By Joseph Galiwango
The men’s basketball team may be on the lookout now for the next Errol Fraser, but why look any further than their own bench boss?
This year, the Rams’ 33-year-old coach Patrick Williams finished his first stint as head of the Ryerson men’s basketball team with two years left of eligibility as a player.
Eligibility is the number of years a player can participate in varsity sports. Currently, the limit is five years and Williams has completed only three.
According to Ontario University Athletics regulations, Williams still had the option to coach and play on the team at the same time. Last year, he was an assistant coach to now interuniversity manager Terry Haggerty. But Williams thinks his playing years are over.
“I’m a coach, and my playing days are done,” says Williams, who is now committed to his responsibilities to the team and his coaching duties.
But players like Shae Frattura would love to see Williams suit up in the blue and gold.
“I was unaware of that. I don’t think a lot of the players knew. He should suit up. At his age he could definitely play in the CIAU. I’d be worried about him taking my spot,” says Frattura. Another coach making waves is Nic Jorgenson. As head of the Ryerson swim team, Jorgenson swims alongside many of his fellow peers as well as coaches them to victory.
“I sort of put myself in the back seat,” says Jorgenson, who is one of the leading swimmers for Rye. “I try to help people improve and don’t really worry about my training too much.”
The difference between Williams and Jorgenson lie in their sports. The men’s basketball team had a full squad and Williams was ready to coach full time.
The swim team was small and needed all the help they could get, especially from Jorgenson, who has over a decade of experience as a swimmer.
“We’re a small team so we didn’t really get many points or really make any dents at the competition but everyone improved generally,” says Jorgenson.
Even though Williams won’t play again, he has managed to transfer his own talents as a player into a coaching style that is very beneficial to his ballers.
“When I get to work with him one-on-one, even after a two-hour work out, I know I’ve made improvements on how I play this game,” says Frattura, who looks forward to another season under Williams’ wing.
“The biggest improvement came in my shooting and next to that is an understanding of the game. Understanding how to be a basketball player rather than just playing basketball. That comes down to controlling the game rather than getting lost within the game.”