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Nova Scotia native to coach UPEI women's basketball Panthers

Matt Gamblin watches his Mount Allison Mounties play the Holland College Hurricanes in Charlottetown during the 2017-18 basketball season.
Matt Gamblin watches his Mount Allison Mounties play the Holland College Hurricanes in Charlottetown during the 2017-18 basketball season. - Jason Malloy

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — The UPEI Panthers have their new women’s basketball head coach.

Matt Gamblin has signed a three-year contract to take over the program from Greg Gould, who retired a month ago after five seasons at the helm of the hoops Panthers.

Gamblin led the Mount Allison Mounties to the Atlantic Collegiate Athletics Association (ACAA) women’s basketball title this past season and went 1-2 as the host team for the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association championship. The Amherst, N.S., native was with the Mounties since April 2013.

“I feel both privileged and excited to join the family at UPEI,” said Gamblin. “It has been abundantly clear through the process that there is a deep commitment to growth and excellence on and off the court here. I am joining a program which is in great shape, with a strong core, and I can't wait to get started working with the team.”

The Panthers lost 80-58 to Acadia in the conference final last season after going 11-9 and finishing third in the regular season. The team can return 80 per cent of its starting lineup, including the last two Atlantic University Sport rookies of the year in guards Jenna Mae Ellsworth and Reese Baxendale, the reigning conference defensive player of the year in centre Carolina Del Santo and fifth-year forward Jane McLaughlin.

Before coaching the Mounties, Gamblin spent four years with the Amherst High School Vikings boys’ basketball program in the border town. After two years as assistant coach, he transitioned to head coach and led the team to a division 2 provincial championship. He has also worked as a coach for the Northumberland section of Basketball Nova Scotia’s regional training centre program.

Before coaching, he played for Team Nova Scotia on four different occasions. He played ACAA basketball at King’s College and Mount Saint Vincent University before a knee injury ended his playing career.

Chris Huggan, UPEI’s director of Athletics and Recreation, welcomes Gamblin, his wife, April, and son, Cohen, to the Panther family.

“Matt has been a head coach for seven years, and in that time, has led teams at both the high school and college level to championships,” he said. “He is a very knowledgeable, passionate and hard-working young man who builds champions both on and off the court. He is a proven winner and a great fit to lead our women's basketball team to many successes in the years to come.”
Gamblin begins June 1.

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Bench boss

A look at the UPEI Panthers women's basketball head coaches since 1969-70.

Current - Matt Gamblin

2015-16 to 2017-18, Greg Gould

2014-15, Mark English

2012-13 to 2013-14, Greg Gould

2009-10 to 2011-12, Carly Clarke

2006-07 to 2008-09, Dave MacNeill

2004-05 to 2005-06, Reagh Vidito

1993-94 to 2003-04, Tracy Ellsworth

1991-92 to 1992-93, Dave (Hermie) MacNeill

1990-91, Len Lang

1983-84 to 1989-90, Dave (Hermie) MacNeill

1979-80 to 1982-83, George Morrison

1978-79, Dave (Hermie) MacNeill

1976-77 to 1977-78, Barb Mullaly

1975-76, Sharon McLure

1969-70 to 1974-75, Barb Mullaly

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