After 20 years, Diduck is back in the red, black and white, bringing a whole new wealth of knowledge with him to the ice.
Throughout his 30 years of curling experience, Diduck has spent time in many curling clubs across Canada as a participant, learning the ins-and-outs of the game. However, this Winter he will be stepping on the ice not as an athlete, but as head coach of the Augustana Vikings curling team, and is keeping his goals set on the center of the house.
”I am excited to help this year's curling athletes achieve their highest potential on the ice. Augustana has achieved tremendous success over the last several years, and this year's curlers and I look forward to building on that strong legacy.”
Recently, Vikings athletics had the chance to catch up with Coach Diduck and hear what he had to say about the 2020-21 season.
The University of Alberta Augustana Campus continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on sports including curling. All of our teams are working hard to return to training while ensuring the safety of student-athletes and staff. Additional announcements will be made shortly as to Augustana's participation in curling competition for the 2020-21 season
Q: How do you feel about coming back to coach the Vikings Curling team?
JD: As an Augustana alumnus, I am excited to come back to Augustana and give back to the university and the curling program.
Q: What challenges do you face this year as a team? What opportunities do you have this year?
JD: The game of curling has changed with the new safety protocols, due to COVID-19. Adjusting to those new protocols is going to the biggest challenge for the team initially. We are also faced with reduced ice time this year due to the delayed start of the season, so there is less time to evaluate players and team dynamics. However, I believe the schedule for curling this year will help set the team up for success. With the tighter schedule, we can better leverage the momentum from one tournament weekend to the next, if we are able to play them safely.
Q: What are you hoping to accomplish as a coach and team?
JD: Being able to attend provincials while keeping our athletes safe and healthy, and also, winning!
Q: What is most exciting about becoming the new Vikings Curling head coach?
JD: I am excited about building great teams on the ice and helping Vikings athletes achieve their dreams. I am also really looking forward to slipping on the Augustana Vikings curling jacket again and competing to win provincials.
Since Curling joined the ACAC in 1964, Vikings curling has won a combined six ACAC Championships in men’s, women’s and mixed curling. Most recently, the women captured gold at the 2020 ACAC Championship this past March, defeating the Red Deer College Queens 5-4 in the final. Vikings curling has also added bronze medals for both the men’s (2016) and women’s (2019) teams at the national level in the last five years.