WATERLOO, Ont. (January 11, 2016) - Following a 34-year career patrolling the sidelines in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) basketball, Wilfrid Laurier men’s basketball Head Coach Peter Campbell has decided that he will be retiring following the conclusion of the 2015-16 season.
Campbell, who has spent the last 16 years as the head coach of the Golden Hawks, will finish his coaching career at Wilfrid Laurier as the all-time winningest coach in school history with 150 victories in 326 regular season games entering play this week.
“When the decision was made to hire Peter, an individual who had been a head coach at the national level and had so much success at Laurentian University, it served notice that Laurier was serious about competing in basketball,” commented Wilfrid Laurier Director of Athletics and Recreation PETER BAXTER. “He came as advertised right from the beginning, helping to return Laurier basketball to a level it hadn’t been at since the 1960’s and 70’s. His focus from the start was on the student-athlete, developing them academically and athletically.”
During his time with the purple and gold, Campbell transformed a Golden Hawks program that had struggled to find success since winning seven provincial and one national championship between 1963 and 1971, into a team that has made the playoffs in 14 consecutive seasons. In 2001-02, his second season with Laurier, Campbell was named Ontario University Athletics (OUA) West Coach of the Year after turning around a team that won just two games the year before to a 12-win team the next season.
Four years later, and boasting a veteran roster from his first recruiting class, Campbell and the Hawks qualified for the CIS Championship for the first time in 28 years thanks to playoff victories over Guelph and Brock. Laurier would go on to finish ninth at the national championship in Halifax after defeating the York Lions 76-65.
Known for putting a team on the floor that plays an entertaining style of basketball, Campbell has seen the Top 7 all-time leading scorers in school history play for him, including the Golden Hawks most decorated player of all-time Kale Harrison. A four-time OUA All-Star, Harrison earned CIS All-Canadian honours playing under Campbell in 2010-11, the first Golden Hawk to be named to the All-Canadian team since Loren Killion in 1977-78. Two years later, Campbell oversaw one of the best individual seasons in school history as Max Allin led the country in scoring and finished in the Top 10 for both assists and rebounds en route to being named a CIS All-Canadian. Both players have since moved on to play professional basketball in Australia.
Prior to joining the Golden Hawks, Campbell enjoyed a sparkling 15-year career with the Laurentian Voyageurs where he won two Wilson Cup championships in 1998 and 2000, was named OUA East Coach of the Year five times and made six appearances at the national championship. While with the Voyageurs, he also became one of two coaches in Canadian basketball history to be named the CIS and the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Coach of the Year when he took home CIS honours in 1996-97. He had previously won the CCAA Coach of the Year during his time as head coach of Fanshawe College’s women’s basketball team in 1983.
Campbell, who began his career in university basketball as an assistant coach with the Western Mustangs in 1982, has also worked extensively with both of Canada’s men’s and women’s national teams. He has twice won bronze medals as an assistant coach for Canada, including at the world championship with the women’s senior team in 1986 and in 2013 with the men’s cadet team at the FIBA Americas Championship. He has also served in a variety of capacities with Canada’s U21 and U18 teams, represented Canada six times at the FISU Summer Universiade, and served as an assistant coach at the Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia in 2001.
“When you are chosen on multiple occasions by Basketball Canada to represent your country and chosen by your peers across the nation as President of the CIS Basketball Coaches Association, it speaks volumes to his high reputation, leadership and contributions to the sport of basketball in Canada,” added Baxter.
Campbell and the Hawks, who currently sit tied for first in the OUA West division with a 4-3 record, resume their season this Wednesday, January 13 at 8 p.m. when they host the No. 4 Brock Badgers at the Athletic Complex. Including Wednesday’s game, Laurier will play five more times at home before their regular season home finale on Saturday, February 27 against the Waterloo Warriors where he will be recognized for his 16 years with the purple and gold.
Overall CIS Head Coaching Regular Season Record
305-233 (150-176 at Laurier at time of release)
- Six-time OUA Coach of the Year
- CIS Coach of the Year (1996-97)
- Two-time Wilson Cup Champion with Laurentian
- Seven appearances at National Championship
- Two-time Bronze Medalists as a Coach with Team Canada (1986 World Championship with Women’s National team, 2013 FIBA Americas Championship with Men’s Cadet team)
- Twice served as President of CIS Men’s Basketball Coaches Association
- Coach with Team Canada at FISU games on six occasions (2x with women, 4x with men)
- Coached with Team Canada’s U21 team & U18 teams
- Team Ontario Women’s Head Coach for six years, men’s coach for four years
- Assistant Coach with Team Canada Women’s National Team
- Assistant Coach for Canada at Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia
- Six former players have coached at the CIS level
- Inducted into Laurentian Voyageurs Hall of Fame in 2010
- Three-time OCAA Champions as Head Coach with Fanshawe College’s women’s team
- 1983 CCAA Coach of the Year, one of two coaches in Canadian history to be named CCAA Coach of the Year and CIS Coach of the Year
- Served as Intercollegiate Coordinator at Laurentian, serving on many OUA and CIS committees, including the OUA Management Committee, contributing greatly to interuniversity sport in Ontario and across Canada