Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Beaucamp leaves UVic basketball bench after 21 seasons

Vikes boss new assistant coach at NCAA’s University of the Pacific
Craig Beaucamp led the Vikes men’s basketball team to eight appearances in the national championship tournament. UVIC

Craig Beaucamp said it was “bittersweet with so many mixed emotions and not an easy decision” to leave the men’s basketball head coaching position with the University of Victoria Vikes after 21 seasons to become lead assistant coach of the University of the Pacific Tigers in the U.S. collegiate NCAA Div. 1.

“The timing is never perfect for this kind of thing but it was an opportunity hard to pass up and the UVic players are so ­supportive.”

Beaucamp will be working with new Pacific head coach Dave Smart, hired in April, and who built the Carleton Ravens national championship dynasty in U Sports. Smart was hired as Pacific’s new head coach from his former position as Texas Tech assistant coach as part of a Red Raiders program that made it to this year’s NCAA tournament.

The Canadian connection on the bench will lead Pacific into hardwood battle in the West Coast Conference against annual powerhouse Gonzaga and also the likes of Pepperdine, St. Mary’s, Loyola-Marymount, BYU, Victorian and two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash’s alma mater Santa Clara and new additions Washington State and Oregon State from the old Pac-12.

“It is going to be a challenge in a very good conference and there are only so many opportunities like this left,” said ­Beaucamp, 58.

“It’s a different world down there.”

Not that he doesn’t respect the world he came from after leading UVic to the last three Canada West conference titles in a career in which he has guided the Vikes to the U Sports Final 8 national championship tournament eight times.

Beaucamp became UVic head coach in 2003-04 following the death of Guy Vetrie. He has also worked in the national team programs and was assistant coach with Canada at the 2023 FIBA U-19 World Cup last summer and has also coached with the Canadian U-16 and U-17 teams at FIBA World Cup and Americas regional championships.

“Jobs are jobs. It’s the relationships that matter, and I treasure those I have made at UVic, and that’s what makes leaving so bittersweet,” said Beaucamp.

Pacific, meanwhile, is located in Stockton, California, and has appeared in nine NCAA tournaments, but none since 2013, and was 0-16 in conference and 6-25 overall this past season. That leaves Smart and Beaucamp a wide opening to lay their template on the program.

“The NCAA transfer portal now can shake things up from top to bottom very quickly,” said Beaucamp.

UVic said the search for a new head coach will begin immediately. The new bench boss will inherit a loaded Vikes team that has lived at or near the top of the U Sports national top-10 poll the past three seasons, even though this Vikes group has fallen short at the national championship tournaments.

“This is a UVic team set to make another run,” said ­Beaucamp. “It makes me feel good that I am handing off the program in good shape to the next head coach.”

[email protected]