Golden Bears basketball, hockey name new coaches

(Edmonton) Barnaby Craddock, a rising star in the Canadian basketball coaching ranks, is the new head coach of the University of Alberta Golden Bears basketball team.

Craddock, originally from Vancouver, has coached in Canadian Interuniversity Sport for over a decade, including seven seasons as head coach. In his first two CIS head coach campaigns with Brandon University (2006-2007), he amassed a 30-12 record, winning national coach of the year honours and the CIS silver medal in 2007. He then joined the University of the Fraser Valley, which had just entered CIS and Canada West play after competing in the Canadian Collegiate Athletics Association. In five seasons he shepherded the fledgling program to four playoff seasons, their first CIS national ranking, the 2012 Canada West silver and a fourth-place finish at the most recent national championship.

He also has coached with various Canada Basketball teams, including the 2011 Summer University Games team that earned silver in Shenzhen, China, as well as the 2012 Canada Basketball Men’s Cadet team that is playing in the under-17 world championship this summer in Lithuania.

Craddock joins a Golden Bears program that won the 2012 Canada West championship, with a win over his UFV no less, finished second at the national championship, and features a stable of stars like Jordan Baker, who is CIS all-Canadian and is averaging just a hair under a double-double in his three-year career, as well as 2012 CIS championship tournament all-star Sahr Saffa, and Todd Bergen-Henengouwen.

Craddock’s playing career began at the University of Lethbridge (1994-97) where he was a CIS second team all-Canadian (1997), and would have played against Alberta’s back-to-back national championship teams (1994 and 1995). After graduation, he left for Europe, where he played professionally until 2002.

“The Golden Bears basketball program has a storied tradition and it’s an honour to become part of it,” said Craddock. “I’m enthusiastic to work with the talented group of current student-athletes, as well as the challenge of continuing the tradition of excellence that the Golden Bears basketball program is synonymous with.”

Craddock’s hiring comes on the heels of the Golden Bears hockey team introducing Ian Herbers as its new bench boss.

Herbers, a former American Hockey League coach and one-time National Hockey League defenceman, will lead the Golden Bears hockey program into its 100th season of play as the 23rd head coach in the program’s storied history. 

After a playing career that included four years with the Golden Bears (1989-1992), a bachelor of physical education degree with distinction, a university national championship (1992), a Calder Cup championship (1993), a Turner Cup championship (International Hockey League) and over a decade of pro hockey—including NHL stops in Edmonton, Tampa Bay and New York with the Islanders—Herbers moved into the coaching ranks. He was an assistant in San Antonio (AHL) and with the OHL’s Saginaw Spirit. He received his first head-coaching job with the ECHL’s Johnstown Chiefs in 2007, where he also served as general manager. He then joined the Milwaukee Admirals as an assistant in 2009, and was appointed head coach in 2011, amassing a 30-23-0 record. His all-time coaching record stands at 103-83-17 (.591).

“I had a great situation in Milwaukee with the Nashville Predators organization, but this is a chance to keep building on the great Golden Bears tradition,” said Herbers, who was born in Jasper. “Clare Drake and Bill Moores were the coaches that guided me, and I’m really honoured and excited to join the elite University of Alberta coaching ranks, and to return something to this program and keep its legacy moving forward.”