MacEwan Griffins welcome Joel Mrak as department's new Director, Athletics

Joel Mrak will assume his new role as MacEwan's Director, Athletics on Oct. 18.
Joel Mrak will assume his new role as MacEwan's Director, Athletics on Oct. 18.

MacEwan Athletics

EDMONTON – Joel Mrak has been appointed the next Director, Athletics of the MacEwan University Griffins, Tim Tang – Associate Vice-President, Students – announced Wednesday.

Mrak is moving across town from Concordia University of Edmonton (CUE), where he served as the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) institution's Director, Athletics and Recreation for the past eight years.

He will be responsible for leading the success and growth of the MacEwan Athletics department within the Canada West and U SPORTS conferences, while integrating Griffins Athletics into the broader university community.

"We're thrilled to welcome Joel to MacEwan," said Tang. "Joel's extensive administrative, teaching, and coaching experience, coupled with his commitment to developing academically successful, well-rounded students through sport experiences, makes him ideal for the role.

"As the Athletics Director, Joel will play an important part in continuing to provide one of the top post-secondary experiences in Canada to student-athletes and position athletics at the heart of campus culture at MacEwan."

In his role at Concordia, Mrak led Thunder Athletics to six Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) national championships, received the CCAA Community Service Award for the department's "11 Days of Giving" campaign and earned the ACAC Director of the Year award in 2017-18.

"It is an incredible privilege to accept the Athletics Director position at MacEwan University," said Mrak. "The Griffins have such a proud history of excellence to build on, and I look forward continuing with that student-first culture that enhances the student experience on campus.

"I am both excited and prepared for the new challenges and successes ahead, and can't wait to get started working with the various stakeholders across campus, in the community, and in U SPORTS and the Canada West conference."

Mrak has also been actively engaged in teaching and academic program development, having served as a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta and Director, School of Physical Education & Wellness at CUE. He served on the ACAC Executive (2014-21) and on the CCAA Executive (2016-21).

Prior to his current position at CUE, Mrak spent seven years coaching volleyball at Lethbridge College, Niagara College and with the Thunder.

Tang also announced Wednesday that Lindsay McAlpine – who has served as MacEwan's Interim Director, Athletics for the past seven months – will be the department's new Assistant Director, Athletics as she continues to provide operational leadership in addition to her role as the Griffins women's hockey head coach.

"I am grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with two exceptional leaders in Tim and Joel, while continuing to work closely with our student-athletes, staff and members of the MacEwan community, as we push to enhance opportunities for our Griffins athletes," said McAlpine.

Both will take on their respective new roles on Oct. 18.