VIU's Danielle Hyde named 2023 CCAA Athletic Director of the Year

Danielle Hyde on the left receiving her award from a CCAA representative

VIU Director of Athletics and Recreation Danielle Hyde accepts her award from Ray Chateau, CCAA VP Marketing, in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

Photo: Courtesy of the CCAA

June 14, 2023 - 8:45am

Hyde is the first VIU athletic director to win the award.

Danielle Hyde, VIU Director of Athletics and Recreation, has been named the 2023 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Athletic Director of the Year.

Hyde, colloquially referred to as "D" in the VIU Athletics and Recreation department and already a CCAA Hall of Fame and VIU Wall of Fame inductee as a student-athlete, is the first VIU athletic director to win this award. She was recognized on June 13, 2023, at the CCAA annual general meeting in Niagara Falls, Ontario. News of the award set off celebrations back at VIU in Nanaimo.

"We are extremely proud of Danielle and her leadership of the Mariners program," said Irlanda Gonzalez Price, Associate Vice-President of Student Affairs at VIU. "Her leadership, vision, and strategic thinking have elevated our varsity athletics program to heights never reached before. She is a true asset to the Athletics and Recreation department, to Student Affairs, and all of VIU. I cannot think of an individual more deserving of the title 2023 Athletic Director of the Year."

In 2020, Hyde succeeded Stephanie White (now with the University of Windsor) as VIU's director of athletics and campus recreation. She managed the Mariners through the postponed 2020-21 season and led a return to competition in 2021-22. 

While that season featured plenty of success, Hyde oversaw a 2022-23 season that stands as one of the best in program history. Every one of VIU's varsity soccer, basketball and volleyball teams qualified for their respective national championship tournaments – a feat unequaled in the 2022-23 season by any college or university in Canada.

Three coaches won conference coach of the year awards and Matt Kuzminski added a CCAA Men's Basketball national coach of the year award. The Mariners also claimed four of six conference player of the year awards and two CCAA players of the year (Cara Dunlop in soccer and Jane Lytvynenko in volleyball).

The post-season was highlighted by a CCAA gold medal for women's basketball. This was the first national championship for a Pacific Western (PACWEST) conference team since the Malaspina Mariners won in 1998. This was also only the third women's basketball gold for a BC collegiate team since CCAA tournaments began in 1978.

Men's basketball and women's soccer earned national bronze medals while both volleyball teams finished fourth in the nation. This was also the first year both Mariners soccer teams won provincial conference championships in the same season. 

Campus impacts

With Hyde leading national championship committees and navigating pandemic-related restrictions on sporting events, VIU hosted back-to-back CCAA tournaments in women's basketball in 2022 and women's volleyball in 2023. These were lauded as successes for the participating teams from across Canada as well as for VIU and local sports fans who packed the VIU gym.

"Danielle has a natural ability to bring people together on campus and in the community to ensure that VIU will be wonderful hosts for all players, coaches, fans and volunteers," said David Forrester, Manager of Athletics and Recreation at VIU. "Her achievements as a player are key to the way that she leads with an unwavering commitment to provide all of the athletes with an unforgettable experience."

Her care for VIU student-athletes extends to social supports, including mandatory Positive Space training to raise awareness of diversity in sexual orientation and gender identities. Partnerships with the VIU Students' Union have dramatically improved home game experiences and increased the Mariners campus presence while all VIU Athletics tournaments, banquets and ceremonies now feature an Indigenous welcome from a VIU Elder-in-Residence.

Academics are also put firmly at the foreground of the VIU student-athlete experience. In 2022-23, high grades in the classroom led to five CCAA Academic All-Canadians, 29 CCAA National Scholars and 15 PACWEST Academic Excellence Awards.

In addition to her role at VIU, Hyde contributes to collegiate sport governance at the provincial and national levels. She serves as the PACWEST director with the CCAA and moved from the VP Administration position to PACWEST President earlier this year.  

As a student-athlete and coach

From 1997 to 2001, Hyde was a star setter with the then-Malaspina University-College Mariners. Over those four years, Hyde was a conference first team all-star in every season she played, won three provincial gold and one bronze medal, and was named top player in the conference in the 1999, 2000 and 2001 seasons.

Amazingly, her teams only lost one regular season game in the four years she wore a Mariners uniform, and it was her third varsity game. Outside of that 3-0 defeat on the road to Douglas College, where only 6 Mariners saw the floor, the Mariners reeled off 55 victories and didn't lose on home court. Hyde finished her career with a 71-6 record through regular season and playoffs.

At the national level, Hyde was the first CCAA student-athlete in any sport to earn four consecutive All-Canadian awards for athletic excellence (1998 to 2001) and was named CCAA Women's Volleyball Player of the Year in 2000. She was also a two-time CCAA Academic All-Canadian.

In three trips to the CCAA national championships as a student-athlete, Hyde earned silver (2000) and bronze (1999) medals along with a fourth-place finish in 2001. She was named to the tournament all-star teams each year.

After her playing career, she joined the Mariners coaching staff for 11 seasons alongside her husband Shane, who served as head coach. Their teams won eight CCAA medals in those 11 seasons: two gold, four silver and two bronze.

One for all

Even with all of her responsibilities with the CCAA, PACWEST and VIU, she regularly travels with her son and daughter as they excel in a long list of athletic pursuits, including hockey, basketball and gymnastics. Danielle and Shane continue to run a summer beach volleyball league that is into its third decade of operation. She also makes a point to attend every Mariners home game she can and is always willing to lend a hand with tasks of any size. Whether on the volleyball court, with her family or at work, she lives the mantra that success is best when it's shared.

"To know 'D' is to know that she'll be uncomfortable with this level of attention and will deflect praise to her staff, colleagues, coaches and students, but there's a reason why everyone will go through a wall for her," Forrester said. "She's humble, leads by example, is quick with humour and intellect, and is perfectly suited to lead the Mariners forward."


For more information, contact:

  • Matt Carter, Communications & Sports Information Coordinator, VIU Mariners Athletics & Recreation

Tags: VIU Mariners | Athletics

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