The search for a new men’s basketball coach is over. Scott MacLeod will be taking over the job as head coach of the Tommies in place of Dwight Dickinson, who announced his retirement earlier in the year.
MacLeod has spent the last 15 years as assistant to long time coach Dickinson. MacLeod first started thinking about the head coaching position five years ago, when Dickinson decided he would retire after five more years.
“It’s something I’ve been working towards for a long time, and it’s my opportunity to leave a mark at St. Thomas… I don’t really have a lot of nerves,” said MacLeod.
Earlier in his life, MacLeod wouldn’t have had the time to be the head coach of the Tommies. The 51-year-old owns York Funeral Home on the Northside of Fredericton. Now his company has full-time managing directors, so he can take a little more time for basketball.
And now that Dickinson’s retirement has come, MacLeod is going to have to take what he learned from Dickinson, and make the team his own.
“What I’ve learned most from coach Dickinson in my 15 years is patience,” said MacLeod. “I’ve learned that if you can be patient and let the player develop, and not try to demand something they’re not ready to do, but take them to edge of the water, then get them a little closer next time so you can get that development.”
MacLeod will come in already knowing the program and its players. Third-year point guard Dylan Gallant thinks that the familiarity is going to make the transition much easier than if it was a coach the team didn’t already know.
“He already has our respect because we’ve been around him and we can see that he’s got the right attitude, and we share the same team philosophy,” said Gallant.
MacLeod has been a part of multiple ACAA conference championship teams, and was also assistant coach when the team won a bronze and silver medal at nationals.
“He’s got the experience to run a championship level program. He’s been around for a long time and I think he learned a lot from coach Dickinson over the years,” said Gallant.
MacLeod did an interview with athletics director Mike Eagles last Tuesday, and was told he would hear back in a week or sooner. The decision was made quicker than expected, as MacLeod got the call on Wednesday night that he got the job.
He is glad he got the job before school ends. He can now meet with players coming back to discuss things, and start looking for recruits. Most of all, he is glad to get going.
“I’m looking forward to starting,” said MacLeod. “And what I really look forward to is working with the young men, developing them as people. I really believe that if we can develop these young men into people who want to do what they can to support their teammates, we will have a solid team no matter what the skill level is.”