Mar 23, 2015
TORONTO, ON – Today, Canada Basketball announced the full coach and staff line-up for the Women’s High Performance 2015 competitive season. First-class coaches and staff from across the country will lead Canada’s National Teams in international competitions on home-soil and around the world this summer.
“Coaching is the backbone of growing the game and developing our elite athletes and we’re very fortunate to have such a tremendous group of coaches leading our women’s national teams this season,” said Denise Dignard, Director of Women's High Performance. “We are privileged to work with top-tier Canadian coaches, technical leadership and support staff, who provide world-class expertise and support to all our women’s high performance programming. This year’s staffs are from all across Canada and are all so tremendously passionate about representing Canada and committed to developing athletes for our senior program toward podium success.”
“With an exciting competitive season, all of our teams are looking forward to showcasing their talents to the world.”
In 2015, a total of 14 coaches and 22 technical and support staff will lead the four national squads in five competitions on four continents.
The Senior Women’s National Team will be led by head coach, Lisa Thomaidis (University of Saskatchewan) along with assistant coaches Bev Smith, Shawnee Harle and Steve Baur, and 11 staff covering performance analysis, sports science, sport medicine and team management roles.
Entering her third year as the Senior Women’s National Team head coach, Thomaidis and her staff have led Canada to historic performances at the 2013 FIBA Americas by earning a silver medal and at the 2014 FIBA World Championships by finishing 5th – the best finish for the Women’s Team in 28 years when Canada won bronze in 1986 worlds.
Along with her success on the international level, Thomaidis has led her University of Saskatchewan team to the 2015 CIS Women’s Final 8 as the 4th-ranked team in the country. The senior squad looks forward to a successful summer at the 2015 Pan Am Games (July 16-20) and FIBA Americas Championships for Women (August 9-16) – both on home soil in Toronto and Edmonton, respectively.
Fabian McKenzie (Cape Breton University) has been selected as the head coach for the Development Women’s National Team for the fourth consecutive year. Both Michele Belanger (University of Toronto) and Jeff Speedy (University of New Brunswick) will be returning as assistants and Ryan Thorne (McGill University) will be joining a national team staff for his first season. Outside of international play, Ryan Thorne as head coach at McGill University has led the McGill Martlets to the 2015 CIS Women’s Final 8 as a 3-seed.
After a successful summer of development and winning the Williams Jones Cup in 2014, the Development National Team looks forward to continuing their excellent work developing senior prospects and to successful performances leading up to and at the 2015 FISU Universiade in Gwangju, South Korea from July 3-12.
Under head coach Rich Chambers (Terry Fox Secondary School), the Junior Women’s National Team finished 2nd at the 2014 FIBA Americas U18 Championships in Colorado Springs and have qualified for the FIBA U19 World Championships for the sixth-consecutive time.
Assistant coaches, Scott Edwards (University of Alberta) and Scott Reeves (Thompson Rivers University), have earned success at the CIS levels as Reeves was named 2014-15 Coach of the Year for Canada West and Edwards has led the University of Alberta to the 2015 CIS National Championships as a 5-seed. In his final season as a Junior National Team head coach, Chambers looks forward to guiding this year’s young junior prospects and hopes to be victorious at 2015 FIBA U19 World Championships for Women, held in Russia from July 16-26.
The Cadette Women’s National Team head coach is Carly Clarke (Ryerson University), accompanied by co-head coach, Jodi Gram (Bill Crothers Secondary School) and assistant coach, Dani Sinclair (University of Victoria) who will be in her first year with a Cadette team and second season with a national team.
In her fifth year as Cadette National Team head coach, Clarke has seen success beyond the international level as her Ryerson Rams have qualified for the CIS Final 8 as the 7th-ranked team nationwide, which is a first in their university program’s history.
This past summer, the Cadette Women’s National Team finished 6th at the 2014 FIBA U17 World Championships for Women. In 2015, the team will participate in the 2015 FIBA Americas U16 Championships for Women in Mexico from June 23-28.
Other coaches with national team experience and who have led their teams to the 2015 CIS Nationals include Deb Huband (University British Columbia- xxx seed), Linda Marquis (Laval University-host and yyy seed), and Chantal Vallee (Windsor University – 1-seed).
A full list of coaches and staff is attached below is available at Canada Basketball.