‘A dream come true’: Claire Meadows named women’s basketball head coach

Former Gael will become Queen’s only female head coach

Image supplied by: Queen's University Athletics
Meadows has been the head coach of the Canadian Juniors Women’s national team.

Queen’s announced on May 14 that Claire Meadows (B.PhE ‘07) will take up the position of women’s basketball head coach starting in 2021.

Meanwhile, former bench boss Dave Wilson will return as the Head Coach for the 2020-2021 season despite announcing his retirement following the 2018-19 season. He ran the program for 38 years, racking up a career record of 385-333, appearing in five OUA East Championships/Final Four, winning three OUA East Division Championships, one OUA Championship, and making four U Sports Championship appearances. 

Wilson was OUA Coach of the Year in 1993, 1998, 2014, and 2017, and was U Sports Coach of the Year in 2017.

From 2002-2007, Meadows was an acclaimed shooting guard for the Queen’s women’s basketball team while pursuing  bachelor’s degrees in kinesiology and education. During her time as a Gael, she received the University Award of Merit, finished second all-time in scoring, was an OUA first-team all-star, and was nominated as a U Sports All-Canadian.

After completing her degrees at Queen’s, she ventured out west to the University of Victoria to complete her Master of Education in coaching. 

Meadows has been coaching professionally since 2011 as Assistant Coach at the University of Alberta. Since, she’s been Head Coach of the Basketball Alberta Centre for Performance, Assistant Coach at University of Lethbridge, Head Coach at University of British Columbia Okanagan, Assistant Coach for Canada Junior Women’s National Team, and Head Coach of the Canadian National Junior Women’s Basketball Team.

Most recently, the Queen’s alumna is coming off of a flawless run as an associate head coach for the Saskatchewan Huskies, a position which she’s held since 2018. 

In her two seasons there, she helped the team win two Canada West championships and most recently, the 2019-20 U Sports National Championship.

After being out west for years, the Brantford, Ontario native is excited for her return to Kingston.  

“You can sum it up as a dream come true […] I love Kingston. It’s such a great city,” Meadows told The Journal.

Meadows’s hiring marks a progressive shift in Queen’s athletics, as she will be the only female head coach of a Queen’s varsity team.

“I always say, if you can’t see it, you can’t be it […] Without women in coaching developing these women, if [female players] don’t see it, if they don’t see women in coaching, they’re not going to want to be it. They’re not going to be inspired to be it.”

“I think this is a huge step. I think it’s an important step.”

Meadows took note of the importance of Athletics Director Leslie Dal Cin’s entry into Queen’s back in 2007 and her vision for female coaches. 

“I know that Leslie is doing a lot and has done a lot to support the development of female coaches. She has a lot of things in place in the department to get more female coaches in coaching. So, I’m excited to be that first person,” she said. 

“Hopefully, we can continue to see more come along and come through to the program.” 

Meadows also expressed excitement about the upgrade in facilities since she was a student athlete, and for the players and staff that Queen’s has in place for her to work with. 

“I think that there’s a lot of great pieces already in place. And for me, it’s coming in, it’s building off of those pieces, adding obviously a few to fill some gaps that I see,” she said.

“At the end of the day, we got to get in the gym. We got to get to work. And, yeah, just really understand, you know, what it’s going to take to get to that next step. We’re close. We’ve been close. But we got to take, you know, a bigger step.”



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