Get the latest summer forecast and weather knowledge from Cindy Day
Want to become a member? Check out the benefits here.
SaltWire's cartoonists bring heart and humour to the news.
Visit SaltWire.com for more of the stories you want.
SaltWire Selects: Stories you don't want to miss
What you need to know about COVID-19: August 12, 2020
McGill University didn’t have to look far to find its new men’s basketball coach.
The university introduced Ryan Thorne Thursday as the replacement for David DeAveiro, who left in April to accept the coaching job at Ryerson University in Toronto.
The 48-year-old Thorne has spent the past 17 seasons as head coach of the McGill women’s program. He led the Martlets to seven Quebec league titles and their first national championship in 2017. He was named U Sports women’s basketball coach of the year in 2016 and is a six-time recipient of the Quebec university coach-of-the-year award.
“It has taken me considerable time to think about this change,” Thorne said. “It was actually a very tough decision for me because I love the women’s program and the staff that I worked with, but I believe this is the right move.
“Coaching is coaching,” he added. “The important thing is to get to know the new players and build relationships. There are only so many things you can do with Xs and Os. I’ve learned the important thing is to take the players to where they want to go rather than take them where I think they should go.”
The COVID-19 pandemic will make building those relationships more challenging. McGill and its athletic facilities are currently shuttered and there’s even a question of whether there will be a basketball season in the coming school year.
“We’re still waiting for government guidelines, but the coaches across Canada have proposed a 16-game schedule beginning in January,” Thorne said.
Thorne guided the Martlets to more wins than any other basketball coach in school history, posting a 277-221 overall record in 498 career games. Over the past 10 years, he guided the Martlets to six first-place finishes and an unprecedented seven consecutive RSEQ league titles from 2012 to 2018. In the Quebec conference, Thorne had a 153-119 regular-season record and was 26-17 in post-season play. In seven appearances at the Final Eight national championship, his Martlets had a 12-9 record, winning gold in 2017 and silver in 2015.
Thorne served as president of the Canadian University Women’s Basketball Association. He has been part of the Canada Basketball Women’s High Performance program for the past five years, serving as an assistant with the 2015 senior development team that won a silver medal in South Korea, and the junior program, which won silver in Chile (2016), bronze in Italy (2017) and silver in Mexico (2018).
Thorne holds his Level III certification and earned his coaching stripes as an assistant for two years under Lisen Moore with the Martlets before being elevated to head coach in September 2003. He was hired full-time at McGill in 2006 and also serves as a basketball instructor in the McGill department of kinesiology and physical education.
Thorne has served on the board of directors for the West Island Black Community Associations (Youth & Recreations committee) and launched a summer basketball program in LaSalle. Using his platform at McGill, Thorne created the first annual Black History Month Game, raising funds to assist Black youth with the financial burden of university studies in Canada.
During his playing days, Thorne had a stellar career. He played at Argyle Academy in Verdun and then John Abbott College, where he was team captain and most valuable player.
At Bishop’s University, Thorne was team captain and MVP, guiding the Gaiters to a national championship in 1998 before graduating in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree, majoring in economics. A three-time conference all-star in the Quebec league, Thorne earned honourable mention in the 1998-99 all-Canadian voting and was named the male athlete of the year at Bishop’s.
Thorne is the father of one son and two daughters.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020