WATERLOO – After a nation-wide search, Wilfrid Laurier University is proud to announce the appointment of Paul Falco as the head coach of the Golden Hawk women’s basketball program. Paul will be joined by assistants Joy McNichol and Jennifer Russell-Smyth on the court for the 2008-09 season.
Falco, originally from Lynden, Ontario, replaces Stu Julius who left the Golden Hawk program to pursue other opportunities.
"Laurier has distinguished itself as a top academic and athletic
institution and I am thrilled to be taking on an increased role with the
basketball program," said newly minted head coach Paul Falco. "I am
looking forward to the opportunity of working with Joy and Jennifer, as we
continue the success of Golden Hawk women’s basketball."
Falco has extensive experience as both a coach and a varsity athlete. Starting out his varsity basketball career as a Laurentian Voyageur, Paul quickly turned that experience into a head coaching role with Canamera girls basketball. He continued to develop his coaching skills as both a men’s and women’s OBA coach. In 2000, Falco joined the Golden Hawk men’s basketball team as an assistant coach for Peter Campbell. Paul has recently completed a graduate certificate in physical and health education and coaching from Boston University and he currently resides in Breslau with his wife Sandy and two children.
“Paul has proven himself as an assistant coach with Peter Campbell and this will allow for a smooth transition,” stated PETER BAXTER, Director of Athletics and Recreation. “Together with his assistants, he brings both national and international experience to the program.”
Also joining the Hawks in coaching roles are Joy McNichol and Jennifer Russell-Smyth.
McNichol was a three-time OUA all-star and CIS rookie of the year while playing basketball at Laurentian University. She also won two provincial championships and made four appearances at Nationals. Once finishing her university career, Joy continued to play basketball professionally in Spain & the Netherlands from 1998 until 2001. McNichol also played for Team Canada’s senior national team from 1998 until 2000, including the Olympics in Sydney, Australia. More recently, she has started her career as a chiropractor, as well as being a high school basketball assistant coach for St. Augustine’s in Brampton. She is married and has one child.
Russell-Smyth was also an OUA all-star in university while playing with the University of Waterloo Warriors. Jennifer continued the play competitive senior women’s basketball in Toronto, Hamilton and Kitchener-Waterloo from 1985 to 2001. More recently, she has been coaching the Cambridge Centaurs of the OBA for the past ten years and working with Hamilton Health Sciences for the past 23 years as a certified prosthetist. Jennifer currently resides in Cambridge and is married with two children.Last season the women’s basketball program finished the season with a 9-13 record and lost to Windsor in the first round of the playoffs. They will open the 2008-09 regular season campaign against the University of Waterloo on October 29th, 2008 at 6:00 p.m. at Waterloo.