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Kuzminski named CCAA Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year

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 Kuzminski named CCAA Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year

March 18, 2015 – Matt Kuzminski of the VIU Mariners has been named the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association’s Men’s Basketball Coach of the Year.

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Kuzminski received the award this evening at the 2015 CCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship at Mohawk College in Hamilton, ON.

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He led the VIU Mariners to a remarkable 20-1 record and first-place finish in the PACWEST.

VIU improved on its 16-5 record from last season despite losing several key players, including All-Canadian point guard Brandon Jones.

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The Mariners have embraced team basketball on both sides of the court. They’re a very unselfish group offensively with great ball movement. And Kuzminski has established a high pressure defensive system that forces turnovers, bad decisions and low-percentage shots.

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He also ensures that his student-athletes achieve athletic success by holding a mandatory study hall for three hours per week.

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Kuzminski also runs Jr. Mariners and Youth Hoops programs that provide opportunities for young players and coaches alike to develop.

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Coach of the Year recipients receive a CCAA customized ring provided by Jostens Canada

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OTHER NOMINEES

ACAC: Mike Connolly guided the NAIT Ooks to an impressive 23-1 record and first-place finish in the ACAC’s North Division. The Ooks, 15-6 a year prior, improved in all areas this season. Connolly created an atmosphere which allows his players opportunities to be responsible and exceptional ambassadors in the community. He often speaks at clinics and promotes the game throughout the province of Alberta.

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OCAA: Shawn Collins led the Humber Hawks to a first-place finish in the OCAA’s West Division with a record of 17-1. The Hawks defence allowed an OCAA-best 68 points/game. He has an appreciation for diverse personalities and each player’s unique role on the team. Collins has a team-first approach and his players have built trust in one and other. He has also coached high school basketball for 15 years.

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RSEQ: In his first full season with the Cavaliers, Daniel Martin guided Champlain Saint-Lambert to a first-place finish with a 14-4 record. Last season, the Cavaliers were 7-11 in RSEQ play. In addition to meeting with his players individually on a weekly basis to discuss and evaluate academic progress, Martin focuses on nutrition, mental training, life planning and decision making. He also coaches high school basketball.

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ACAA: Duane Starratt led the Mount Allison Mounties (11-7) to a second-place finish in the ACAA, a year after placing fifth in the conference. He meets with his players as part of the Academic Support Program and works with the team’s academic advisor. Starratt conducts summer camps at Mount Allison and also runs a spring league for more than 150 elementary school players.

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The CCAA is a national sport organization enriching the academic experiences of student-athletes through intercollegiate sport.

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