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Campbell awarded for coaching excellence

TORONTO (June 9, 2016) - Wilfrid Laurier men's basketball head coach Peter Campbell, who announced his retirement at the end of last season, was honoured by Canadian Interuniversity Sport on Wednesday night as he was awarded the Jean-Marie De Koninck Coaching Excellence Award.

Campbell coached at Laurier for 16 years and coached in the OUA for 31 years. The Jean-Marie De Koninck Award recognizes his outstanding contribution to university sport as deominstrated by long-term commitment and leadership as a coach at the local, provincial, and national level.

At Laurier, Peter Campbell holds the record as the all-time winningest coach in school history with 150 victories in 326 regular season games.

“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 Laurier's 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. 

Three others were honoured at the CIS annual meeting; reporter Rita Mingo took home the Fred Sgambati Media Award, athletic director Gilles D'Amboise received the Austin-Matthews Award, and lawyer Michael Sherrard accepted the L.B. Mike Pearson Award.

“On behalf of the entire CIS membership, in particular our 12,000 student-athletes and 700 coaches, I wish to congratulate our 2016 award recipients,” said Graham Brown, chief executive officer of CIS. “Each of them exemplify passion and leadership in university sport, and we are honoured to show them our sincere appreciation.”

-with files from the CIS

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