Veteran basketball coach Ross Quackenbush to retire
HALIFAX, N.S. - Saint Mary's Huskies men's basketball coach Ross Quackenbush has announced he will hang up his whistle at the end of this season.
Quackenbush has spent 23 years behind the bench as head coach of the basketball Huskies, taking teams to nine CIS championships tournaments and one national title.
Quackenbush grew up in Toronto and first arrived at Saint Mary's as a student-athlete, playing on the CIAU National Championship basketball teams of 1978 and 1979. During his four years as a student he played as a member of Canada's national team, competing in events such as the Intercontinental Cup, World Student Games, World Championships and the 1980 Pre-Olympic Tournament.
After graduating, Quackenbush spent two years as a marketing representative with Pitney Bowes of Canada Ltd. He stayed close to basketball however and played for a team that captured the senior men's championship in 1981.
In September 1983, he returned to Saint Mary's where he acquired his Bachelor of Education. After teaching and coaching at King's Edgehill School in Windsor he returned once more to Saint Mary's in September of 1989 to become the head coach of the men's basketball program.
In only his third season, the Huskies captured the AUAA title and reached the national finals.
In 1999 the Quackenbush led the Huskies to the National Championship in front of record crowds at the Final Eight tournament held at the Halifax Metro Centre. The victory earned him the distinction of being the only person to have won National Championships as both a player and coach at the same CIS university.
Milestones for Coach Quackenbush include:
- 23-year career at Head Coach
- Nine CIS Championship appearances
- 1999 National Champions
- 1989-90 and 1992-93 AUAA Coach of the Year
- AUAA nominee for the CIAU 3M Coach of the Year (1999)
- 20 AUS playoff appearances
- 11 all-Canadian player awards
- He has graduated over 85% of all student-athletes who have gone through the Huskies Basketball program.
Quackenbush's decision to retire coincides with his wife Susie's retirement next spring. They plan to spend their retirement pursuing their passion for skiing, among other things.
"I just want to be a ski bum and basketball conflicts with that," he says.
"I love basketball and it has been a great job for me," says Quackenbush. "I've been very fortunate to have a job that I enjoy doing. It's provided a lot of excitement for me."
Source: Saint Mary's Communications