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Don Horwood

Basketball Builder - Inducted 2014

Don Horwood was the head coach of the University of Alberta Golden Bears basketball team for twenty-seven years beginning in the 1983/84 season.  He guided the team to fifteen CIS Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships and won three national titles in 1994, 1995 and 2002.  His teams also earned two silver medals, a bronze medal, one fifth-place finish and three seventh-place finishes.  He was named CIS Coach of the Year in 1987, 1994 and 2002 and Alberta Basketball Provincial Coach of the Year in 1994 and 1995.  Don coached the National Junior team in 1998 at the world qualifying tournament. 


Don's coaching record is among the CIS all-time leaders for coaching wins.  He had a 313-175 conference record for a .641 winning percentage, a 73-59 play-off record and an overall record of 587-346 for a total winning percentage of .629.  He retired at the end of the 2008/09 season.


Don coached in British Columbia from 1969 to 1978.  He coached the Oak Bay High School team to five provincial finals and three provincial championships. He coached the 1982 BC Provincial Junior Team to a National silver medal and the 1983 team to a National Junior Championship.  His move to Alberta followed this success. 


More than his success on the court, Don's passion and energy for the game of basketball was infectious.  He engaged the community and in Edmonton, he celebrated the achievements of local coaches and recruited local players.  He tirelessly promoted the game of basketball across Edmonton's airwaves on a regular basis and became well known and for starting each radio segment interview with "BBBBBBBBBBbbbbbbbasketball!"  Don was also the basketball colour commentator for CBC television at the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. 

He shared his knowledge of the game by starting basketball camps including the Rocky Mountain Summer Basketball Camps in 1994.  The annual camps attracted hundreds of Alberta's youth to the sport of basketball.  His development camps became the place where the best young players came to refine and develop their skills.  They also provided a place where his current and former athletes could work in the summer and develop their coaching skills. Many of his players went on to become teachers, coaches, and mentors themselves.  "You didn't just learn how to play the game under his tutelage but more importantly, you became an active responsible citizen."

Don Horwood was inducted into the Oak Bay Secondary School Hall of Fame in 2004 and received the City of Edmonton Salute to Excellence Award in 2008.  He was inducted into the University of Alberta Sports Wall of Fame in September 2013 .