The University of Victoria is excited to announce Carrie Watts as the new head coach of the Vikes women’s basketball program, effective June 28, 2021. Watts becomes the eighth head coach in program history.
Watts joins the Vikes from her alma mater, the University of British Columbia, where she’s been the full-time lead assistant women’s basketball coach for the past 14 seasons. During that time, she helped coach the Thunderbirds to a U SPORTS National Championship and three Canada West banners.
“We are over the moon to welcome Carrie Watts as our new head coach of the women’s basketball program. She is a strong, passionate leader in the women’s game and is an up-and-coming superstar in the coaching world,” said Director, Varsity Performance Sport, Nick Clarke.
“Carrie’s experience contributing to national championship success as a player and coach, combined with her national team playing experience, leave her well-positioned to lead our Vikes program. Evidenced by a strong commitment to coaching leadership and growth, Carrie significantly impacted her previous role, growing alumni and community engagement. We look forward to Carrie leading our program into the future,” said Director of Vikes Athletics and Recreation, Clint Hamilton.
As a player, Watts led UBC to the 2004 U SPORTS championship, the school’s first title in 30 years at the time. That season she was recognized as a Canada West all-star, second-team U SPORTS all-Canadian and U SPORTS Defensive Player of the Year before taking home championship MVP honours. Following her UBC playing career, Watts joined the Canadian senior women’s national team (2005-07) and competed at the 2006 World Championships and the 2007 Pan-American Games.
A proven winner, Watts’s resume includes six stints as the head coach of Basketball BC’s U15 and U17 provincial teams, leading to back-to-back bronze medals at the U15 National Championships in 2010 and 2011. She also served as the assistant coach for Team Canada at the 2019 FISU Summer Universiade.
“The Vikes women’s basketball team is the most successful in the country, and the opportunity to coach at such a tradition-rich university is an exciting next step for me in my coaching career. I have had the opportunity to compete against the Vikes as both a player and a coach, and have always had tremendous respect for the program and the tradition of excellence they have established, said Watts.
“I was incredibly impressed by the depth and breadth of the hiring process. The number of stakeholders involved emphasized the importance of the program within the Vikes and Victoria community. It is a tremendous honour to build upon the legacy that the many outstanding teams and coaches of the past have established, particularly the success of Hall of Fame coach Kathy Shields, and I look forward to serving as a strong female role model and leader for our athletes.”
Originally from Agassiz, BC, Watts holds three degrees from UBC, including a Bachelor of Human Kinetics (2004), Bachelor of Education (2005), and a Masters of Kinesiology (2011).
“I would like to thank Clint Hamilton, Nick Clarke and the hiring committee for selecting me; I would also like to thank Hall of Fame Coach Deb Huband for being an outstanding mentor for the past 19 years and helping prepare me for this opportunity,” continued Watts.
History of Vikes Coaches
2020-2021 Shalie Dheensaw (interim)
2012-2020 Dani Sinclair
2011-2012 Rich Chambers
2001-2011 Brian Cheng
1978-2000 Kathy Shields
1971-1978 Mike Gallo
1968-1970 Howard Tooby