Ex-Marauder takes the reins for Canada women’s team

Former McMaster Marauder and Dundas native Lisa Thomaidis is the new head coach of Canada’s Senior Women’s National Team.

And the appointment couldn’t make Canada Basketball president and Chief Executive Officer Wayne Parrish any happier, given Thomaidis’s wealth of knowledge and experience.

Photo: Canada Basketball

“We are very excited to announce Lisa Thomaidis as our next Canadian Senior Women’s National Team head coach. Lisa has played an integral role in the development of our nation’s basketball players, both as a national team assistant coach for the past 11 years and as the current head coach of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies in Canadian Interuniversity Sport.

“Having worked under the tutelage of successful former national team coaches Bev Smith and Allison McNeill, Lisa is ready to put her stamp on the program and continue its momentum.”

Thomaidis brings an in-depth knowledge of the game gathered from her time spent on the court. She was a member of the McMaster Marauders basketball program where she played her way to three Ontario University Athletics All-star selections. After graduating, Lisa honed her craft by playing professionally overseas in the highly-competitive Greek 1st Division.

Her time playing the game has translated into a strong understanding of the dedication and commitment necessary to lead from the bench. While at the helm of the Huskies, the program has consistently been ranked amongst the top 10 teams in the nation. The four-time Canada West Coach of the Year and two-time CIS Coach of the Year will provide leadership and guidance in not only developing players, but also fostering a strong team concept based on respect and responsibility, both on and off the court.

The collective efforts of players, coaches and personnel culminated in the senior team’s impressive run at the 2012 London Olympics. Thomaidis is now ready to build upon that success and take Team Canada to the next level.

“I am very excited to be given the opportunity to take the reins of the Senior Women’s National Team. What the team has accomplished in the past quadrennial is nothing less than tremendous, and I am looking forward to seeing what new heights we can reach.

“At the London Olympics, the team showed the world that we are a basketball nation to be reckoned with. I’m motivated and driven to make sure that we continue on this path of success and strive for even greater results on the international stage.”

The post vacated by long-time head coach McNeill received significant interest and the executive director of Canada Basketball, Michele O’Keefe, knows the organization has found the right person for the task. “We cast our net worldwide and concluded that the best candidate to lead our team is homegrown. The sport in Canada has progressed tremendously in the past decade and the energy surrounding the women’s program is palpable. Lisa is a world-class coach with over a decade of international experience. She is ready to share her vision with the program and lead Team Canada to the podium.”

The team’s next test comes in the form of this fall’s FIBA Americas Championship with a berth to the 2014 FIBA World Championships on the line. The focus remains on competing with the best teams in the world on the Olympic stage at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.