EDMONTON, AB - Another piece in Edmonton Stingers history was confirmed this morning, as University of Alberta Golden Bears head coach Barnaby Craddock was announced as the franchise’s inaugural head coach.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Barnaby as the first-ever head coach in Stingers franchise history,” said Stingers President and COO Lee Genier in a team release. “He has a proven track record as a winning coach on the national stage and has strong ties to the community. I know that the people of Edmonton are in for some very exciting basketball starting in May and Barnaby is the right person to lead the team in its historic inaugural season.”
“This is an exciting day for basketball in Edmonton,” said Craddock of the hiring. “(Professional basketball) has been a missing piece in Western Canada, and it’s fantastic for the community to see this type of talent. It’s a challenge I’m up for, and you don’t pass these types of opportunities up.”
A Proven Record
Since joining the Canadian Basketball national program in 2011, Craddock has accumulated a number of accolades as both an assistant and head coach. He’s the only coach in CIS basketball history to lead three separate programs to the National Championship Tournament and holds a record of 91-33 as the head coach of the University of Alberta Golden Bears. Recently, Craddock coached the Canadian Men’s Development team at the 2015 World University Games, finishing 7th in a field of 22. Craddock’s all-time CIS conference record stands at 131-81(.618) and includes a Canada West gold medal (2014), two Canada West silver medals (2007 and 2012), CIS silver medal (2007), CIS Bronze Medal (2014) and the 2007 CIS coach of the year award.
“It’s an exciting opportunity, and one you can’t say no to,” said Craddock of the decision to join the Stingers. “Professional basketball is something I got a chance to play, but I had to head over to Europe. Now, to be able to see Canadians get that opportunity here is great to be a part of.”
Craddock additionally confirmed he will retain the position of head coach with the Golden Bears.
“It works out time wise. I talked to the U of A and they were fantastic about it. All my work is going to the Golden Bears right now; we’ve got some people in place doing the GM work and the player personnel work for the Stingers. We’ve got a lot of infrastructure in place at the U of A, and in the summer months (when the CEBL season is active) we’re pretty set in what we need to do.”
Building a Roster
Craddock’s first task as head coach and general manager will be to build and recruit the Stingers inaugural ten-man roster. Last week, the league announced a landmark agreement with U SPORTS on the inaugural CEBL entry draft in mid-March, giving Craddock less than a month to prepare for the draft - something the new head coach is excited about.
“(Obviously), we’ll have to adjust (our style) to the personnel we bring in,” said Craddock. “I can’t see us playing slow in any fashion; we want to put some points on the board and play an exciting game of basketball. I think you’re going to see a real uptempo game and something that’s exciting for the fans. You’re going to see some names that everyone in Alberta and the Canadian basketball community knows playing for the Stingers.”
The Stingers were formally introduced on June 22nd, 2018 and will play their first league game at home in the Edmonton Expo Centre on Friday, May 10th at 7 PM. Stingers group and season tickets are now available online on the Stingers official website. Single-game tickets are expected to be announced shortly.
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