U of W hoops coach joins Sea Bears
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The Winnipeg Sea Bears didn’t have to look far to find a key addition the team’s coaching staff.
Mike Raimbault has been added as assistant coach to the staff of Mike Taylor, head coach and general manager, for the Sea Bears’ inaugural season in the Canadian Elite Basketball League.
Raimbault, a Brandon product, has led the University of Winnipeg Wesmen men’s team since 2010.
“It’s a really great opportunity for me to learn and to be around some other really great coaches and get a chance to see the league up close and personal and follow how the team progresses,” Raimbault said Wednesday. “And, hopefully, I can do my best to help out in whatever way I’m asked to.”
Raimbault had no prior relationship with Taylor but said he was approached shortly after his boss came aboard.
“We just started to have basketball conversations and it was really good for me down the tail stretch of our season, to have another basketball mind to ask some questions as he was following what was going on with our season. We just continued those conversations along the way,” said Raimbault, who owns a 167-161 overall record with the Wesmen and led the program to a Canada West conference silver medal and the national U Sports elite eight this season.
It didn’t take much to convince the Wesmen head coach to join Winnipeg’s new professional club.
“Oh, easy sell. An opportunity to be in the gym and give back a little bit and sit a couple of seats over and give my input as best that I can. It’s a really great opportunity,” said Raimbault, who will be able to return to his post with the Wesmen after the CEBL season.
“It’s such an exciting opportunity for the entire community. As soon as I heard that a team was coming here, I was really interested in — sort of selfishly, from a basketball perspective — having the opportunity to check out the way they do things and have a potential learning opportunity for myself. It should be a lot of fun.”
Taylor has assembled what appears to be a veteran staff, with Ryan Thomson (assistant general manager), Josh Reddy (video co-ordinator), William Gatchalian (analytics) and Juwan Brown (player development) all joining the organization.
Thomson has spent the last five years coaching the University of Lakehead Thunderwolves program in Thunder Bay, Ont. He previously held an assistant GM role with the Fraser Valley Bandits of the CEBL (now Vancouver Bandits).
Gatchalian has spent six years with the Brock University Badgers men’s program, most recently as the assistant coach. He previously served on the staff of the then-Hamilton Honey Badgers of the CEBL (now Brampton Honey Badgers).
Brown has climbed as high as the NBA G League, where he was a special assistant to the head coach and director of player development with the Texas Legends.
Reddy helped the perennial powerhouse University of Victoria Vikes to two straight conference titles in his two years and previously served as a coach with the Fraser Valley Bandits. He also coached with Canada Basketball.
Joshua Frey-Sam happily welcomes a spirited sports debate any day of the week.
Updated on Wednesday, April 26, 2023 9:59 PM CDT: Fixes typo in cutline
Updated on Thursday, April 27, 2023 12:03 PM CDT: Changes tile photo