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  • Writer's pictureCanada West

Coleen Dufresne (WBB | Coach)

NAME: Coleen Dufresne



SPORT: Women’s Basketball

YEARS ACTIVE: 1984-2001 (coach); 2001-2016 (administrator)


  • Three national titles as a coach (1988, 1996, 1997)

  • Three-time CIAU Coach of the Year (1983, 1988, 1998)

  • 2017 U Sports Austin-Matthews Award recipient

  • 2nd Canadian elected to FISU Executive Committee


As a coach and director, Coleen Dufresne had a tremendous impact over three-plus decades at the University of Manitoba.

Dufresne coached the women’s basketball team for 17 years, making nine trips to the CIAU championship tournament where her squad won three gold medals (1988, 1996 and 1997), two silver medals (1995, 1998) and two bronze medals (1987 and 1994).

While patrolling the sidelines for the Bisons, she was twice named CIAU Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year (1988 and 1998).

In 2001, she became Manitoba’s athletic director. Over her 15-year tenure, U of M teams won four CIS titles and nine Canada West championships. and women’s soccer received varsity status.

Before Manitoba joined Canada West, Dufresne coached the Bisons in the Great Plains Athletic Conference, winning five GPAC titles (1987, 1988, 1996, 1997, 1998); while being named GPAC Coach of the Year on five occasions (1985, 1987, 1988, 1996, 1998).

A native of Halifax, who was raised in Dorion, Que., Dufresne played basketball as a student-athlete the University of Ottawa, and later went on to further her education at McGill University, and later the University of New Brunswick.

In 1980, Dufresne became head coach of women’s basketball at UNB. She was named AUS Coach of the Year in 1983 and 1984 and received the first of her three CIAU Coach of the Year honours in 1983.

As a player, Dufresne represented Canada in women’s hoops at the 1976 Montreal Summer Olympics. She later coached the Canadian women’s basketball team at major international events, including the FIBA World Championships and Pan American Games.

Dufresne was Canada West President from 2005-07. Additionally, she began serving as part of the FISU International Control Committee in 2002, and in 2005 became just the second Canadian elected to the FISU Executive Committee.

In 2017, not long after she retired, Dufresne was presented with the Austin-Matthews Award, given each year by U SPORTS to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to interuniversity sport.


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