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David DeAveiro Discusses How He Establishes And Maintains A Winning Culture In USports Basketball

David DeAveiro | Head Coach | Ryerson Rams Men's Basketball

One of our goals is to create an identity that matches what Kentucky does in the NCAA. It is important for our athletes to compete at the highest level and understand the work that needs to be done to achieve the highest level of success.

David DeAveiro

Head Coach

Ryerson Rams Men's Basketball

× The interview with David DeAveiro was conducted via a typed conversation. Editing changes were made to make it easier to read while maintaining the voice of the interview.

Before your current position with Ryerson, you were the Head Coach of the Men’s basketball team at McGill for 10 seasons, having won the RSEQ division 5 times and appeared at the USports Final 8, eight seasons in a row to end your time there. What were the three most important elements to establishing a winning culture within McGill’s program?

McGill was a great experience. I believe that the three most important elements to establishing a winning culture at McGill were as such:

  1. Identifying and defining expectations for our team, knowing the limitations (regarding academics).
  2. Building a great staff focusing on people that I trusted and filled the roles we needed.
  3. Recruiting athletes that fit the characteristics of our program, as we defined the “McGill Way”.

You played basketball for the Ottawa Gee Gees for five years before going on to coach them for 9 seasons after. Who were the three most influential coaches/teammates you had at Ottawa and what did they do to help shape your coaching career?

The three most influential people during my five playing years at Ottawa U were George House, RobTaylor and John Restivo.

George House was an alumnus who took me under his wing when I was a freshman. George had coached at OttawaU, was a father to two basketball players and would provide feedback after games. He was very supportive.

Rob Taylor was our team captain when I arrived as a freshman. It was a difficult year for Rob. The program had been successful for years during Rob’s time, but his final year was spent mentoring nine freshmen and taking many losses.

Rob, although frustrated during the season, continued to play hard and mentor me to be the next captain. I found myself in the same scenario in my fifth year with many new faces and shared the knowledge that Rob had provided me with.

John Restivo was the head coach during my five years at OttawaU. Coach helped me become a leader as I was a four year captain.

He guided me through the tough seasons and helped me grow as a young man. We would have many conservations, about many topics. He always had an open door and I took advantage of it. I knew he had my back. We today are still friends and keep in contact.

What is your main philosophy that you carry on and off the court that you implement wherever you are coaching?

My philosophy is that all accomplishments are achieved through hard work and working together.

Whatever I ask of my athletes and staff are things that I ask of myself. I ask my athletes to work hard, accept and embrace challenges. I do the same. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

The importance of building relationships with people, especially within our team, treating people with respect and realizing that everything you achieve is earned. Stay humble, stay hungry.

You have had plenty of experience coaching with the Canadian national basketball team at different levels, and were on the staff that won Silver at the commonwealth games in Australia in 2018. What are the biggest benefits to working with the national program and what do you try to take and implement from your experiences coaching there?

Coaching with the National Team Program is an honour.

I have been exposed to NBA players and coaches, their mind and work habits. I have been able to see how the rest of the world plays the game, tendencies and nuances and figure out how I can bring that to our program and team.

I find the international game to be more of a players’ game. Thus I have put an emphasis on skill development in our program. It’s an ongoing teaching tool for me.

Watching games, trying to find anything I can use. It has exposed me to sports science and analytics, and how the game continues to advance. Never stop learning.

Ryerson has been known for having a very successful program, with former Head Coach Roy Rana having moved on to work on the staff of the Sacramento Kings in the NBA. What are your three main goals you want to achieve with the program and what do you believe the biggest challenge will be for you to achieve them?

Coach Rana was very successful in changing and building a winning culture at Ryerson. We would like to continue to build on Coach Rana’s success and add a few of our own wrinkles to make Ryerson a national champion.

Ryerson should be a place for every serious basketball player to think about attending and playing for our team. One of our goals is to create an identity that matches what Kentucky does in the NCAA.

It is important for our athletes to compete at the highest level and understand the work that needs to be done to achieve the highest level of success.

It is those skills that are transferable to whatever our athletes decide to do with their lives, be it a pro athlete, successful businessman, sports broadcasting, whatever career path they choose. It is also important for us to be part of the downtown community.

Opening up our program to all walks of life and whoever wants to be a part of it. Our biggest challenge will always be resources, especially funding. Our university and athletic department do a great job.

Fundraising and partnerships allow us to provide our athletes with more equipment, meal money, affordable downtown housing and scholarship and financial aid opportunities to have a meaningful experience at Ryerson.

Matias Bueno Matias's Final Thoughts

Speaking with Ryerson men’s basketball Head Coach David DeAveiro was an excellent experience because he has acquired lots of wisdom from being a member of a team facing lots of adversity during his playing days. He has worked hard to build three successful USports basketball teams during his time in Ottawa, McGill and has another opportunity with OUA powerhouse Ryerson. DeAveiro embodies the fundamental skills that teams need to become great, in humility, hard work, mutual respect, trust and a drive to be great. 

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