By Yoos, Cam on March 19, 2020.
Jermaine Small has been named the new head coach of the University of Lethbridge Pronghorn men’s basketball program, the 13th head coach in the program’s 51-year history.
Small, originally from Toronto, has most recently been the head coach and general manager of the Edmonton Stingers of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL).
“Jermaine’s coaching experience with other quality U SPORTS programs combined with his success with the CEBL Stingers allowed him to stand out as the best candidate for our new head coach,” said Sport and Recreation Executive Director Ken McInnes.
“We had an opportunity to interview several strong candidates and Jermaine was able to demonstrate how he was the best person to drive the development of a new path for our men’s program.”
Small was promoted to head coach and general manager with the Stingers last summer, following former Pronghorn and current Alberta Golden Bear head coach Barnaby Craddock’s resignation part way through the season.
Under Small, the Stingers went 10-2 and finished with a 14-6 record but lost to the eventual inaugural CEBL Champion Saskatchewan Rattlers in the championship semifinal.
“I am extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity,” said Small. “With a determined core group of returning players and a dedicated support system behind the program, I believe I’ll be able to step in and develop a style of play that will take us to a new level.”
Prior to joining the Stingers, Small was the lead assistant coach with Queen’s University for five seasons and spent the previous three seasons as an assistant coach with the Ryerson Rams.
With the Rams, Small had a key role in building Ryerson into one of the strongest university basketball programs in U SPORTS, including a trip to the national tournament in 2012.
Interim head coach James McKinnon, who led the Pronghorns to a 10-10 record and a fifth consecutive post-season appearance, made the decision to return to his native Australia to pursue other basketball opportunities.
“We owe a debt of gratitude to James for how hard he worked on behalf of the student athletes and the university,” said McInnes of McKinnon’s work as interim head coach.
“Unless one has been a head coach at the U SPORTS level, it is difficult to put into words the level of effort required to step into a program that late in the summer and have the success we enjoyed last season. We wish him all the best as he pursues opportunities back in Australia.”