Mark Forward of the Mount Saint Vincent University (MSVU) Mystics has been named the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year.
He received the award at the 2019 CCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship banquet, hosted by Cégep de Sainte-Foy in Sainte Foy, QC.
Forward guided the Mystics to an 18-0 record and first-place finish in the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA).
“Despite losing several key players from last year’s squad, Mark led the Mystics to a perfect season in the ACAA and a third straight trip to CCAA Nationals,” said Mai-Anh Nguyen, CCAA Women’s Basketball Convenor. “He is always able to get the very best out of his student-athletes.”
Forward has been able to continue the momentum the Mystics developed last season, when they finished fourth at the CCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship. He has successfully transferred that energy, work ethic and intensity into this season.
He is a complete coach who insures that his players are finding their way and succeeding both academically and athletically. He is also an excellent communicator who truly cares about his student-athletes, both on and off the court.
Forward, who played for MSVU from 1988-92 and was a two-time CCAA All-Canadian, has been named the ACAA Coach of the Year the last three seasons.
He facilitates several coaching clinics in the community and is often a guest coach at numerous club programs. He annually facilitates a youth camp for girls ages 12-17 and is the mentor coach for a girls basketball club in Halifax (U15, U16, U18).
“Mark’s hard work, professionalism and integrity as a person is truly appreciated and valued by his student athletes, coaches and coworkers,” said June Lumsden, Director of Athletics & Recreation at Mount Saint Vincent University. “The Mount is very proud of coach Forward’s accomplishments and his contribution to the CCAA, ACAA, his community, the Mount and our student athletes.”
CCAA Coach of the Year winners receive a customized ring provided by Jostens Canada, the Official Ring Supplier of the CCAA Championship Awards Banquet.
Bryce led VIU to a 17-1 record and first-overall finish in the PACWEST. In his second season with the Mariners, the former CCAA Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year continues to inspire his players with his passion, heart and dedication to excellence. His student-athletes have bought into “what it takes”. Bryce is proud of the fact that many of his former players are now involved in coaching. He loves assisting them when they ask for technical, leadership or discipline advice.
Harrison guided the Broncos to a 17-4 record and second-place finish in the ACAC South Division. Since inheriting a team that went 5-16 two seasons ago, Harrison has overseen a significant improvement with the Broncos program. He has recruited in some exceptional student-athletes to add to his already strong roster and has worked hard to utilize all their individual strengths to develop them into an outstanding team. Harrison believes that coaching is about using sport as a vehicle for developing student-athletes into future community leaders.
Carriere led Fanshawe to a 19-1 record and first-place finish in the OCAA West Division. The team set numerous Falcons records in winning their first OCAA Women’s Basketball title in 16 years. Carriere provides a true family atmosphere and ensures each student-athlete has a great experience. He is heavily involved with ONERUN, a grassroots charity founded by his wife (and associate coach) Theresa. Since 2010, ONERUN has raised more than $1 million, which goes directly to supporting cancer patients and their families.
Williams guided the Blues to a 12-2 record and tie for first place in the always competitive RSEQ. Dawson, which has earned back-to-back CCAA silver medals, has improved defensively this season and has more depth off the bench which provides more flexibility to run schemes. Williams’ goal is to help his young student-athletes transition into adulthood by using basketball as a tool in attaining valuable life skills. In the off-season, he operates a camp that employs more than 50 athletes as counselors.