.'" A vintage photo of Western's chair of athletics, Darwin Semotiuk (right), who began his time here in the disco era.

By Sean Maraj
Gazette Staff

He's the one you don't see holding the trophies or winning the awards. Normally he's the man who gives out the awards and says nice things.

But when he's not giving out the awards and passing out accolades to Western athletes, he's the one who makes the big decisions. His name is Darwin Semotiuk and he's Western's chair of intercollegiate athletics.

Semotiuk hails from Edmonton, Alberta where he was born in 1945. He started his career at Western in 1971 when he came to the school for both academic and athletic reasons. Semotiuk began as the assistant coach for the football team, before taking over the reigns as head coach – a post he would hold until 1982.

Before stepping down to take the chair of athletics' seat, Semotiuk would walk away with seven provincial championships and two national championships. Looking back on his football days, Semotiuk pointed to his co-workers as the high point. "It was very enjoyable, challenging and very rewarding because of the athletes and coaches I worked with," he said.

He added his experience was the main reason he was chosen to take the position.

Semotiuk has – by any scale – had a successful career as both a coach and an administrator. "There are a lot of people that I have a lot of respect for and those individuals had a great impact on my approach to life," he said.

"Geno Frucas – I played football under him in Alberta, he had a market impact on my career in sport. There was also Frank Cosentino [Western's head coach of football before Semotiuk], I was assistant coach with him."

When asked what characteristics qualified him for the position of department chair, a buffet of reasons popped to mind. "I brought my experience as a student athlete, coach and academic along with my experience outside the school. I also brought a strong interest and passion for interuniversity sports."

As chair, Semotiuk said he had seen Western change a great deal over the years. He pointed to those changes as one of his greatest challenges.

"It's changed significantly," he said of the school's athletic program. "It's grown in size, scope of programming and the budget has increased. It's become more complicated and challenging."

Semotiuk has had a long career at Western and looking back at some of his best moments, he named the success of student athletes. "I always have a great sense of satisfaction when I see a Western team perform well. We take a great deal of pride in our student athletes," he said.

"Just having the privilege and the opportunity of working with highly motivated coaches and students," he said.

There must be a reason why Semotiuk has remained at the helm of Western's athletic ship and he's quick to name it – the people. "Having the privilege of having to work with highly motivated people," he said.

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Copyright The Gazette 2000