Women's Basketball Assistant McNeill Selected Canadian National Coach

Dec. 4, 2001

TORONTO, Canada - Canada Basketball selected University of Oregon top assistant coach Allison McNeill as its national women's team coach Tuesday.

McNeill replaces Bev Smith, Oregon's head coach, who resigned her Canadian national team post in November.

'I am very honored and excited to be named the coach of our Canadian national team,' McNeill said. 'I have coached five junior and youth national teams as well as helped with the senior team so I have a good feel for the players. Bev Smith has done a great job of getting the program going in the right direction and I hope that I can continue the growth of the program.'

McNeill's appointment will not interfere with her current position at Oregon, since the national team primarily competes in August and September.

McNeill played for the Ducks from 1979-81. Before returning to her alma mater in August 2001, she was the head coach at Simon Fraser in Burnaby, B.C., for the last 13 years, compiling an incredible 363-79 (.821) record.

In 2000, McNeill, 41, also was the head Canadian Junior National Team coach, and led it to a fifth-place finish at the World Qualifying Tournament. She earned NAIA/Kodak Regional Coach of the Year honors following the 2000 campaign. Following the 1995-96 and 1997-98 seasons, she was awarded the Pacific Northwest Athletic Conference Coach of the Year. In 1992, she received perhaps one of her greatest honors in being selected the NAIA Converse/WBCA Coach of the Year. McNeill also captured NAIA Conference Coach of the Year accolades after the 1991, 1992, 1994, 1996 and 1998 seasons.

'Allison McNeill has a great reputation as a basketball coach,' said Canadian national senior team captain Cal Bouchard. 'I'm sure that the team's transition into 2002 with our new coach will be a smooth one.'

In addition, she coached Canadian juniors and club teams from 1983 to 1987. She also has spent time in Germany, coaching two girls club teams in Monheim from 1983 to 1984.

McNeill's coaching career has come full circle as she began as an assistant at Oregon in the 1981-82 season. She spent the following year as an assistant at Portland State.

As a player, McNeill transferred to Oregon after leading Laurentian University to two national championships. A two-year starter for the Ducks, she led the team in assists and ranked second in steals during her senior season in 1980-81. Her 72 steals that year still stands as the ninth-best single-season mark in school history.

A native of Salmon Arm, B.C., she graduated from Salmon Arm Secondary in 1977. She is married to Mike McNeill, also an assistant coach with the Ducks.

'Canada Basketball and the national women's basketball team is extremely fortunate to have Allison McNeill as the new head coach,' said Robert Gordon, president of Canada Basketball. 'Allison has been coaching our developmental squads and has worked at the Nike All-Canada Camps. The women's program will not skip a beat. She knows the strong depth of our women's basketball pool and I'm confident our program will continue to grow.'

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