Canada basketball

Tamara Tatham named Head Coach of Varsity Blues women's basketball program

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Apr 26, 2021

After a nation-wide search, the University of Toronto is pleased to announce that two-time Olympian Tamara Tatham has been named the head coach of the Varsity Blues women's basketball program.

Tatham assumed interim head coach duties in May, 2020 following the retirement of long-time head coach Michèle Bélanger and, in a year of so many uncertainties, has recruited an impressive class for the 2021-22 season.  

"Tamara has proven that she has what it takes to excel in this position," said Beth Ali, executive director of athletics and physical activity.  "Her playing career speaks for itself and she has really embraced and grown as a coach in her interim role over the past year. I have no doubt that our program and our student-athletes will be positively impacted by her leadership."

Tatham joined the Varsity Blues coaching staff as the full-time lead assistant coach in June 2017.  In 2018, she became an assistant and apprentice coach with Canada Basketball, overseeing camp logistics for the FIBA America Qualifier (U17) as well as planning and executing team and individual workouts. That same year, she was named a mentee coach for Raptors 905, becoming the first Canadian female named to a coaching staff of a North American professional men's basketball team.

The Brampton, Ont., native played with the Canadian senior women's national basketball team from 2007-16. Her time with Team Canada included trips to the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Olympics, two Pan American Games, six FIBA Americas championships and two FIBA world championships.

Her esteemed national team career is highlighted by a gold medal from the 2015 Toronto Pan Am Games, where Canada defeated the United States, 81-73, to claim the first ever Pan Am gold medal in basketball, men or women.

"What a privilege it is to have this opportunity to continue what I've started over the past year," said Tatham. "I'm looking forward to building our culture while impacting, inspiring, and preparing this group of young women to be successful on and off the court."

Prior to her time with the senior women's national team, Tatham's basketball career blossomed at the University of Massachusetts (2004-07). Named team captain in her final two seasons, she became just the 11th player in program history to surpass 1,000 career points.

Tatham earned a bachelor's degree in sports management and interned with the UMass athletics department. After graduation, Tatham traveled overseas playing with various international clubs from 2008-17, including Lappenranta Catz (Finland), Halle Lions (Germany), Piestanske Cajky (Slovakia), Townsville Fire (Australia) and Dynamo Novosibirsk (Russia).