Canada’s Dave Smart Named GB U20 Coach

Dave Smart GB U20 Head CoachBritish Basketball has appointed Canada’s Dave Smart as Tim Lewis’ replacement for the Great Britain Under-20s head coach role.

Smart is currently the head coach of Carleton University Ravens, where he has been at the helm for the past 13 seasons, having recorded 315 wins and just 30 losses in his career, along with numerous championships and coach of the year trophies. He also served as an assistant coach with the 2008 Canadian Senior Men’s National Team and most recently coached Team Canada at the 2011 Pan Am Games.

Commenting on the new addition, British Basketball’s Head of Performance Warwick Cann said:

“The recent advertisements for the GB under-20 men’s position attracted 105 applicants, so the process of selection has been quite involved. From a players perspective the quality of applicants is reassuring and reaffirms that internationally we are viewed as having a quality program.

“The recruitment process offered good choices in selecting quality coaches for our future senior international players. There were many applicants who could do the job but Dave Smart is a standout coach internationally who we are pleased to have interested and committed. This will assist GB in reaching our goals and undoubtedly the players will be the beneficiaries.”

The press release added that the rest of the U20 coaching staff and initial roster will be announced shortly. Smart takes over from Tim Lewis who has led the side since 2006.

Image Credit: Jean Levac/The Ottawa Citizen

  • Dave P

    So there are no British coaches that are capable? It seems to me that Mr Cann is just replacing the ‘British’ in British Basketball when ever the opportunity arises. The message this sends out to aspiring British coaches is very frustrating yet predictable.

  • JohnB

    Although David Smart has been quite successful as a university coach in Canada,one might question the level of Canadian university basketball, as opposed to Canadian club basketball. He has also been an assistant coach to the Canadian national team, which is, possibly, on a par with our GB team.

    I know there are English coaches who are more than capable of coaching the U20 team

    Warwick Cann was on the Australian Coaches Comission Executive and Commissioner for the Australian coaches. He was also Manager for the Young Men’s Team, and was Head Coach for the local league team Townsville Heat in the ABA.

    It is certainly questionable as to why GB and England find it necessary to appoint foreign staff to GB teams (men and women) and to the English administration.

    Are we bereft of any talent at all?

  • voise

    Got to agree with Dave P – where is the coaching legacy post-olymipcs?

  • the truth

    you guys thatare complaining got literally a top 10-15 coach in the world at any level to do your u20 team

  • sk

    Dave Smart is by the far the greatest basketball coach Canada has ever produced, and there have been some good ones. You just won the lottery as far as getting a coach.

  • Nick

    Which Brittish Coaches are suitable and applied for the position?

  • Dave P

    No denying the level of Dave Smart, there is no complaint at all. Top 10-15 in the world is a bold statement though! There are a number of excellent British coaches that deserve a shot ~ maybe they didn’t apply? My issue is the fact that there seems to be no faith in what British coaches/ British administrators can do. There will be no coaching legacy post Olympics that’s pretty obvious, I’m struggling to see there being any legacy at all, take a look at what other sports are doing and have been doing to ensure thay get maximum exposure and revenue out of the Olympics, England Basketball on the other hand…. Look I’m passionate about developing basketball in GB and I love the sport I am just very worried that a lot of money is being spent at the top (mainly to Australians) and there is no subsequent impact at grass route level where the real work is done. Can any club coach explain to me how basketball has become better since Cann was appointed? Without numbers at club level there would be a seriously lack of money so how about GB and EB give more back i.e. show some faith in the work that’s being done and give some Brits a shot!

  • Lee

    Something left out of this is what Tim Lewis is going on to do. Does anyone know?

  • Dpeti

    Dave Smart will I am sure be an excellent coach for the GB U20 team, although he is most certainly not in the top 10 – 15 coaches in the world.

    It would be interesting to find out what English/British coaches applied for the position.

  • Basshat

    Questioning the lack of a British candidate is fair game but anyone who is questioning the competency and ability of Dave Smart is either seriously ignorant of the sport internationally (e.g. thinking that a nation that is 20 spots above Britain in the world rankings is possibly on par with GB) or letting nationalism blind their judgement.

    Smart is not only the best basketball mind in Canada today, he is extremely experienced at the international level. Not only was he the assistant of the Canadian senior mens team (where everyone knew he was the brains of the operation behind the pretty face head coach who was there on broadcast rep alone) but he recently coached a team of university players to a top 6 finish against teams of far more experienced professionals at the Pan Am games, among his many international accomplishments.

