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Olga Hrycak

Olga Hrycak played for the University of Montreal (Carabins) in the mid-60s. She began her coaching career in 1967 at a private girls' school (Holy Names High). In 1977, the school went coed. That year the Senior Boys team won the ’77 City Championships. In the mid-seventies, over and above her regular work as a Physical Education Consultant, she found the time to coach the Women’s teams at both Marianopolis College and Sir Gorge Williams University. In 1979, she was hired to coach the men’s team at St. Lambert College. The school won it first-ever Provincial Championship and a Silver Medal at the CCAA Men’s National Championships. During those 8 years, she also coached the Quebec Juvenile and Junior Men’s Provincial Teams. 

Her exploits caught the eye of the late Jack Donohue, Coach of the Men’s National team. Coach Donohue had such confidence in her - she led all of the defensive drills for the team! She spent two years with them before returning to Montreal when she was hire to coach the men’s team at Dawson College. 15 years at Dawson saw the team win 8 AAA Collegiate Championships. During these years she capture 6 Quebec Collegiate Sports Federation Basketball Coach of the Year Awards, the 3M Canada Coach of the Year as well as 2 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Coach of the Year Awards.

She still found the time to be a member of the Board of Directors of Canada Basketball - responsible for Athlete Development During those years she gleaned excellent basketball experience in her role as Head of Delegation for Canada Basketball at many International Tournaments. She also assisted in the publication of valuable basketball resources for coaches. 

Her greatest opportunity came when she was hired to upstart the men’s basketball program at the University of Quebec in Montreal. During a 12-year career with the Citadins, the team won two RSEQ titles in 2006 and 2010. In 2017, Hrycak was honored with the Jean-Marie De Koninck Coaching Excellence Award Outstanding Contributions to University Sport in Canada.

Some of her Outstanding Awards include:


  • 2020 YWCA Foundation Women of Distinction Award Laureate in the Sports and Wellness category

  • 2018 CCAA Hall of Fame Inductee

  • 2017 Canada Basketball Hall of Fame Inductee

  • 2010 Égale Action, Award of Influential Women in Sport in Quebec

  • 2005 City of Montreal Thérèse-Daviau Award for exceptional community involvement

  • 2003 Élaine Tanguay Award - Coaching Association Award for Excellence in Coaching

  • Two Quebec Basketball Federation - Coach of the Year Awards



For Hrycak, her legacy is not about how many championships or awards she has won but rather teaching the next generation of basketball players and coaches. “I like to develop players and assist coaches as I am teacher at heart,”

In 2017, she was inducted into Canada Basketball Hall of Fame.  


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