HAMILTON — Chantal Vallee has been named coach and general manager of the Canadian Elite Basketball League‘s Hamilton Honey Badgers, making her the first woman to hold down both roles with a professional men’s basketball team.
Vallee is currently in her 14th year as head coach of the University of Windsor women’s basketball team. She guided the Lancers to a record five consecutive U Sports titles from 2011-2015 and has a collegiate winning percentage of .791 (351-93).
She has been named U Sports women’s basketball coach of the year twice (2013-14, 2014-15).
“We are at an unprecedented time of growth for basketball across Canada,” Vallee said in a statement. “The Canadian Elite Basketball League is the first national league with a vision, financial resources, and executive expertise in running major professional sports organizations to be able to truly play an instrumental role in furthering the development of basketball in this country.”
Vallee, a Montreal native, also becomes the second woman to be named head coach of a men’s professional team. Nancy Lieberman coached Texas in the NBA Development League (now G League) to a 24-26 record in 2010-11.
The CEBL begins play in 2019 with six teams: Hamilton, Edmonton, Niagara (St. Catharines, Ont.), Saskatchewan (Saskatoon), Guelph, and Fraser Valley (Abbotsford, B.C.). Hamilton’s first-ever game is scheduled for May 12 against visiting Edmonton.