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Men’s basketball coach John Campbell leaving Dal to coach at U of T

Tigers men's basketball coach John Campbell, in white, is leaving Dalhousie. (Chris Parent photo)
Tigers men’s basketball coach John Campbell, in white, is leaving Dalhousie. (Chris Parent photo)

After 11 seasons, Dalhousie men’s basketball coach John Campbell is moving on. He is accepting the head coaching position at the University of Toronto.

Campbell will replace interim head coach Rick Dilena this fall for the Varsity Blues. Campbell confirmed to the Dalhousie Gazette that the University of Toronto will make a public announcement tomorrow.

Under Campbell, the Tigers won two AUS titles (2008-09, 2010-11) and tallied a 96-124 regular season record. His team qualified for the playoffs in eight of his 11 seasons, including in his final seven campaigns.

Last season, he turned a dismal 2-7 team at the holiday break into a confident program, which ended the year on a 9-4 tear. The Tigers succumbed to St. Francis Xavier in the quarterfinals.

Nick Boole, a rookie with the Tigers, said he heard rumblings that Campbell may take on a new job.

“I had been hearing rumours, I’ve never really spoken to him about it. All I know is that I didn’t want him to leave,” he said upon learning the news. “Like very disappointed, actually. New system, new everything—we’ll have to relearn everything.”

Representatives at University of Toronto and Dalhousie University were unavailable for comment.

Before joining the Tigers, Campbell spent five years coaching women’s basketball at his alma mater, Laurentian University. He led the Lady Vees to two Ontario championships. Prior to that, he coached men’s basketball at Cambrian College (CCAA), and was an assistant with CIS programs in Victoria in 1996 and Laurentian in 1994.

Campbell was recently an assistant coach with the Britain U20 team that finished sixth at the European Championships in 2012, and helped lead Canada to a silver medal at the 2011 FISU Games in China.

At the University of Toronto, Campbell will be challenged to rebuild a sluggish program, a task reminiscent to his early tenure at Dalhousie where his team missed the playoffs from 2004-06. The Toronto school finished with a 3-17 record this past season, tied for last place in Ontario.


Read our updated version here.

Ian Froese
Ian Froese
Ian was the Gazette's Editor-in-chief for Volume 146. He was the Sports Editor for Volumes 145 and 144.
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