Monday, 31 August 2009

New Coach Rana names staff at Ryerson

There is a definite Eastern Commerce alumni flavor to Coach Rana's new staff with Jason Dawkins and Collin Charles, who also played NCAA Division 1 basketball at St. John's with the then-Redmen. Also with Mohit Dayaram comes another downtown Toronto alumnus (Jarvis Collegiate). Adding Euro flavor is Turkish native Fatih Akser; with the experience Rana has had internationally, this also appears to be a good fit. This is a young but apparently very connected and hard working staff.

Rana names staff at Ryerson

Ryerson men's basketball head coach Roy Rana is pleased to introduce his staff for the upcoming 2009-10 season. Rana recently announced the hiring of Jason Dawkins, Collin Charles, Fatih Akser, Josh Ford and Mohit Dayaram.

"I am very excited about the quality of coaches we have been able to bring together for the upcoming season," said Rana, who is currently serving as an assistant coach for the Canadian National Team at the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship. "Each individual brings a high level of expertise in areas that are critical to the success of our program, along with a very strong community connection in Toronto basketball. Our staff also has numerous years of playing and coaching experience in CIS, NCAA, Provincial, and National team settings. What really stands out about this group is their passion for the sport and their desire to help lead Ryerson basketball to new heights."

Dawkins, who has experience coaching at several levels, joins Rana's staff as an assistant coach. He is the coach and head of physical education at Bloor Collegiate Institute as well as the head coach of the Ontario Provincial Development Team. Dawkins is also the Chair of the Ontario Basketball Elite Development Committee, the Chair of the Junior Development Program and has been the Convener at the Raptors Basketball Academy since its inception. During his playing career, Dawkins won two OFSAA Championships (1995 and 1996) with Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute. He then went on to play at Brandon University, where he appeared in two CIS National Championship games.

Charles, who has a decorated past as a player, will also serve an assistant coach. Charles was a member of the St. John's Red Storm team that advanced to the NCAA Men's Division 1 Basketball Championship Elite Eight in 1999. The quarter-finals finish was the second of two March Madness appearances that Charles made with St. John's. Prior to his time at St. John's, Charles experienced success at the high school level in Toronto. He was a member of an Eastern Commerce squad that won four consecutive Toronto High School Basketball Championships as well as back-to-back OFSAA Championships in 1995 and 1996. Charles was also a member of the Canadian National Junior Team in 1994, coached by current Raptors head coach Jay Triano. Charles coached the senior boys' team at William Lyon Mackenzie Collegiate Institute in 2007-08 and is the Director of the Collin Charles Basketball Camp.

Akser, a native of Istanbul, Turkey, will round out the Rams' assistant coaching staff. A veteran of the cadet, junior and professional teams of the Fenerbahce Ulker Basketball Club in Turkey, he was a part of seven provincial and state championship teams as a player. Akser later returned to Fenerbahce as a coach in 2000. He remained with the club until 2004, serving as an assistant coach with the pro team and head coach of the cadet and junior teams. During that time, his cadet and junior teams qualified for four straight state championships, claiming the Cadet championship three times. At the pro level, Akser's squads consistently qualified for the Turkish Basketball League final four and qualified for the Korac Cup and Eurochallenge Cup on two separate occasions. Currently enrolled in NCCP level four certification training, Akser has also had coaching experience on this side of the Atlantic. In Ontario, Akser served as an assistant coach on Centennial College's men's team in 2005-2006, and held a similar position at Brock University last season. At the provincial level, Akser has also acted as head coach of Basketball Ontario's Niagara Region U-15 Midget Development Program and their Toronto-based Performance Enhancement Program (PEP).

Josh Ford will join the coaching staff as the strength and conditioning coach. Ford comes to the staff with extensive experience at several levels, and in several different sports. Ford's list of basketball teams and organizations that he has worked with include Eastern Commerce C.I., Nike Centre for Performance Ontario, PEP Program Ontario and the Cadet National Basketball Team. He has also worked with the Stouffville Spirit Junior A' hockey club. Ford has worked with athletes at the amateur, CIS, NCAA, and professional levels.

Dayaram comes to Ryerson as the team's director of basketball operations. A former NCAA Division II player at Saginaw Valley State University, Dayaram currently coaches the basketball team at Jarvis Collegiate Institute, his alma mater. Dayaram also has experience working with coach Rana, having served under him at the PEP program, the Nike Centre for Performance and the 2009 Cadet Men's National Team training camp.

The Rams open their regular season November 6, when they host the Waterloo Warriors.

Ben Fisher, Sports Information Assistant

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