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Former MUN coach 'in shock' over Norris murder charge

Doug Partridge had just arrived in St. John’s from his native Halifax to take over Memorial University’s women’s basketball team, and he distinctly recalls a little cousin of one of his players in the gym from time to time.

After 22 years — and seven Atlantic University Sport titles — as head coach of the Memorial Sea-Hawks women's basketball team, Doug Partridge finds himself on the outside looking in. The Telegram has learned that Partridge has been fired.

“She was this little blonde girl throwing the ball around the gym,” Partridge said of Anne Norris. “You could tell she loved the game.”

Norris, now 28, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Marcel Reardon Saturday.

The 46-year-old man's body was found under a staircase of Harbour View Apartments on Brazil Street on the morning of May 9.

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Norris was quite the basketball player in her younger days, starring for the Mount Pearl Senior High Huskies.

In 2005, she was part of the KFC Junior Sea-Hawks team, coached by Partridge, that defeated Hamilton, Ont. Transway 54-42 in Laval, Que., for the Canadian under-19 women’s club basketball championship.

It was the first national gold medal in age group club play for the province.

“(Former Sea-Hawks star) Michelle (Healey) told me last week,” Partridge said. “I’ve been in shock ever since.”

That U19 team included Kelly Himmelman, Amy Peveril, Paula Barker, Erin Mullaley, Meagan Seaward and Megan Dalton who all played with Memorial’s varsity team which won the Atlantic University Sport (AUS) championship that season.

Norris, according to the CBC, attended the University of Prince Edward Island and was listed on the Panthers’ women’s basketball roster.

However, she did not appear in an Atlantic University Sport game for UPEI.

“She wasn’t great, but she was a very good athlete,” Partridge said. “I think she would have been a fringe AUS player, but I also think she would have been a very good small college player.”

The coach remembers the athlete — Norris also competed in karate, making a trip to nationals, and was invited to attend national team tryouts — as a, “nice pleasant kid.

“My memories of her and her family are all positive,” Partridge said. “It’s heartbreaking.”

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