York University Sport & Recreation announced on July 28 that it will advance one of its own into the role of the department’s manager of varsity athletics.
Bart Zemanek will move into the position that oversees several Lions teams beginning Aug. 17.
Zemanek, who has a 13-year history with York U, was selected for the role due to his experience and passion for both athletics and the University.
“After an extensive search it became clear to us that the best candidate for this new role was someone within our department,” said Gillian McCullough, associate director, athletics. “Bart has done tremendous work with our student athletes over the last several years and is well known to our coaches and athletes. He is passionate about all things related to this university and I am confident he will continue to make a difference in his new role.”
Zemanek began his time at York U as a kinesiology and health science student, and was the starting quarterback of the Lions football team. Throughout his playing career, he was team captain and MVP, and in 2007 he received the prestigious Charles Saundercook Memorial Trophy. He also spent one season playing professional football in Helsinki, Finland.
During his studies at York U, Zemanek achieved academic all-Canadian honours and was the recipient of the Stuart G. Robbins Award, which is given annually to the student-athlete with the highest GPA among the Sport Excellence Award recipients. He graduated from York with a BA, and later earned a master’s in kinesiology and health science.
For the past four years, Zemanek has served as the academic services and travel coordinator for the Lions. In that role, he created the University’s very successful PAWS (Providing Athletes with Winning Strategies) mentoring program that offers academic support to all Lions student-athletes. He currently sits on the board of directors for the York University Alumni Association, and he has previously served as an assistant coach with the Lions football team.
“I am very excited about this opportunity,” said Zemanek. “The experiences this university has afforded me have been nothing short of life-altering and I am looking forward to this new challenge. I feel like I have been preparing for this moment for the last 13 years and I am extremely honoured to help lead our Lions family.”