The Alberta Golden Bears are turning to a former CIS coach of the year to take over their men’s basketball program.
Sources have told me the University of Alberta will name Fraser Valley Cascades coach Barnaby Craddock as head coach with an announcement that could come as early as Wednesday, a move that I first reported was likely late last week. A source requesting anonymity because the school has not yet announced the move told me Craddock has signed the contract and informed UFV players on Monday night that he would be leaving Abbotsford, B.C.
This past March, Craddock guided the Cascades to the national tournament for the first time in the program’s six-year CIS existence. The Cascades beat Lakehead in the first round and finished fourth at the eight-team tournament.
Craddock took over the upstart UFV program in the 2007-08 season, just months after having lead the Brandon Bobcats to the national final in his second year at the helm there. For his efforts that year in Brandon, Craddock was named the Canada West and CIS coach of the year. With his contract situation in Brandon in limbo in the summer of 2008, Craddock, a Vancouver product, took the chance to move back closer to home and accepted the Fraser Valley job.
With the Cascades a CIS program for only one season prior to his arrival, Craddock quickly made them a competitor in the Canada West, going 11-12 in conference play in 2007-08 with Craddock winning his first three conference games as coach. The team made the playoffs
for the first time in 2009-10 in his first season and had its best winning percentage last season when it went to its first conference championship, losing to eventual CIS silver medalist Alberta.
Craddock, who is an assistant coach with this summer’s U17 national team, his second straight year coaching in the national program, compiled a 52-57 record in five seasons at UFV and is 82-66 over seven seasons as a CIS head coach.
The Alberta job came available when former Bears head coach Greg Francis accepted the same position with the Waterloo Warriors on May 4. Francis had been the coach for three seasons after taking over for longtime coach Don Horwood. Francis went 40-24 at Alberta, his first CIS head coaching position.
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Update to come: Late tonight I will break down what this move means for Craddock, U of A and the team now without a coach, Fraser Valley.