Coaching Association of Canada

Lisa Thomaidis named 2015 Jack Donohue “Coach of the Year”

For immediate release

Winnipeg (November 13, 2015) – The Coaching Association of Canada (CAC) is pleased to announce that Lisa Thomaidis, Head Coach of Canada Basketball’s Senior National Women’s Team, is the 2015 recipient of the Jack Donohue “Coach of the Year” award. The award was handed out at the Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Awards Gala Friday night at the Delta Winnipeg hotel.

The gala recognizes Canada’s most dedicated, inspiring, and successful coaches. Annually, award recipients are honoured for exemplifying the values and competencies of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP) and for their influence in positively shaping the Canadian sport community. The event was emceed by multi-Paralympic medalists Elisabeth Walker-Young and Stephanie Dixon, respectively Chef de Mission and Assistant Chef de Mission at the Toronto 2015 Parapan Am Games.

The “Coach of the Year” award recognizes a coach who exemplifies the great qualities that made Jack Donohue the legendary coach he was. These qualities include honesty, integrity, a positive attitude, competitiveness, a love of the sport, and that sport is about more than just wins and losses.

“Lisa, a Chartered Professional Coach (ChPC), has a positive attitude and a love of sport that are infectious. That has served as the foundation from which her athletes and support staff turned in two gold medal performances, with only a few weeks from podium to podium. She is a role model for all coaches with a strong ethical foundation as a leading competitive coach in Canada,” said Lorraine Lafrenière. “We are extremely proud of Lisa and she epitomizes the traits that Jack Donohue exemplified.”

For the past 3 years, Lisa Thomaidis has taken on the leadership role of the Senior Women National Team as its head coach and most recently lead it to a gold medal performance at the 2015 Toronto Pan American Games and to a first-place finish at the FIBA Americas tournament, clinching a Rio Olympic Games berth in the process.

Apart from being a fixture with the Senior Women’s National Basketball Team for the last fifteen years, Thomaidis has been behind the bench as the head coach of the University of Saskatchewan women’s basketball team for the past seventeen seasons. Under Thomaidis’ guidance, her university team has qualified for Nationals in 8 of the last 10 seasons and has been consistently ranked in the CIS Top 10.

For Lisa Thomaidis, the award is truly a reflection of an amazing summer of accomplishment. “Being recognized as the Jack Donohue Award winner is certainly a wonderful feeling. To be named a recipient of an award whose namesake is a legendary Canadian basketball coach, makes it extra special. I’m honoured to have played a part in this historical summer and want to acknowledge all of the world-class staff who also contributed greatly to the teams’ success,” she said.

Off the court, Lisa is an advocate of long-term athlete development. She understands the importance of the various stages of developmental programs and works closely with Canada Basketball personnel to develop stage-appropriate legacy materials for the education and training of young athletes in the Canadian system. She also shares her knowledge with coaches and leaders at technical summits and attends age-group camps to speak directly to athletes. She emphasizes the mental, cognitive, and emotional development in all that she does with her athletes.

For pictures and videos of Lisa Thomaidis and the Gala, please click on the following links: VIDEOS - PHOTOS.

Previous winners of the Jack Donohue “Coach of the Year” Award:

2014: Gerald Dragomir, ChPC, Athletics
2013: Joan McDonald, ChPC, Archery
2012: David Ross, ChPC, Gymnastics (trampoline)
2011: Marcel Lacroix, ChPC, Speed Skating
2010: Melody Davidson, ChPC, Ice Hockey
2009: Steve Bush, ChPC, Water Ski & Wakeboard
2008: Tim Frick, ChPC, Wheelchair Basketball
2007: Paul Kristofic, ChPC, Alpine Skiing
2006: Xiuli Wang, ChPC, Speed Skating
2005: Patrick Oaten, ChPC, Water Polo
2004: Kelly Manjak, ChPC, Gymnastics
2003: Michel Larouche, ChPC, Diving

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About the Coaching Association of Canada

The Coaching Association of Canada unites stakeholders and partners in its commitment to raising the skills and stature of coaches, and ultimately expanding their reach and influence. Through its programs, the CAC empowers coaches with knowledge and skills, promotes ethics, fosters positive attitudes, builds competence, and increases the credibility and recognition of coaches.


For more information, contact:

Michel Hachey
Manager, Communications
Coaching Association of Canada
613.235.5000 x 2382
613.858.0242 (Nov. 11-15)