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Ryerson begins new era with former McGill coach at the helm

David DeAveiro officially takes over the men’s program on May 1.

David DeAveiro crouches in front of the McGill bench. He's eager to return to Toronto, where he grew up. McGill University Athletics Photo
David DeAveiro crouches in front of the McGill bench. He's eager to return to Toronto, where he grew up. McGill University Athletics Photo

The post-Roy Rana era begins in earnest at Ryerson next season, with former McGill coach David DeAveiro at the helm. 

Ryerson announced DeAveiro as the new head coach of its men’s program on April 28, with an eye to maintaining the winning culture they enjoyed under Rana, who is now an assistant coach with the NBA’s Sacramento Kings.

“I am extremely happy to be coming home to Toronto and building on the successful tradition of Ryerson basketball,” said DeAveiro in a statement. 

“This is an exciting new chapter for our men’s basketball program,” added Louise Cowin, executive director of athletics and recreation at Ryerson. 

DeAveiro had a 186-90 record against U Sports opponents over 10 seasons at McGill, where he also led the Redmen to five Quebec conference (RESQ) championships and five appearances in the U Sports Final 8 tournament.

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He previously coached the Ottawa Gee-Gees for 14 seasons (five as an assistant, nine as head coach), becoming the team’s all-time leader in coaching wins with a 210-127 overall record (132-66 in league play). 

DeAveiro also played five seasons at Ottawa before joining the coaching staff. He led the Gee-Gees to three Final 8 appearances as a coach. 

“We are very fortunate that David has chosen to join Ryerson,” said Cowin. “Not only is he a highly successful coach, he is also deeply committed to the development of the whole student athlete — their academic success, civic engagement, and identity development.” 

Former Mcgill Head Coach David DeAveiro Takes Over Ryerson Rams Basketball Program
Former McGill Head Coach David DeAveiro Takes Over Ryerson Rams Basketball Program – Photo: McGill Basketball

Rana led Ryerson to five straight U Sports medals (two silver, three bronze), falling just three points short of a national championship in 2018 with a 79-77 loss to Calgary in the gold medal game. 

He also guided the Rams to their first-ever Ontario University Athletics (OUA) conference championship in 2016 with a win over the eventual national champion Carleton Ravens. Ryerson defended its OUA title in 2017 but lost to Carleton in the U Sports gold medal game.

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Borko Popic, a former Rana assistant, guided the Rams as their interim head coach last season, where they finished second in the OUA Central Division with a 16-6 record before bowing out in the OUA quarterfinals.

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Ryerson did not say if Popic will stay on as an assistant under DeAveiro, who officially takes over on May 1. 

DeAveiro also brings considerable international experience to the Rams, having coached with Canada Basketball at the senior, development and junior levels.

He has big shoes to fill at Ryerson — Rana is a local legend and an icon in Team Canada’s development program. But he appears grateful for the opportunity and eager to get started.

“I would like to thank McGill for providing me with life lasting memories,” said DeAveiro. “I look forward to beginning a new chapter in my basketball career.”

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