U SPORTS sits down with one key athlete, coach, and staff member of each U SPORTS athletic program in our new interview series “Getting to know…”
- Name: David DeAveiro
- School: McGill University
- Sport: Men’s basketball
- Position: Head coach
- Seniority: Eight years
- Previous job/position: Head coach, Ottawa Gee-Gees
- Hometown: Toronto
1. How did you get to your current position, and what do you enjoy most about your job?
When I learned of the job opportunity at McGill (in 2010), I reached out to them to find out more information. After several discussions, I felt that McGill was the right fit for me. I really enjoy the people I work with. Facing the day-to-day challenges and working together to come up with solutions.
2. Who has had the most influence on your career?
Mike Katz has been my mentor and friend for over 35 years. From being my high school coach, working together with him at Humber College and with the national team, we have remained very good friends, and he has guided me throughout many challenges, both on the court but more importantly off the court.
3. What is your greatest sporting moment or achievement?
That’s a tough question. I have been blessed to experience some amazing moments. We were fortunate enough to win a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) national championship at Humber College, but there really is no feeling like representing your country at the international stage. Being named head coach of the cadet national team was an honour, as well as medalling at the FISU Summer Universiade and Commonwealth Games.
4. How would you define a McGill University student-athlete?
I’m sure being a student-athlete at any university is quite demanding. At McGill, our athletes have been driven to be the best in both academics and athletics. Their academic responsibilities far outweigh the athletic ones. They are very goal-driven!
5. What does success look like for the McGill University athletics program?
We often measure success by the number of championship banners. Success is also how we celebrate our student-athletes and all their great achievements in athletics, academics and involvement in the community. We have some great role models. Success is our athletes reflecting on their time at McGill and recognizing it as a great experience.
6. What’s the biggest challenge you face in today’s sports world?
The biggest challenge we face is funding. Every coach wants to run a first-class program and make sure their athletes have all the tools to be successful. Some programs benefit from generous donors, while others rely on fundraising activities.
7. Where would you like to see Canadian university sport in the next three to five years?
I would like to see it move towards full scholarships in the next three to five years. It may involve some thinking outside the box. Building a partnership to have a university sports network or at least a day of university sports on television. Taking our streaming of games to a whole new level, a standard of excellence which we should strive to live by. Creating excitement on our campuses for “game day”.
8. If you could sit down for dinner with one person in the sports industry (athlete, coach or manager), who would it be? Why? What would you talk about?
There are so many people to choose from, in so many different categories. The business side of sports is intriguing to me. What Nike has become and how it influences sport, especially basketball would be an amazing sit-down.
As far as a person, I would love to go to dinner with Mark Cuban. I would talk to him about the business side of sports and all the nuances that go with it.
9. What would you say to a sports fan who’s never watched a U SPORTS game/tournament/competition?
I would ask them why, and then invite them to one of our events. I would love to hear their feedback after attending a game.
10. What do you enjoy doing when you’re away from work?
When I’m away from work, I enjoy watching my kids, Darius and Jordyn, playing in their sports. And on occasion, losing golf balls on the golf course!