By: Michael Lenko, Peak Associate
Ryan Sandrin has joined the SFU men’s hockey program as the Director of Player Experience and Education. This will not be Sandrin’s first involvement with the Clan as he spent three seasons (2016–2019) as a goaltender for the team. This experience will likely bring valuable insight to the front office staff given the rarity of a recent graduate stepping into such an important role. Additionally, this role was just created.
According to Sandrin, the aim of this position is to help better support the players outside of the rink by providing resources and attention to the school side of student-athlete life. The position will also require Sandrin to act as a liaison between the players and team management — mainly to allow for a smoother transfer of ideas to better the program. Sandrin will also work with the marketing team to increase the program’s exposure on campus, as well as in the community beyond the university.
The Peak was able to sit down with Sandrin to discuss his new role with the team.
The Peak: What are the reasons for you deciding to continue your involvement with the SFU men’s hockey program after graduating?
Ryan: I saw changes throughout my undergrad when I played: good changes and bad changes, tendencies with player retention and some of our academic endeavours that I felt I could contribute to. I want to continue to help the veterans and new recruits in attaining the best possible experience, both from an academic perspective and on the ice, to combine with the best collegiate experience as a whole for our student athletes.
P: How do you think your role is going to positively impact SFU hockey players?
R: I think I’m going to provide not only the academic checks and balances that are ultimately required of any program at an institution such as SFU, but I will also serve as a line of communication between the management and players. I hope I can help provide transparency, direction, and better oversight.
P: What are some changes you are hoping to institute to help the program grow?
R: I think, overarchingly, I want to provide academic wellness and health checks, oversee [their] success, to better provide them with tutoring and guidance. Just to see what we have now and what we can change on game nights to create a better collegiate atmosphere, creating the most comprehensive experience we can.
According to the team’s Director of Operations, Chris Munshaw, the team is excited to have Ryan on board for the coming season. Munshaw shared his thoughts with The Peak, stating that, “We’ve got a good support group now around the team, a little more focus on academic success and supporting the players by having Ryan involved.”
Further, Munshaw believes that additions like Sandrin to the front office staff will help better the student-athlete experience the team can offer.
“We want to provide a valuable experience for the players on the team and we want them to get the most out of playing for SFU. We also want to run a successful program that represents SFU to the highest degree possible, representing what it means to be an SFU student and to be involved with the university.”
Now that most of the vacancies in the front office have been filled, the Clan will look to fill other vacancies within its coaching staff to run the bench alongside head coach Mark Coletta.