WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Sea Bears of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) have re-signed 2023 CEBL Coach of the Year Mike Taylor for the 2024 and 2025 seasons.

The Sea Bears have given Taylor a full-time, year-round contract, a rarity in the CEBL. Taylor joins Kyle Julius of the Vancouver Bandits as the only head coaches signed to yearlong multi-year deals. 

Taylor served as the inaugural head coach and general manager for the Sea Bears in 2023, leading the team to a 12-8 record to tie for the best in the Western Division. The veteran coach helped the expansion Sea Bears establish themselves as a scoring threat that averaged a western-leading 90.1 points per game.

In Taylor’s first tenure as a CEBL general manager, he signed three players that would go on to win prestigious CEBL major awards, including the league’s top accolade in Most Valuable Player, Teddy Allen. The team’s first overall draft pick, Simon Hildebrandt, was named U SPORTS Player of the Year while British import, Jelani Watson-Gayle, earned Sixth Man of the Year honours. With Taylor rounding out the list as Coach of the Year, his Sea Bears became the most-awarded team at a CEBL Championship Awards Ceremony.

The passionate coach also made history as the first to challenge a call under new CEBL rules on June 29th against Niagara.

Taylor’s strong commitment to the Winnipeg community will continue and amplify with this new deal. He will look to build off the success of his player and coaches’ clinics from 2023, offered free to Manitoba basketball enthusiasts. Taylor took part in a second clinic on Oct. 20 to share insights with local coaches and will lead a youth camp for underserved children on Nov. 29.

Taylor’s return to the team comes after spending time as a colour commentator for the FIBA World Cup in Manila, Philippines. 

Previously to joining the Sea Bears, Taylor served as the head coach for the CEBL’s Fraser Valley Bandits and coached the Polish National Team. The established bench boss has already seen a wealth of success and accolades, including raising the Polish team’s rank from 42 to 13. He led the squad to a top eight finish at the World Cup in 2019.

Off the court, Taylor is known as a positive, friendly person whose coaching style brings teams together to create environments in which athletes excel. The family man hailing from Jacksonville, FL, has two sons with his wife, Alice.


“I love Winnipeg and am so excited to continue building the Sea Bears organization on and off the floor. Last summer was a dream come true, and I am thankful for owner David Asper, president Jason Smith and everyone in our organization. Our outstanding coaching staff and our talented players made our first season something special. Winnipeg showed us so much love and Sea Bears fans gave us record-breaking support. Sometimes, you just fit with people, a city or a team and I feel that way about Winnipeg. I am really excited about the challenges ahead and pursuing our dream goal of a CEBL Championship together,” Winnipeg Sea Bears head coach and general manager, Mike Taylor.

“We are thrilled to welcome reigning CEBL Coach of the Year Mike Taylor back to Winnipeg through the 2025 season. Mike represents the values and work ethic we want to foster at our organization and he has fit in seamlessly, creating a winning culture in our very first year. He has been extremely dedicated to both the team and our community, holding coaching clinics and player camps throughout the summer. His two-year contract extension will allow us to continue this vital programming year-round, and will provide additional opportunities to expand our community engagement going forward,” said Jason Smith, president of the Winnipeg Sea Bears.


Winnipeg Sea Bears, Manitoba Bisons and Winnipeg Wesmen launch Winter Sea Bears Initiative

WINNIPEG – The Winnipeg Sea Bears, in partnership with the University of Winnipeg and University of Manitoba, are launching a new initiative aimed to give underserved children more opportunities to learn the game of basketball. 

The organization has created the 'Winter Sea Bears', an offseason program that will connect underserved children with high-quality basketball instruction through clinics with University of Winnipeg Wesmen, University of Manitoba Bisons, and Sea Bears players and coaches. 

The goal of the program is to give youth a place to learn skills so that they may development lifelong habits and reap the benefits of sport and activity. 

The Sea Bears, Wesmen and Bisons want all children to feel cared for and connected to their community, regardless of their ability or socioeconomic status. 

"We saw just how powerful basketball was in uniting community this past season and want to continue that work year-round. This initiative allows us to reach underserved youth and give them all the benefits that come with active participation in sport, from the mental and physical attributes to life learnings and skills," said Jason Smith, president of the Winnipeg Sea Bears. 

"We are so excited to be part of a program in collaboration with the Sea Bears, and our colleagues at the University of Winnipeg," added University of Manitoba Athletic Director Gene Muller.

"This partnership aims to fuze our passion, resources and talent to create a community that cares about the sport. There is a renaissance of basketball in the province of Manitoba. It's evidenced by the success of the Sea Bears, it's evidenced by the fact that we sold out a playoff game between the University of Manitoba and University of Winnipeg, and it's evidenced by the fact that we are hosting the Canada West Championship that will see 12 teams coming to the University of Manitoba next year. We understand the benefits of collaboration and how that contributes to a growing and healthy community."

The Winter Sea Bears' first camp is scheduled for Nov. 29th at Sport Manitoba. Youth enrolled with BGC Winnipeg (formerly the Boys and Girls Club) will have the opportunity to learn under Sea Bears head coach Mike Taylor, CEBL U SPORTS Player of the Year, Simon Hildebrandt, and other members of both the men's and women's university programs.  

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