Black Canadian Hired as Assistant Coach at StFX University

Antigonish, NS: Tyrone “Ty” Watson is a former NCAA Division 1 basketball player turned professional athlete and university basketball coach. Originally from Hamilton, Ontario, Tyrone was a standout NCAA player at New Mexico State University where he graduated with an Honours Criminal Justice degree. Over his NCAA career, Ty led the Aggies to 3 NCAA “March Madness” Tournament appearances, a WAC Conference Championship and was named to the WAC All-Tournament team, while serving as Team Captain. Ty also played internationally while in university; he played at the NIKE Global Challenge, earning a bronze medal and represented Team Canada at the 2008 FIBA Americas Tournament. Recently, Tyrone Watson was named the Lead Assistant Coach for Men’s Basketball at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia.

After a stellar collegiate career, Tyrone went on to play 7 years as a professional athlete, first with the Halifax Rainmen of the National Basketball League (NBL) of Canada, and then the Orangeville A’s. In 2014, Ty played in Canada’s top summer league, the North of the Border Basketball League (NBBL), and was named Most Valuable Player. The following season he was named NBLC Canadian of the Year.

In 2015 Ty played a stint of professional European basketball, inking a contract with Al-Muharraq of the Bahraini Premier League before returning to the NBLC. A standout professional athlete, Watson averaged 11.6 points, 5.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game for the St. John’s Edge during the 2019-20 season where he was named to the NBL All-Canadian First Team. Over his professional career, Ty Watson was named a NBLC Canadian player of the year, to the All NBLC defensive team, a 5x NBLC All-Canadian, and a 3x NBLC Atlantic Conference Champion.

Tyrone Watson is currently an Assistant Coach for the Niagara River Lions who compete in Canada’s newest and innovative pro league, the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL). Ty competed in the 2020 CEBL Summer Series and made the transition to become a coach following his appointment as an Assistant for the StFX X-Men this past season.  

“Tyrone is going to be a phenomenal coach and I’m excited that he will shift from player to Assistant Coach for us this season,” said Head Coach and General Manager Victor Raso. “Tyrone is a competitor, a winner and a great communicator, and I know that this experience will be beneficial to him as he develops in his coaching career. He earned the respect of his teammates last summer and was looked upon as a leader, which will make for a seamless transition to our coaching staff”.

Photo credit: Niagara River Lions

It is an honour and privilege to be hired at the prestigious St. Francis Xavier University as an Assistant Coach. It is a greater privilege to be coaching alongside a close family friend and former teammate – Tyrell Vernon, Head Coach. We’ve competed with and against each other at numerous levels of basketball throughout our professional careers. We bring a competitive, passionate, and strategical mindset to the game which balances itself beyond a doubt. I look forward to our success on and off the court preparing these young, driven student-athletes for their present and most importantly future endeavours!

On what it means to be named Coach at StFX University?

Tyrone Watson began his official coaching duties as Lead Assistant Coach for the StFX X-Men Basketball team on April 1, 2021, following Tyrell Vernon’s succession to Bench Boss. The X-Men finished the 2019-20 season as AUS finalists, and were set to host the Men’s National U Sports Tournament in 2020-21, prior to the outbreak of covid-19. Their bid to host is expected to be fulfilled in 2022-23.

Leadership Through Sport – We Are StrongerTogether!