Basketball (2018)Women's basketball has been given jump by Irene Wallace.
As a high school coach, she led Moose Jaw Central and Saskatoon Mount Royal to two provincial titles each and Bedford Road to a pair of second-place finishes. She even gave the Mount Royal team international experience, with the team going by bus to Las Vegas and Los Angeles. She was the head coach at the University of Saskatchewan for six years and Camosun College in Victoria, B.C. for nine. When she was studying at the National Coaching Institute she was an assistant coach to Kathy Shields with the University of Victoria.
Wallace was the head coach of Saskatoon's team in the 1978 Saskatchewan Winter Games and of Saskatchewan's team in the 1979 national senior championship. Both teams finished second. She's been five times a guest coach with the Canadian national team and Canada's team for the World University Games. She was head instructor at the first national High Performance Camp for Aboriginal youth.
High performance is only part of the story.
Wallace started and organized what's become an annual spring basketball league for women in Saskatoon. She began and planned a women's basketball league in Victoria for ages 18 to 70. She coaches coaches in Canada Basketball's mentoring system. She gives clinics in the National Coaching Certification Program and teaches at Learn-to-Play programs for youth to adults.
From recreational basketball to the national team, Wallace has coached for more than 35 years and contributed through volunteer national and provincial Boards.
She was enshrined earlier in the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame with the Harmony Centre softball teams. Irene continues to coach, now a professional Career Coach and a proud Masters Level ice hockey player.