The Ottawa BlackJacks are stressing continuity, bringing back coach Charles Dubé-Brais for the 2022 season.
The CEBL franchise struggled through most of the 2021 season, finishing with a 4-10 record. Yet with a revamped line-up due to a COVID-19 outbreak running through the team, the BlackJacks had a strong playoff, putting a scare into the eventual champion Edmonton Stingers in the semifinals.
The BlackJacks made the announcement now to stop any and all speculation that Dubé-Brais could move back to Quebec to coach the expansion Montreal Alliance franchise next season.
Dube-Brais says the people in the organization, including president Michael Cvitkovic and general manager Jevohn Shepherd, made it an easy decision to return.
“I saw a quality organization from Day One when I came here,” he said. “You guys know my resume a little bit. I’ve been around the world, I’ve been with many organizations. You don’t see that everywhere. If there were rumours out there (about Montreal), there were no rumours in my head.”
Shepherd credited Dubé-Brais for finding answers in the final stretch of the season.
“Close to the end of the season, Charles came up big for us,” said Shepherd. “We had a rough season to start and we ended up winning our biggest game of the season. The big thing for me was when we looked around and we saw our support staff celebrating the win and everybody was on the court hugging and laughing and enjoying that moment. A big part of that was having someone at the helm that wanted to be here.”
After having a full season to see the CEBL in action, Dubé-Brais says he has a better picture of what type of roster the BlackJacks will need to succeed.
The BlackJacks will play host to the CEBL championship weekend from August 17-21 at TD Place.