McGill University hires former captain to lead the women’s basketball team

By Michael Boriero
McGill University hires former captain to lead the women’s basketball team
(Photo : McGill University)

When Rikki Bowles, born and raised in East Farnham, was officially named head coach of the McGill University women’s basketball team last week, she was struck by a range of emotions, but above all, she was humbled.
“I definitely feel privileged and it’s sort of more than a job, if I could say, because it’s a program that I love and care very much about, you know, aside from it being my job,” she said.
Bowles played for the McGill Martlets for five years before graduating with a degree in physical education in 2010. She has been involved in coaching ever since, with brief stints at College Brébeuf and Vanier College.
However, she is a Martlet through and through. After spending one season as head coach at Brébeuf, Bowles left to join her former McGill team as an assistant coach in 2011, working alongside long-time head coach Ryan Thorne.
Bowles stayed in that position for seven years. And during that time, she also taught physical education at The Study, an all-girls private elementary and high school in Montreal, and served as head coach for the school’s basketball team.
She always knew that she wanted to be involved in basketball, but she never really thought about taking over the helm of the McGill women’s team until they won the 2017 Bronze Baby national championship. In that moment, Bowles knew she wanted more.
“When the opportunity came up to go head coach at Vanier, it was a really difficult decision to leave McGill. I’ve been here for a long time, but I thought getting some head coaching experience at that point would be best for me moving forward,” said Bowles.

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