Queen’s basketball coach Dave Wilson taught valuable lessons in life

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WATCH: After a 38-year basketball career, Dave Wilson is stepping down as head coach of the Queen's Gaels – Apr 22, 2019

After 38 years of coaching women’s basketball at Queen’s University, head coach Dave Wilson has announced his retirement.

Wilson began his coaching career with the Gaels in 1981 and has amassed 385 wins.

He led Queen’s to the Ontario University championship in 2001 and is a four-time OUA coach of the year. In 2017 he was honoured as the U Sports coach of the year after leading his team to another national championship appearance.

Wilson says it was a very difficult decision, one that he and his family struggled with.

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“I love what I do here at Queen’s, but this was an opportunity to spend more time with my wife,” said Wilson.

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“We’ve got a spot down in Florida and we plan to get away from the Canadian winter. We’re going to be snowbirds who enjoy the warm weather and each other’s company.”

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Wilson says there’s a lot to miss about the job he did for nearly four decades, though, especially the relationship he had with his players.

“That’s what I’ll miss the most,” said the respected bench boss.

“It’s not about putting the orange ball in the orange hoop. It’s about working with the players on a daily basis and having the opportunity to help them grow.”

Wilson says his biggest accomplishment had nothing to do with wins and losses. It was teaching his athletes to be responsible both on and off the court.

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“That’s what I hope I was able to do,” continued Wilson, who also coached the Canadian team at the World University Games in Thailand in 2007.

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“I wanted young people to become responsible and understand the ramifications of all the decisions they make in life. Hopefully, I’ve been able to help a few people with that.”

Most impressively, his athletes have a 100 per cent graduation rate in his career as a coach.

James Bambury takes over as the interim head coach for the 2019-20 season. He has been a full-time assistant with the Gaels since 2012.

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