The Laurentian Athletic Department has announced that Shawn Swords will not be returning as the Voyageurs men’s basketball coach.
Swords spent this season on a leave of absence to pursue an opportunity as an assistant coach with the Long Island Nets, the G League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets.
That experience has spurred further career opportunities and, as a result, Swords will not be returning to Laurentian.
Swords spent 15 years at the helm of the men’s basketball program, amassing a 130-163 record in OUA play in that time. His best season statistically came in 2019-20 when he guided the men to a 16-6 mark, their best record in 20 years.
Prior to his coaching tenure, Swords spent five seasons knocking down shots of his own in the blue and gold from 1992-97. Swords said he cherishes every moment of those years.
“I will be forever grateful and attached to Laurentian,” he said. “I have spent over 20 years here
between studying and working at Laurentian. It offered me a great education during my student-
athlete years and an amazing environment to coach. I am thankful Peter Campbell recruited me to come here in 1992, and that Peter Hellstrom had the conviction to hire me in 2007.”
To that end, Hellstrom still remembers that conversation some 16 years later, commenting, “I want to thank Shawn for an amazing 15 years at the helm of our men's basketball program. I still remember the day I called him in France asking if he was set to retire anytime soon as we were looking for a head coach. In typical Swords fashion, he jumped at the opportunity and never looked back. He truly demonstrated the Pride and Tradition as a coach as he did as a player and will be missed by all of us here at LU. His passion for basketball touched so many individuals through his tenure here; we wish him and his family all the best in this new chapter and he will always be a Voyageur.”
While the numbers are what will remain in the history books, it is the intangibles that Swords said he will remember most fondly.
“As much as we all pushed for a degree and wins, what has impacted me the most are the relationships,” said Swords. “Those close to me know who you are. In addition, I would be remiss if I did not add a thank you to Sudbury Selects and Sudbury Nooners! Thanks to everyone at Laurentian University for the support over the years.”
A national search for Swords’ replacement will begin immediately.