Thunder Bay – Sports – The Lakehead University Thunderwolves have announced the hiring of its new women’s basketball head coach, Hugo Boisvert.
“We’re happy to have a person of Hugo’s calibre joining the Thunderwolves family,” says Lakehead University Athletics Director Tom Warden. “His strong values and focus on player growth, in addition to experience working with elite student athletes at multiple levels, make him a perfect fit with our program.”
Boisvert comes to Thunder Bay via Quebec, where he has been a fixture of the local basketball community for nearly a decade.
Boisvert has been the lead assistant coach with Laval University’s women’s basketball team since 2019 and served as lead assistant coach with Laval’s men’s basketball team from 2020-2022. Before joining Laval, he served as head coach and program coordinator at College Laval from 2014-2019. He also has several years of coaching experience with Quebec’s provincial teams.
Boisvert will become the 10th coach of the women’s basketball program on June 1, 2023. Before his official start with the team, Boisvert will be engaged in recruiting efforts to build the roster for his 2023-2024 bench.
“I’m looking forward to getting started at Lakehead,” Boisvert says. “It was really clear to me when I visited that the community is very involved with the Thunderwolves—it was obvious walking around and meeting locals that they’re in tune with their sports teams, and you can tell there’s a tremendous amount of care. It’s a very appealing community.”
Boisvert’s appointment comes following a comprehensive search and assessment that involved current Thunderwolves women’s basketball team student-athletes and athletics department administrators. The hiring process included formal interviews, a practice with the women’s basketball team, and a Q&A session between the team and Boisvert.
“He knew everyone’s names right off the bat,” Thunderwolves senior leader Tiffany Reynolds says. “We came up with a bunch of questions as a team and went in there and fired away, and one thing that stuck with me was that he values the person before the athlete. He said ‘my goal isn’t only to make you a better basketball player, my goal is to make you a better person, so when you leave you will have grown emotionally, mentally, physically—if I can help you grow in all the areas of your life, you’ll become a better basketball player too.’ I’m hopeful that he’s a strong start to the new future of the women’s basketball program.”
Boisvert says his first priority will be building a culture and an environment that will be in line with the Thunderwolves’ core values.
“The big thing for me will be growth—self-improvement will be at the centre of what we do—making sure we’re challenging our student-athletes, supporting them, and calling them up to high standards,” explains Boisvert. “That’s going to be the centrepiece, and that will be true for us not only in basketball, but as people off the court as well.”
Warden added, “Our varsity programs are something all of Thunder Bay can be proud of, and we’re confident that bringing Hugo on board is an important step in creating a women’s basketball team that sees big success on and off the court. We thank Dave McCallum and all of our assistant coaches — Katelyn Zen, Lou Pero and Lindsey Wachter — for leading our team this season and for helping to establish a foundation upon which we can continue to build together.”
“Thunder Bay is a close-knit community, and it was important to me to be joining an organization in which the athletics administration and I share a vision—those core values—growth and an attitude of service and giving back, both within our team and throughout the community,” Boisvert says.” “I’m happy to be joining the Thunderwolves.”
Since the Thunderwolves’ women’s basketball team first took to the courts in 1971, it has produced 60 league all-stars, six national-level all-stars, and one national player of the year. Recent team successes include OUA semi-final appearances in 2015 and 2019, and an OUA quarterfinal appearance in 2018.