One of the Maritimes’ most successful women’s coaches is joining the Maritime Women’s Basketball Association.
Kevin Daley has been named head coach of the MWBA’s Fredericton Freeze as the league prepares to enter its second season this spring.
He is the long-time head coach of the New Brunswick Interscholastic Athletic Association’s Fredericton High Black Kats girls’ AAA program, a perennial powerhouse and multiple Final 12 champion.
Daley felt the move to take over the Freeze was a natural one.
‘First and foremost, what the MWBA did last year in terms of organization and a truly highly competitive brand of basketball was remarkable,’ said Daley. ‘My familiarity with many of the players throughout the league and the opportunity to coach at such a high level made it a challenge that was intriguing. I can’t wait to get started.’
Last year’s coach John Hickey has stepped back from his Fredericton role to concentrate on his duties as head coach of the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association’s St. Thomas University Tommies, focusing on a busy off-season of recruiting for the reigning regular season champions. Julie McAllister, who guides FHS Tier II girls’ program, will continue a coaching development role with the Freeze.
Daley will be joined on the bench by two familiar faces.
Colleen Daly, who was an assistant with the Freeze last year, will return. Anthony Ashe, an assistant coach with the Black Kats, will continue to ride shotgun with Daley.
Daley and his wife Holly are retired teachers who have given back to the community for decades.
Their four children – Kelsey, Robbi, Katie and Tyler – were all multiple sport athletes who played basketball at the USPORTS and Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association levels.
In fact, his three daughters all played in the MWBA last season including Kelsey with the Moncton Mystics and Robbi and Katie with the Freeze.
Daley taught from 1980 to 2015 and coached multiple sports including varsity hockey from 1980 to 1996 at FHS, cross country from 1996 to 2015, track and field from 2001 to 2015 and has been handling the reins of the Black Kats’ varsity girls since 2002.
He was also Basketball New Brunswick’s Canada Summer Games girls’ head coach in 2013, part of a three-year run with the under-17 level. He also guided BNB’s under-15 girls for two summers.
In total, his various teams have captured over 50 provincial championships including NBIAA Final 12 titles and junior varsity girls’ crowns.
‘The opportunity to coach at the high school level is incredibly rewarding where there’s so much development and personal growth of the athletes to help foster,’ said Daley. ‘Moving to the MWBA, all of the players in the league have played at high levels. My idea entering this season is to have fun and create a special place to play.’
Daly is familiar with the Freeze program after starting last season as an associate coach with Hickey and player-coach Leah Bowers, the latter who will concentrate on playing in 2023.
Daly, a native of Ancaster, ON, has spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach with the Atlantic University Sport’s University of New Brunswick Reds. She played five seasons with UNB, appearing in 78 career games under former head coach Jeff Speedy, who announced his retirement from coaching the Reds earlier this winter.
Ashe is an Ottawa native, who played with Acadia University Axemen and Carleton University Ravens during his USPORTS career. He was a two-time AUS all-star and won a national title with the powerful Ravens. He joined FHS in 2018 and has four NBIAA titles during that span.
He is a physical education teacher at New Maryland Elementary School.
The Freeze is expected to open its training camp April 15-16.
Details will be announced soon.