Reunited on the Pitch: Meet Ness Timmons and Karolyne MacDonell

Ness Timmons has been a staple of the CBU community for nearly 30 years. If you have ever been to a Women’s Varsity Soccer game at Cape Breton University, you’ve definitely seen Ness at the helm. The head coach for 28 years and counting, Ness has been an integral part of the team’s many successes over the last few decades and shows no signs of slowing down. 

A life-long resident of New Waterford, Ness has also been a Junior High and High School teacher for 35 years. His careers as a coach and a teacher complement each other perfectly, enabling Ness to successfully create an open, positive and cooperative atmosphere everywhere he goes. 

This year, Ness signed on as the Head Coach for the Canadian Women’s Medical Football (Soccer) Team. The team and its staff immediately shared their excitement through social media as they looked forward to a season of excellence under Ness’ leadership, and the valuable opportunity to learn from his years of experience.

“It is an exciting adventure,” Ness says. “It is a great opportunity to get involved with a very organized and determined group who want to share their love of the game and compete on the world stage.”

Ness’ accolades include being a three-time National U Sports Coach of the Year, seven-time Atlantic University Sport Coach of the Year and being named the Head Coach of the CIS National FISU Games soccer team in South Korea, 2003.

Much to Ness’ surprise, upon accepting this new position he came to discover that CBU alumni, Doctor Karolyne (Blain) MacDonell, plays on the team. The record-setting Caper played for Ness from 2011-2015 and had her jersey retired by CBU in 2017. “I am looking forward to being back on the pitch and playing a sport I love at a competitive level,” says Karolyne. “It’s something that I’ve really been missing since going to medical school and now as a mom.”

The opportunity to reunite on the pitch was something both Karolyne and Ness were grateful for. “I am really looking forward to sharing this first experience with Ness; it feels somewhat nostalgic to me to have him coach me again,” Karolyne begins. “I feel that his coaching style is a great fit for this team and this tournament.”

The team is made up of physician soccer players who will represent Canada at the World Medical Championships. This tournament has been taking place since 1996 for men’s teams but this will be the inaugural year for the women’s division. It runs from July 20-27 and will be taking place in Australia. 

The entire CBU community would like to send their warmest congratulations and wish the best of luck to both Ness and Karolyne in their upcoming matches and beyond.