Even though he originally came to UWO in 1969 to help shape graduate programs in the Social Sciences, Craig Boydell made the jump into focusing more on sports. It’s a good thing he did, because in the fourteen years he was head coach of the men’s basketball team he took the Mustangs to four Ontario University Athletic Association (OUAA, later referred to as “OUA”) championship wins, as well as their first ever win at a Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) tournament.
Coach Boydell stayed on as the head coach of the Mustangs until 2006. During the entire sixteen years he spent at UWO he went on sabbatical twice. The first time was in the 1994-95 season to spend a year in France. Upon his return, he was determined to bring the team back up to a higher standard, after their previous season’s record of ten wins, and twenty-two losses.
The second time he took a year off was in 2004-05 to, sadly, battle prostate cancer. But thankfully things looked more optimistic, as he managed to return for one more year of coaching after this. Finally, in 2006, he decided it was time to retire and handed the Mustangs’ reigns over to his long-time assistant coach, and former player, Brad Campbell.
After being assistant coach for a few years, he took over as head coach from Doug Hayes in the 1990-91 season. It was in his first year as head coach that he led them to the CIAU tournament in Halifax.There they met the Guelph Gryphons and beat them for Western’s first national title in basketball ever. From there, he kept up the impressive streak, taking the team to another title win at the OUA tournament in 1998-99.