Matt Spencer

ANTIGONISH: StFX Director of Athletics and Recreation Leo MacPherson announced Matt Spencer as the new head coach of the X-Women Basketball program.

“We are excited to have Matt Spencer join StFX Athletics and lead our X-Women Basketball program,” comments MacPherson. “Matt has added great value to each team he has coached with and is more than ready to take on this role as head coach of our women’s basketball program. He will bring the necessary knowledge and passion to build a championship culture over time.”

Spencer said he is equally enthusiastic about the appointment.

“As a proud Xaverian, I am honoured and excited to be named the next head coach of the X-Women basketball program. Having spent my youth cheering for the X-Women and X-Men teams across all sports, I know what it means to be a StFX fan. Having spent four memorable years as a member of the X-Men cross country team, I also know what it means to represent StFX as a student-athlete. The opportunity to return to Antigonish and serve StFX Athletics as a head coach is more than I could have hoped for.”

According to StFX, Spencer has been coaching basketball for over two decades, most recently as an assistant coach with the women’s team at OUA’s Laurentian University for the past two years. From 2013 to 2020, the university said he ascended from volunteer assistant coach to full-time associate head coach with the Calgary Dinos women’s program in the Canada West conference. They said his expanded role helped establish the Dinos as a perennial championship contender, including two appearances at the U SPORTS national championship.

StFX noted that Spencer also played a key role in player development, community and alumni relations, recruitment, academic success programs, and overseeing the Dinos annual summer camp. They said he spent two seasons as an assistant coach at Western University as well.

In addition to his U SPORTS coaching experience, StFX said Spencer has been heavily involved in youth development, including serving as co-head coach of Canada Basketball’s Targeted Athlete Strategy program in Calgary in 2016 and 2017.

StFX said Spencer’s passion for coaching began in his hometown of Antigonish as an assistant coach of the local high school girls team.

Aside from his coaching experience, Spencer comes to StFX as a distinguished academic, having completed a PhD in Cardiovascular Exercise Physiology from Western University, as well as four postdoctoral fellowships.

Spencer received his MSc degree from the University of Saskatchewan and graduated from StFX in 2001 with a BSc Human Kinetics degree with distinction, StFX said.

StFX said Spencer started his head coaching duties May 2 and he will be tasked with building a championship-caliber X-Women program.

“When Leo (MacPherson) outlined StFX’s strategic vision including facility upgrades, and continued commitment to student-athlete leadership training, it was clear to me that StFX Athletics is completely committed to building on its rich tradition of excellence on and off the playing surface, and I am anxious and excited to be a part of that,” he noted. “I cannot thank the university leadership enough for entrusting me at the helm of the women’s basketball program. I cannot wait to get on campus to meet our student-athletes and get to work. We will continue to build a program that StFX can be proud of – one rooted in selflessness and persistence.”