Written by U SPORTS
Photo by Valerie Wutti
TORONTO, Ontario – Legendary U SPORTS coaches Dave Smart of Carleton and Patrick Nearing of Dalhousie, veteran New Brunswick reporter Bruce Hallihan and Paralympian swimmer Elisabeth Walker-Young of Brock were honoured Tuesday as the winners of the 2020 U SPORTS Honours Awards for their contributions to university sports in Canada.
Smart took home the Jean-Marie De Koninck Coaching Excellence Award, while Nearing claimed the Austin-Matthews Award, Hallihan earned the Fred Sgambati Media Award and Walker-Young was presented with the L.B. “Mike” Pearson Award.
All winners receive a commemorative ring from Baron, the Exclusive Provider of championship rings and recognition jewellery for U SPORTS.
For past U SPORTS Honours Award winners, click here.
The announcement follows last Thursday night’s reveal of Montreal’s Aboubacar Sissoko and Manitoba’s Kelsey Wog as the winners of the 2020 Lieutenant Governor Athletic Awards Presented by Makadiff SPORTS as the U SPORTS Athletes of the Year.
After taking over as head coach of the Carleton men’s basketball team in 1999-00, Dave Smart turned the Ravens program into one of the most successful dynasties in U SPORTS history.
Following the completion of the 2018-19 season, Smart ranked third on the all-time wins list in U SPORTS men’s basketball history with 656 career victories against domestic competition. His .925 winning percentage (591-48) against U SPORTS competition also ranks first among all coaches in Canadian university men’s basketball history.
Smart has earned the Stuart W. Aberdeen Memorial Trophy as U SPORTS Men’s Basketball Fox 40 Coach of the Year a record 10 times, as well as 10 OUA East Coach of the Year nods and two OUA Coach of the Year awards during his 18 seasons at Carleton.
He led his team to 11 OUA championships – the most by any coach in conference history – and 13 U SPORTS Final 8 national championship titles in 17 years.
Hi incredible success at the Canadian university level has also provided him with several opportunities to work with Team Canada. Since 2012, Smart has served as an assistant coach of the Canadian Senior Men’s National team, where he has been behind the bench for the FIBA Americas Championship and the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament, among other events. He also served as head coach of the U18 national squad, leading the team to a silver medal in 2018 on home court.
For the 2019-20 season, Smart moved from the sidelines to the newly-created position of Director of Basketball Operations of both the Ravens’ men’s and women’s basketball programs. He will continue his management career in 2020 as the first-ever general manager of the expansion Ottawa BlackJacks in the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL).
“Dave Smart has had a remarkable career coaching the Carleton Ravens men’s basketball program, this award is a great honour and Dave is a much-deserved recipient,” said Jennifer Brenning, Carleton Assistant Vice President of Athletics and Recreation. “Over his Carleton coaching career, he has developed incredible people both athletically, as many have gone on to play professional basketball, and as leaders in the community. Congratulations to Dave for being recognized with this remarkable award. ”