The Niagara College department of Athletics and Recreation has announced that Keith Vassell (MBHOF Class of '11) has been named the new head coach of the Knights men's basketball program effective April 2nd, 2014.

"It is with great pleasure that the Niagara College department of Athletics and Recreation welcomes Coach Vassell to the Knights family" said Matthew Davies, director of Athletics and Recreation. "His commitment to excellence as a coach and as an athlete set him apart during the selection process. We believe that his leadership and vision for the program align perfectly with the high performance model that we continue to establish at Niagara College."

Vassell will join the Knights after spending the previous three seasons as the head coach and player development specialist with the Rock Sports Academy in Toronto, Ontario. Vassell also brings head coaching experience at the post-secondary level to the Niagara College Knights men's basketball program. He served as the head coach of the Brandon University Bobcats from 2008-10.

Vassell also spent four seasons coaching professionally in Iceland with the KR Basketball Club (1999-2002) and the Fjolnir Basketball Club (2006-07). During his time with the KR basketball club his teams were crowned National and Cup Champions. Vassell was also the runner up for the 2001 Premier League Coach of the Year Award.

"After speaking with Matthew Davies it became clear that Niagara College is an institution committed to excellence," said Vassell. "I view this as an opportunity to work with a great school and a great athletics and recreation program.  Niagara College has the infrastructure and institutional support in place to grow and achieve results at the highest possible level both in the classroom and on the court."

Before turning his attention to coaching, Vassell enjoyed a highly-decorated international and domestic playing career.

At the University level, he competed for the Brandon Bobcats from 1991-96. While at Brandon, Vassell was named CIS Player of the Year, a five-time First-Team GPAC All-Star, and was a member of the 1996 CIS National Championship team. Vassell's jersey was retired by Brandon University at the completion of the 1996 season.

Coach Vassell also spent 11 seasons (1989-2000) competing as a member of the Canadian Men's Basketball National Program. He competed for Canada in Olympic Qualifying matches, the 1999 Pan-Am Games, the FISU Games, and the World Junior Basketball Championships.

He spent 11 seasons playing professional basketball in Spain, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Switzerland, and Portugal, during which he was a member of three league championship teams, and was named MVP of the Iceland Premier League in 2000.

"Coach Vassell is an individual who has dedicated himself to the profession of coaching and understands the value of the holistic student-athlete experience," said Davies. "He impressed upon the selection committee his commitment to building a culture that demands excellence in the classroom, on the court, and within the community. Coach Vassell will truly be an asset to the Niagara basketball community."

Coach Vassell will be formally introduced as the head coach of the Niagara College men's basketball program at the annual Niagara College Intercollegiate Athletics Awards banquet being held on Friday, April 4th at 6:00pm at the Riverstone Event Centre.

Coach Vassell added, "I am excited about this opportunity. I have had a variety of experiences in my career, and this is one of the premier opportunities I have ever had. I'm looking forward to getting started."

Subscribe to Email Newsletter
Share this article to...