Brock announces Rootes as new men's basketball head coach
ST. CATHARINES, Ont. - Brock University Athletics is pleased to announce that former Badgers standout Brad Rootes will be the new full-time head coach of its men's basketball program.
"We're extremely excited to have such a decorated and recognized coach for our men's basketball program," says Chris Critelli, interim director of Athletics. "Brad's success as a Brock student athlete will carry over to his team on the court and in the classroom.
"There aren't many that have his passion for the game. Brad will have a significant impact on the game, our department and our community."
At 26, Rootes is the youngest full-time head coach in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) and one of the youngest in North America. He is the sixth head coach in the program's 43-year history.
"I am honoured and thrilled about the opportunity to coach at my alma mater," says Rootes. "We have a storied history of great teams and players. I look forward to helping build on the past successes of the program, as well as continue to move it forward in a positive direction in the future.
"This is my dream job, being at home both at Brock and in the Niagara region."
"I would like to give a sincere thank you to Chris Critelli who showed confidence in me, giving me an opportunity last year to lead the team," says Rootes. "Her guidance, mentorship and belief in me have really impacted me as a coach and I greatly appreciate what she has done for me."
Rootes, a native of Niagara Falls, has been with the Brock coaching staff since 2008-09 as an assistant coach and this past season was the interim head coach leading the Badgers to a 14-16 overall record, highlighted by victories over Ottawa, Western, Windsor and Laurier.
He also spent two seasons coaching for the Ontario Basketball Association. In 2009, Rootes led the U15 Team Ontario Boys to a gold medal at the national championships in Kamloops, BC and in 2010 was named head coach of the U17 Team Ontario Boys.
In 2008 as the captain of Brock's CIS National Championship team, Rootes was named an OUA first team all-star for his fifth consecutive season. He became the first player at the University to be named a conference all-star all five seasons. He was also selected as the OUA West Player of the Year and a second team all-Canadian for his second straight season.
In the Brock record books, Rootes is the all-time leader in career free throws made (732-for-922) and steals (327). He also finished his university career ranked 2nd all-time in scoring (2790), assists (1173) and three-pointers made (376-for-1059).
After graduating, Rootes played one season professionally in Ukraine for Politekhnika Halychyna of the Ukrainian Super League.
At the first annual Brock Basketball Gala in 2008, Rootes became the fourth Brock basketball player to have his jersey retired. In 2010, he was inducted into both the Niagara Falls Sports Hall of Fame and the A. N. Myer Sports Hall of Fame.
The Badgers will open their 2011-12 season with scheduled pre-season games in August versus NCAA Division I opponents. They will also have a strong non-conference schedule versus CIS opponents, which is still being finalized. The second annual Peninsula Classic versus Niagara College will take place on October 1st before opening their OUA regular season at home versus the Ottawa GeeGees on November 11th and the defending CIS National Champion Carleton Ravens on November 12th.
"I'm very excited about the upcoming season," explained Rootes. "With Didi Mukendi healthy and Tshing Kasamba eligible we are adding two impact players to a lineup that already has a nice balance of veteran leadership, skill and athleticism. The future of the program looks very bright with a core of young and developing players."
"I am also excited and optimistic about the direction the University and the Athletic Department is taking," says Rootes. "Our new Director of Athletics Robert Hilson is a young, enthusiastic, passionate leader and I am looking forward to working with him as we continue the pursuit of excellence."
Brock University has a rich tradition of athletic excellence. In its 44-year history, the Badgers have captured 28 national and 56 provincial championships. Brock currently offers 26 varsity sports, which includes 14 men's and 12 women's programs.