The Manitoba Bison men’s basketball team will have a new head coach and
new direction after the 2008-09 season. After 23 years at the helm of
the Bison men’s basketball program, head coach Rick Suffield has
announced his decision to make this season his final season at the helm
of the Herd.  “I have made the decision that this will be my last year as the head
basketball coach at the University of Manitoba”, stated Suffield. graduated from McGill University, where he was a starter as a football and a basketball player. He was selected Coach of the Year in the GPAC on four different occasions (1980-81 with Lakehead, 1985-86, 1990-91, and the 1994-95 seasons). Following the 1985-86 season, Suffield was also named the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) Coach of the Year.

Suffield, 57, has coached the Bisons since 1983 and has coached the university team for the last 23 years while producing over 400 wins as well as a 148-44 W/L record at the high school level at Montreal and Winnipeg.

“I have made the decision that this will be my last year as the head
basketball coach at the University of Manitoba”, stated Suffield.

Suffield continued, “I have chosen to announce at this time in order to facilitate a national search for a head coach to start a new era in basketball at the University of Manitoba. There is a very good graduating recruiting class this year in Manitoba and I would like them all to have the opportunity to be able to stay home and play at the University of Manitoba next year. This is a positive move for Rick Suffield, a positive move for the men’s basketball program and a very positive move in developing coaches to move our province forward at the community, high school, provincial, and university levels.”

Dean of the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management Jane Watkinson said, “This is an opportunity to celebrate a 23 year university coaching career and at the same time develop a new Coaching Program for students who may currently study in other disciplines but who have developed into ‘sport experts’, through their involvement in sport. These students will be given an opportunity, following their degree, or in conjunction with their degree, to study coaching pedagogy under the direction of outstanding CIS coaches at the University of Manitoba. Rick’s knowledge of coaching, his enthusiasm for the development of future generations of coaches for the province, and his years of experience in the CIS will be very important to the development of this new program. We are very excited that he wants to make this contribution to sport in the province.”

Suffield enthused, “I very much appreciate the opportunity to coordinate and develop a Coaching Diploma Program in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management. The fact that it will be the first of its kind in Canada and that annually, up to 24 educated, motivated NCCP-certified coaches will graduate from the program in various sports and move into our amateur sport system makes it even more appealing.”

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