The Dalhousie Rams will be making a return to league play this season.
The Rams recently announced they will enter a women’s basketball team in Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) action for the first time in five years in 2018-19 after naming Jay Walsh as head coach.
“We are very excited to be able to register our women’s team in the league for 2018-19,” Judy Smith, Dalhousie AC athletic director, said. “We are ready.”
The Rams played an exhibition schedule last season with the hopes of establishing the base for a return to the eight-team conference in the Fall. The Rams last competed in 2013-14.
“Jay and (assistant coach) Katie Titus have prepared our players well and have worked hard to recruit in further building the program,” Smith said.
Walsh, a 38-year-old Truro resident, brings plenty of experience to the job both as a player and coach. He played in the ACAA as a member of the St. Thomas Tommies from 2003 to 2007 and was named the program’s most valuable player in 2003-04. He was also named to the all-conference roster that season and for both of the Tommies’ next two campaigns until 2005-06.
Walsh coached the Truro Panthers junior high girls program from 2009 to 2017 and helped them to district and regional crowns in 2015-16.
Walsh, a special needs teacher at South Colchester Academy, also has coaching experience at Dalhousie AC having served as an assistant coach for the women’s program in 2011-12 and the men’s team in 2016-17.
He’s looking forward to getting started but knows the Rams have a tall task ahead of them as they try to rebuild the program.
“Since the team has been on hiatus there hasn’t been any basketball expectations or an established community to follow,” Walsh said. “So automatically we are at a disadvantage with other teams because players are already involved in a successful, established basketball system.”
But that won’t stop Walsh from motivating his players to be the best they can and from trying to help the Rams finish the season as high up the standings as possible. He hopes to do that by implementing a fast-tempo style. He wants the Rams to be a team quick in transition while keeping turnovers to a minimum.
“We want our players to display in both attitude and action a team-first, self secondary attitude,” he said. “We want to maintain a fun, positive and enthusiastic atmosphere.”
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