Olds College Broncos Athletics is excited to welcome a veteran of Alberta Collegiate Athletics Conference (ACAC) coaching to its ranks as the third Women’s Basketball team head coach since the Broncos returned to ACAC play in 2012.
Olds native and Olds College alumnus Avery Harrison will be entering his 32nd year coaching in the ACAC, and has a track record that reflects a dedication to excellence and strong personal development for players both on and off the court. He began his coaching career at Hugh Sutherland High School in Carstairs, where he grew up and attended high school, coaching alongside Blaine Vadnais. Together, the duo coached Carstairs to an accumulated 139-15 record with a silver medal finish and one provincial championship in three trips to Provincials.
After his first year of coaching in Carstairs, Avery had so much fun that he enrolled at the University of Calgary Faculty of Physical Education so he could coach full time. After graduating from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor of Physical Education, Harrison joined the SAIT Trojans Men’s Basketball program as an Assistant Coach.
In his 5 years with SAIT, the team accumulated four ACAC Championships, and appeared in 3 consecutive Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) National championship games winning, the 1986 National title with an unblemished 34-0 record. He then moved to a position as assistant coach with the Trojans Women’s Basketball team, where the team won silver at the ACAC Championships in his second season. Harrison was named head coach of the Trojans Women’s team in 1990-91, and he coached to team to two ACAC Silver medal finishes and two trips to the CCAA National Basketball Championships.
Harrison left SAIT for Mount Royal College, where he took the Women’s team to two ACAC Championships and an appearance in the CCAA National Championship game in 1998. The team went 47-1 in ACAC league and playoff games during his two year tenure at Mount Royal College. Avery then returned to SAIT for eight more seasons, winning two more ACAC Championships and two more CCAA National Championships, before moving on to Lethbridge College. At Lethbridge, he was Women’s head coach for four years, taking the team to a CCAA National Championship appearance in 2012.
In 20 years as a Head Coach, Avery Harrison’s teams have filled his trophy case with four ACAC Championships, three ACAC silver medals and five ACAC bronze medals, as well as two CCAA National Championships and two CCAA silver medals. He has coached over 40 ACAC All-Conference players, 10 All-Canadian players, and two CCAA Players of the Year. He has experienced similar success as an Assistant Coach, helping teams to four ACAC gold medals as league champions, three silver medals, and one bronze, as well as three silver and one gold at CCAA National Championships. His goal is to replicate this success for the Olds College Broncos.
Avery Harrison will be joined by assistant coaches Peter Sambu and Larissa Cameron.
Sambu joins the Broncos with a wealth of knowledge and experience. A graduate of Runneymede Collegiate in Toronto, Sambu first came to Alberta to play for legendary coach Phil Allen at SAIT. After his playing career he went on to coach the Trojans and took them to an ACAC Championship and a trip to the CCAA National Championships in 1999-2000.
After leaving SAIT, Sambu was named head coach of the Women's team at The Kings University in Edmonton late in the season and guided the team to a final four appearance in the ACAC Championships after being told he would not make the playoffs. Sambu then took over the Lakeland Rustlers Men’s program where he took the team to a number one ranking in the CCAA and was named ACAC Coach of the Year.
Larissa Cameron is a native of Carstairs, Alberta, and played high school basketball for Hugh Sutherland High School in Mountain View County.
After a season playing at Lethbridge College she turned to coaching and has been spent time behind the bench at Lethbridge College, Red Deer College and the University of Lethbridge. Bringing those experiences together have made her a solid coach at a young age.
Cameron has a keen eye for talent and will be looked on to scout and recruit as the team is constantly building for the future.