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Lakers men's basketball brings new coach from the Soo

'I’m thrilled to remain in Northern Ontario and can’t wait to get to work with the players and begin our journey together of building a winning program'
20190625 Thomas Cory 2
Lakers name new head coach Thomas Cory. Photo submitted.

The Nipissing Lakers Men’s Basketball team has named Thomas Cory as the new head coach of the men’s basketball team, beginning his duties immediately, the University announced on Tuesday.  

Cory joins the Lakers after a long tenure at Algoma University, as head coach of the Thunderbirds. He replaces outgoing coach Chris Cheng who took a job at the University of Windsor this off-season.  

See related: Lakers lose high profile basketball coach

At Algoma, Cory was the first-ever full-time head coach of the men’s basketball team. He recently completed his 12th season with the Thunderbirds.

“I would first like to thank the hiring committee for this opportunity of being named the Head coach of Nipissing University and I’m incredibly humbled,” he said in a release.  

“I’m thrilled to remain in Northern Ontario and can’t wait to get to work with the players and staff to build relationships and begin our journey together of building a winning program that our community will be proud of.

“We understand that there is a lot of work ahead and we are going to embrace every step along the way to developing the program academically, athletically and in the community,” Cory added.

Lakers Athletic Director Vito Castiglione is excited to see Cory take charge of the program.

“Thomas brings a wealth of experience – both coaching and playing – high-level basketball. We are excited to welcome him to the Lakers Family,” Castiglione said.

“As a department, we are looking forward to Thomas making an immediate impact on the program thanks to his experience, philosophies and enthusiasm.”

After graduating from Sault College in Hotel Restaurant Management, Cory became the bench boss for the Sault College Cougars men’s basketball team. In four seasons with the Cougars, Cory revamped their struggling program and transformed it into one of the top OCAA programs.

Cory had four winning seasons and three OCAA playoff appearances with the Cougars.

After resigning from the position, Cory took over as Head Coach of the men’s Thunderbirds basketball program, turning the team into one of the top teams n the nation. In his first six seasons with the Thunderbirds, Cory led his squad to five playoff appearances.

He was named OCAA Coach of the Year in 2004-05. In the 2007-08 season, his team were OCAA Silver Medalists.

In 2013-14, he led his team through the large transition from college ball to university ball. His squad won five games in their first season, including defeating reigning CIS Silver Medalists, the Lakehead Thunderwolves.

Cory is a Level 3 NCCP Certified Coach and a FIBA Coach of Canada and his wife, Shawna Cory, graduated from the Bachelor of Education program at Nipissing in 2009-10.