Wednesday, 27 June 2007

Craddock named newest Head Coach at UCFV

In a somewhat surprising move, reigning CIS Coach-of-the-Year Barnaby Craddock has accepted the Head Coaching position at University College of Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, BC. Craddock, who led the Brandon Bobcats to the CIS Nationals championship game in March, is a Vancouver area native who will be moving back closer to home by accepting this position. Craddock did an outstanding job with the Bobcats during his two-year tenure in Brandon, leading the 'Cats back to national prominence and restoring pride in the Bobcat program, one of Canada's most successful over the last 30 years. Craddock played his CIS basketball at the University of Lethbridge for current Winnipeg Wesmen Head Coach Dave Crook and also had a playing stint in Europe after his CIS career ended. As the press release from Mike Tucker reveals below, it was important to UCFV to have buy in from their current group of players after the controversial release of the prior coaching staff and if the quote from team captain Kyle Graves is an indicator, all is well in Abbotsford. Look for Craddock to continue to draw on his contacts from across the country to attract national-calibre athletes to UCFV and further increase the competitiveness of Canada West.

Abbotsford, BC - Barnaby Craddock, the 2007 CIS Coach of the Year, has been announced as the new head coach of the Fraser Valley Cascades men's basketball team. Craddock leaves Brandon University, whom he guided to last year's CIS National Championship final.

"I'm thrilled with the chance to move to Abbotsford, and with the opportunity to work with UCFV athletics," said Craddock. "The men's basketball program at UCFV has had some great years, and some great coaches. I'm looking forward to coming in and helping the Cascades future continue to be as bright as it's past."

Craddock spent the previous two seasons as the head coach at Brandon University. In 2006-07, Craddock was the recipient of the Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy, awarded annually to the CIS Men's basketball Coach of the Year. The Craddock-led Bobcats squad finished with the best record in the Canada West at 20-2. Brandon made it all the way to the CIS National championship final, falling to Carleton 52-49.

"We really sought out a coach that was capable of turning the program into a winner at the CIS level, and what Barnaby managed to accomplish at Brandon speaks for itself," said Acting Athletic Director Mike Tucker. "Barnaby is one of the top young coaches in the Canada, and we're confident he will help us realize our goal of competing and winning a national championship."

As a Vancouver native, Craddock played for Vancouver Community College before becoming a CIS All-Canadian and two-time Canada West All Star at the University of Lethbridge. Additionally, Craddock is just four seasons removed from a seven-year professional playing career in Europe. He has earned post-season MVP honours in both Norway and Ireland leagues.

After Craddock's professional playing career expired, he took coaching jobs in the Iceland and Norway professional leagues. Craddock would make his return to Canada in 2003, taking an assistant coach position at Lethbridge. He also served as an assistant at University of Winnipeg in the 2004-05 season.

"What struck me about Barnaby is he brings forward a lot of energy and it's clear he wants to win. He's been there before with Brandon, and you can tell he's hungry to bring this group there too," said Cascades senior forward Kyle Graves, who sat on the hiring committee with teammates Jamie Vaughan and Dylan Gatner.

"With Barnaby we have a full-time coach who has full responsibility for all aspect of the men's basketball program," said Tim Segger, Vice President Administration at UCFV. "We're excited to have a coach who will be active on and off the court, on campus, in our local communities, and representing UCFV regionally and nationally in the Canada West and CIS."

Craddock will begin work immediately preparing for the approaching 2006-07 season at UCFV. His last day at Brandon is Friday, July 6. Craddock will be moving to the Abbotsford area shortly thereafter.

Craddock's Record:
2005-06 Brandon 10-10 conference, 15-17 overall
2005-06 Brandon 20-2 conference, 33-5 overall
Totals 30-12 conference, 40-22 overall

CIS Coach of the Year Award Winners (since 1987-88):
2006-07: Barnaby Craddock, Brandon
2005-06: Kevin Hanson, UBC
2004-05: Dave Smart, Carleton
2003-04: Craig Norman, RMC / CMR
2002-03: Dave Smart, Carleton
2001-02: Don Horwood, Alberta
2000-01: Steve Konchalski, StFX
1999-00: Dave Crook, Lethbridge
1998-99: Craig Boydell, Western
1997-98: Eddie Pomykala, Bishop's
1996-97: Peter Campbell, Laurentian
1995-96: Bruce Enns, UBC
1994-95: Ken Olynyk, Toronto
1993-94: Don Horwood, Alberta
1992-93: Bill Wedlake, Winnipeg
1991-92: Ken Murray, Brock
1990-91: John Dore, Concordia/Bruce Enns, UBC
1989-90: Bruce Enns, UBC
1988-89: Ken Murray, Regina
1987-88: Dave Nutbrown, Acadia

Mike Tucker, Sports Information/Marketing Coordinator
UCFV Cascades Athletics

On-line version available here

Here is some Brandon-related flashbacks courtesy of former coach Jerry Hemmings and the Winnipeg Sun Memories of go-go dancers and OT

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