Barrie takes the reins

Stephan Barrie becomes the new head coach of the men’s basketball team

Stephan Barrie was unveiled as the new head coach of the Queen’s Men’s basketball team this week. Barrie’s selection came after a national search that included 38 applicants and an extensive interview process.

“We were particularly impressed with Coach Barrie’s commitment to continue learning,” said Leslie Dal Cin, Director of Athletics and Recreation. “It’s a great message to send our student athletes. He’s very active professionally in terms of his own personal development, and he is committed to the emerging trends, which means that he is delivering the most current knowledge to our student-athletes.”

In joining Queen’s, Barrie leaves the Western basketball program, where he spent the past five seasons as the head basketball coach of the women’s team. Barrie esaid that his decision was prompted by a desire to return to the men’s game.

“I’ve been looking to get back into the men’s game in the past couple years,” said Barrie. “Once the season ended, this job was something that I was interested in, and fortunately, I was selected for the position.

Barrie also said that the resources offered by Queen’s Athletics and Recreation played a major role in his decision.

“For me it was a no-brainer. The commitment that the department has made to the program is very clear, and it made my decision was an easy one,” Barrie said. “I want to be in a place that can provide the resources to win, and this is obviously the case here.”

Barrie takes over from Duncan Cowan, who had assumed the head coaching role in October. Cowan, a former Queen’s player, had also been an assistant coach for the previous five seasons, and played a major role in recruiting, planning and day-to-day operations. Cowan was unavailable for comment.

Barrie has a lot to do in order to develop a competitive team. The men finished the past season with a 6-16 record, and Barrie explained that results might not come right away.

“We’re going to focus on the process over the results. While we will have long-term goals, the day-to-day behaviour is what will lead us to success down the road,” explained Barrie. “We will make a commitment to how we’re going to be, how we’re going to practice, and how we’re going to represent the school. Those are the things that will, slowly but surely, head us in the right direction.” When asked about next year’s goals, Barrie was non-committal.

“There is no magic formula, it’s a process,” he said. “It takes hard work and dedication, but when you put those things together, the rewards are there at the end.

That being said, Barrie did provide some insight into the style of play that he would like his team to adopt.

“We want to have a team with players that share the ball, and a team that has a high skill level.” Barrie said. “At the same time, we are going to want an element of toughness. So while we want players who can pass, and handle, and shoot, we also want those same players to be diving on the floor, winning 50/50 balls, and taking charges.”

Although the men’s team is coming off a disappointing season, Barrie said that there are many positives to take into the off-season. He said that the team’s strong play at the end of the season sets the right tone for the future.

“There will be some rebuilding, but there were some positive swings at the end of the season,” Barrie said. “The recruiting class that Duncan Cowan has put together could make a big difference. Once we have the team assembled, we are going to work diligently to reach our potential, whatever this will be.”

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