The search for the next head coach of the Waterloo Warriors men's basketball team has come to an end as the Department of Athletics and Recreation is proud to announce Justin Gunter as the seventh head coach in the 57-year history of the program.
Gunter makes the move from the McMaster Marauders where he was the associate head coach (2014-15). Gunter worked closely with head coach Amos Connolly on all aspects of the program including team management, recruitment, player development, and coordinating the McMaster offence. Overall, Gunter spent seven years with the Marauders which has helped him build the experience and knowledge necessary to become a head coach at the CIS level.
"Justin was the clear choice to be the next leader of our men's basketball program," mentioned Director of Athletics and Recreation, Roly Webster. "Justin understands the priority and importance of engaging our stakeholder groups. These relationships will be key components toward improving the program's success, and ultimately the quality of the student-athlete experience"
In addition to his coaching experience gained at McMaster, Gunter spent nine seasons coaching the Blessed Sacrament rep men's under-19 basketball program, winning several provincial championship's along the way. He also spent four seasons as an assistant coach of the Parkside High School (Dundas) basketball team.
As a player, Gunter was a key member of three McMaster team's that advanced to the CIS Championship, and in his final season (2005-06) led the Marauders to an OUA championship banner and was named a co-recipient of the team MVP award.
For Gunter, his time at McMaster was monumental in shaping his career as a basketball coach and when Waterloo's coaching job opened he jumped at the opportunity.
"When I saw the job posting, my eyes lit up and I knew this was the opportunity I was waiting for," commented Gunter. "I've thoroughly enjoyed my time at Mac, but becoming a head coach at the CIS level has been a goal for years, and for it now to be a reality at such a reputable institution as the University of Waterloo is a dream come true."
Gunter has his work cut out for him joining a team that has missed the playoffs the last two seasons and has failed to reach the second round since 2010. With recruiting being a strong suit for Gunter, he is confident Waterloo can turn around their fortunes within a few years.
"We've got some solid pieces already in place but we certainly need to get stronger on the glass and become tougher to play against," said Gunter. "I look forward to the challenge and have no doubt we will get things going in the right direction."
Associate Director Christine Stapleton, who played a key role in the hiring of Gunter, echoes his comments. "Justin is a great fit at the right time for our program; an energetic, passionate, and knowledgeable coach who will instill the proper skills and habits to succeed at this level."
Gunter begins his duties immediately with a strong focus on recruiting, connecting with alumni, and developing a strong rapport with current members of the team.
Source: Waterloo Warriors