He served as Sea-Hawks assistant coach under Peter Benoite for three seasons
Ian Coultas of St. John’s is the new coach of the Memorial Sea-Hawks’ men’s basketball team, appointed on an acting basis before the Atlantic University Sport conference opens its delayed 2021-22 season in January.
Coultas replaces Peter Benoite, who was let go in April.
Benoite, the former Sea-Hawks star, took over as head coach of the Sea-Hawks in 2008.
Since 2010-11, Memorial has made only four AUS playoff appearances, including this past season when the Sea-Hawks lost their conference quarter-final game 81-57 to the Saint Mary’s Huskies.
Memorial has never won an AUS men’s basketball championship, the only school in the conference not to do so.
Memorial’s athletic director, Karen Murphy, said given the “complexities” brought on by COVID-19, Coultas is working on an “acting” basis for the time being.
“Because of the continuance of the Atlantic bubble,” Murphy said, “we were unable to do a full national search and bring candidates here.
“And I do think that’s an important part of searching for a suitable, permanent candidate for that role. Have them come here and see the community, and see the institution.
“We’re not able to do that, and because of the precarious nature of the season right now, we did want to appoint somebody in that leadership role. I think it’s important for the student-athletes to have that.
“We’re fortunate that Ian has the background and expertise to lead them for this year. So on an acting basis, we’ve made that decision.”
“Because of the continuance of the Atlantic bubble, We were unable to do a full national search and bring candidates here. And I do think that’s an important part of searching for a suitable, permanent candidate for that role." — Memorial athletics director Karen Murphy
Coultas served as an assistant coach under Benoite for three seasons. Prior to Memorial, the 36-year-old St. John’s native coached high school basketball at Gonzaga, winning the provincial 4A title in 2015. He also coached several provincial teams from 2008-13, from under-13 up to U17.
He and his sister, Erica, coached the 2013 Canada Summer Games squad, which placed seventh in Sherbrooke, Que.
Matt Bruce, who also served as an assistant coach last season, will be back as the lead assistant under Coultas, and joined by Erica Coultas, a former MUN varsity player, Devin O’Grady and Jon Pye.