By Bryan Meler
Ryerson’s lead assistant men’s basketball coach Borko Popic will take over head coaching duties during Roy Rana’s absence throughout the 2017-18 season, The Eyeopener has learned.
“For periods where Roy will be away, Borko Popic will assume the head coaching responsibilities,” a Ryerson Athletics spokesperson said Tuesday.
“We are excited for coach Rana and are working together with him to be able to embrace this opportunity as well as position the Rams to continue their pursuit of a national championship.”
Rana will miss time this season while serving as head coach for Team Canada’s senior men’s team. He’ll be coaching Canada during the first two qualifying windows for the 2019 FIBA World Cup, which will take take place between Nov. 20-28 and Feb. 19-27.
Popic joined the Rams before the 2016-17 season and will continue to act as their lead assistant coach while Rana is with the Rams. Before his coaching career, Popic played in the NCAA for both Virginia Military Institute and Hawaii Pacific, then finished his playing career with the OUA’s Guelph Gryphons.
Ryerson’s season will start Oct. 27, and they’ll be looking to win their third-straight OUA title in the playoffs as soon as their season ends Feb. 17, two days before the World Cup’s second qualifying window is set to begin.
Ryerson’s athletics spokesperson cannot confirm how many days Rana will be away before and after competition with Team Canada.