Cambrian College has hired a new head coach for its men’s basketball team — and he's raising the bar for his players.

Richard Whitfield told CBC News he's a tough coach and hopes to win a national title within three years.

mi-richard-whitfield-300

Richard Whitfield, 32, will start coaching Sudbury's Cambrian College Golden Shield men's basketball teamm this fall. (Supplied)

Whitfield — whose passion for basketball started in Grade 5 or 6 — has coached at Loyalist College in Belleville, played for St. Lawrence College in Cornwall and RMC in Kingston.

But "injuries whittled away at my playing career," he said, so it was, "Time to switch sides ... and do something to fuel my competitive nature."

Whitfield, 32, said he will bring a tough coaching style.

"Playing for some demanding coaches over the years ... I demand things out of my players," he said.

"I'm very demanding on these guys because that's what I went through."

He noted the challenge ahead at Cambrian College will be building up the team.

"The men's program went through a difficult time," he said.

"My goal for this year is to get everything on track. If we bring in the players we want to bring in and we develop them ... I think that's a good start for this year."

And then?

"We’ve got to push for wins," Whitfield said. "We’ve got to push to get better and we can make that final jump in a couple years to hopefully push for a national championship."