    He has received many job offers from Division 1 NCAA schools over the past few years (many of whom his Carleton team beat; so much for questioning the level of the ball he coaches). He will be the head coach of Canada’s mens national team one day; likely right around the time that the massive amount of talent now working its way through the NCAA and into the NBA pushes Canada into the top-5 rankings in the world.

    • guest

      Basshat just hit the nail on the head there.

      Dave Smart has coached Carleton to 8 national titles in 13 seasons. His teams regularly compete with top D1 schools (they narrowly lost to Kansas a few years ago) and it’s not going to be long before he moves onto bigger and better things.

      Having him involved with the GB set up is going to do nothing but benefit the young athletes he will be coaching.

      This is a huge coup for GB so hats have to go off to them for this appointment

  • old skool flava

    I don’t have a problem with a foreign coach.

    What I would like to hear from British Basketball, is what they’re doing with regard to producing the next generation of home-grown coaches?

    2012 will see 3 Ex-BBL coaches in Senior positions, at the Olympics.
    Bob Donewald, Chris Finch and Nick Nurse.

    In 4 or 8 years time, will we have coaches on those kind of positions?

  • Canada’s loss is GB Basketball’s gain…BIG TIME!

  • Josh

    Is the idea of Regional APC and other develpment programs not the idea for developing British Coaches?
    I would welcome more training / qualifications, after advanced level 3, there is nothing that I can see, other than a masters in coaching / euroleague masters clinics (£6000????) or the Fecc if your talented enough to be put forward by EB.
    Can there not be a Level 4 or an advanced pathway for coaches to climb?

  • Bill

    You guys have no idea how lucky you are. Dave Smart is the best coach in Canada. His Carleton teams have been absolutely dominant for nearly a decade. His attention to detail, knowledge of the game, and work ethic is far and above any other university coach in the country. We were all hoping he would be named the Head Coach of our national team. As far as were concerned this is charity for a coach of his ability.

  • Frankin

    One has to ask then, why take a position asyour head coach of a GB U20 squad. It surely cannot be for the money. There must be many better opportunities available elsewhere.

    Still, good for your U20 Squad.

  • BBall Fan

    My understanding is that it is a part time position and he will return to Canada after his contract. Hiring Dave Smart, as someone else has commented, is like winning the lottery. If you really want to improve basketball in Great Britain, this is a brilliant move.

    If you want to be world class, you just got a world class coach. He is dominating Canadian basketball which is far superior to GB basketball.

    If 105 people applied, the other 104 could just as well drop out when Coach Smart became interested. If better quality coaches are needed in GB, watch how this man works.

  • old skool flava

    Yes, he’s a great coach.

    But he’s here to coach the players.

    Nobody has answered the question, as to what the future is to new home-grown coaches.

    If he lives up to his rep, we’ll have improved players, and a team, BUT does that mean we’ll still be recruiting coaches in the future from outside the UK.

    Legacy anyone, that was the buzz-word, now lets see it for coaches too!!
    for too long the BBL has used US coaches, often players who dont fancy going home.

    but it is a business, this is different, its government $$$ – so let’s see it spent on coaching legacy too.

  • We’ve had a British coach on this team for years and they have not achieved anything of note. So they’ve brought in someone with a huge amount of experience of coaching at a high level – he just happens to be Canadian.

    No question there needs to be more attention paid to developing British coaches, but to me that’s an entirely separate issue from the question of who should coach the U20s.

  • Scott

    It’s the age old problem for British coaches. They are not given the opportunity because they don’t have the experience but how are they ever going to get the experience if they don’t get an opportunity.
    My concern is that coaches and administrators are using Great Britain basketball to further their own individual careers and they are not concerned with leaving a platform from which the game can build on in the long run.

  • old skool flava


    Im with you.

    administrators looking for results on their CV

    appoint a good coach – results improve short term – as players improve

    BUT, someone please show me from ANYBODY at GB what they’re doing for coaches,

    i dont read about any coaching programmes,

    remember – how many plastic brits do we have already???

    will Ben Gordon suit up for 2012,

    how many times will he AFTER the Olympics?

    BUT – those who coach GB and make the decisions, will bask in glory if we do well in 2012.

    i’d like to see what they leave us AFTERWARDS though,,,,,,,,time will tell

    LEGACY – it wasn’t a buzz word for the 2012 bid document – lets see what it means in 2013 and beyond

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