Monday, 7 March 2011

Queen's Men's Coaching Job Posted

The Gaels look to fill their vacant coaching position after the departure of Rob Smart Sr. earlier this season with what has been described as a national search by several Queen's alumni who were addressed by the Queen's athletic department at a recent fundraising event.  Assistant coach Duncan Cowan took over for Smart on an interim basis and led the Gaels to a 6-16 record and a 7th place finish in the OUA East this season. 

Cowan should certainly be a candidate for the position however there are at least four others, all with impressive credentials, who should also garner an interest in this position at a prestigous University with several generations of loyal alumni hungry to win. 

At the top of this list is likely to be Craig Norman, a former CIS Coach-of-the-Year at RMC, where he led the Paladins to their only winning seasons in their CIS history, and former McGill Head Coach, giving him the experience of having worked at one of Canada's finest academic institutions.  Another former CIS Head Coach, Thom Gillespie, currently an Assistant Coach with Dalhousie Tigers also has been the Head man at Thompson Rivers University and at UNB where he led the Varsity Reds to their last CIS Final 8 appearance in the mid 2000's. 

Two other viable candidates include Rick Dilena, currently an Assistant at U of Toronto under Mike Katz, and Darrell Glenn, former Humber College Head Coach with several years experience working in Canada's national team program.  Dilena has prior Head Coaching experience at Humber, where he led the Hawks to a CCAA championship, and at Seneca College before joining his long-time colleague Katz at U of T.

As well, there are two other coaches with serious track records in the OUA West:  Ken Murray and Joe Raso, who built perennial national championship contenders at Brock (where Murray won two CIS National championships) and McMaster (where Raso qualified for 13 CIS national tournaments, getting to the championship game on 4 occasions and winning 4 Wilson Cup OUA championships) respectively and who would be tremendous additions to any basketball program although both have deep roots in Southern Ontario.

Expect a decision to be made as quickly as May 1st with applications being taken up to March 17th according to the job posting.


Anonymous said...

Any coaches ready to jump from the Women's side?

prizby said...

i was very impressed with Duncan Cowan when Queen's came to Laurentian this year. I had a great chat with him and he has a great vision for the Gaels team. I hope he is given the shot to lead them next year.

Anonymous said...

Can't see Raso or Murray pulling up stakes to take this job.
Sure, they both have big time credentials but both are getting a little long in the tooth.
Queen's needs a coach who is relatively young (in the 29-40 year old range) is solid technically, is a good teacher and motivator and is well connected in the basketball community.
Funny...just such a guy tried to get a job there about 15 years ago or so but got turned down and learn, eh?

Anonymous said...

Best thing to happen to the Queens Mens team was to get rid of Rob Smart. Even with the high academic standards, Duncan has been doing a pretty good job recruiting players who could be developed but within one or two years most of them quit because they had enough of the crap they had to take everyday.If Duncan is given a chance to develop the players he is able to recruit, things will look up for the Queens program. Its hard to win when you have 8-9 new guys every year - just ask the Raptors. I agree with the idea of a younger coach with lots of drive and energy.

Anonymous said...

To read Craig Norman's name mentioned as a top possibility for this position is just not right. During his entire coaching career, at RMC and then McGill, I believe he has something like 0 (zero) playoff victories. After being terminated at McGill, it would then make little sense for Queen's to hire him. Of course, this means that he is actually quite likely to be hired by Queen's (sarcasm intended), since CIS schools routinely hire the wrong coach to lead their program out of the wilderness. Being a young coach, or not, is completely irrelevant. Being a very good coach, or not, is what SHOULD actually matter most of all. Duncan Cowan is a young coach, but there has been no evidence, so far, that he is actually a very good coach. Thom Gillespie, in different places, hasn't done a good job for a long time. Highly unlikely that Ken Murray would be willing to relocate to Kingston to start over, after being forced out at Brock. Joe Raso would do a great job, but relocating to Kingston might not be in the cards for him, as well, after a terrific - and prematurely ended - run at Mac. This would then leave Mr. Dilena, Mr. Glenn and anyone else who might also choose to apply. If Queen's really wants to win, then, perhaps what they should be doing is asking the other coaches in the OUA East already - plus some former coaches - who they think is the person they would most NOT WANT to see get this job because that person is actually THE MOST READY to build a winning program for the Gaels, based on his experience to-date. If Queen's does the expected they won't hire anyone who is capable of making a meaningful difference in the OUA East. Let's hope that they actually step outside-of-the-box for once.

Anonymous said...

The #1 priority should be identifying a coach who is able to recruit student-athletes who can qualify for such a strong academic institution.

Anonymous said...

No evidence Cowan can coach?
What evidence was there that he can't? Sheesh. give the guy a break....who the hell would have hit the ground running with the cards he was dealt?
First, he wasn't even supposed to be the HC but Smart abruptly quit and the job got dumped on his lap.
He struggled of course, but given his circumstances, who wouldn't?
The team was decimated from last year and he really was at ground zero at the start.
At the end of the year there were signs things could turn around.
The team ended the year on a three game winning streak.
Yes, one of the games was against RMC but they also pounded York and 100 point production in two games.
And they beat Toronto in Toronto by 14.
I personally think he can coach.
You can do a lot worse Duncan Cowan and given the history of Queen's basketball, they've often have.

Anonymous said...

My vote is for DiLena. He would bring a breath of fresh air to the squad and is a renowned recruiter. He should be ready for the head coaching role. Besides he’s been mentored by Katz.