The Ottawa BlackJacks of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) is hiring Fabienne Perrin-Blizzard as an assistant coach, making her the only woman to currently coach professional sports in the nation's capital.
A tough defensive-minded coach, Perrin-Blizzard will join the BlackJacks bench alongside head coach Charles Dubé-Brais and lead assistant coach Patrick Ewing Jr.
"It is an honour to join our local professional basketball team," she says. "I am thankful to take my career to the next level and be a part of a club that will inspire the next generation. I am looking forward to being reunited with the rest of the coaching staff on the sidelines at TD Place."
A University of Ottawa Gee-Gees hall of famer, Perrin-Blizzard serves as the assistant coach for the Cadette Women’s National team and spent several years coaching Ontario’s provincial teams.
"Not only has Fabienne proved to be an amazing basketball coach, leading women’s national and provincial teams to gold medals, but she also understands the impact we want to have in the community," says BlackJacks General Manager Jevohn Shepherd. "Her values and vision align with ours and it was evident that she would be a great addition to our coaching staff."
Perrin-Blizzard co-founded Capital Courts Academy, a one-stop training environment giving athletes the opportunity to participate in a comprehensive high-level program that support both academic and basketball goals. She is also responsible for the management and direction of the academy and coaches the girls’ program.
With a desire of making an impact in the growth and development of young athletes, Perrin-Blizzard has been an active member of the basketball community, from coaching at the club level to promoting technical and soft skills at various speaking events, including the Women Symposiums, the Women’s Forum Network and the SEED Hoop Forum Senegal. In May 2019, she flew to Senegal, where she served as guest coach for the Girls’ NBA Academy Africa kick-off.
"I am very excited to start working with Fabienne," says Dubé-Brais. "She understands what it takes to build a winning team, having won many titles and awards as a player and as a coach. She will bring something unique and a different perspective to the BlackJacks organization and will have a crucial role in the success of our team on and off the court."
Perrin-Blizzard and her husband, Carlos, have two children. Tyra, 23, who played university basketball for the Windsor Lancers and the Ottawa Gee-Gees and is now transitioning to her first professional season overseas. Dante, 21, played football throughout high school and is currently enrolled at the University of Guelph.
The CEBL is preparing for its third season in 2021, following this past year's CEBL Summer Series in St. Catharines, which saw millions of viewers across Canada tune in to watch 26 games played over 15 days in a single-site league competition.