2014 hall of fame inductees
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Blue;Gold g ot h u n d e r b i r d s. c a
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Blue;Gold spring 2014
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10 women’s hockey: gaining altitude
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Volume 10, Issue 1 • Printed in Canada by RR Donnelley Canadian Publications Mail Agreement #41473026
2014 HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES
On the Cover }
Graduating team captain Christi Capozzi finished off her UBC career at the top of her game.
BIG BLOCK CLUB
BLUE✛GOLD G OT H U N D E R B I R D S. C A
15 2014 sports hall of fame inductees
Scores, news & event info:
Message from the managing director
reetings from Point Grey to all alumni and friends of the UBC Thunderbirds.
As many of you know, the objective of the recent UBC varsity sport review was to create a framework to deliver new levels of excellence with long term financial sustainability. After receiving much feedback, and carefully assessing the potential of each team, we have retained 24 teams and placed each into three groupings (enhanced varsity, continued varsity, and hybrid funding varsity). Although grouping teams, given the complexity and uniqueness of each team’s landscape, is not perfect, this approach begins to provide a common structure for teams with similar potential and needs. The framework helps us make choices about where and how to invest resources, and how to maximize the return on those investments for our athletes, our students, and our community. There are three key outcomes to highlight.
event management, athlete training, sport science and sport medicine. We will work with our UBC colleagues to help our community better connect with UBC, offering sport and the Thunderbird experience as a tool for growth in social engagement and school spirit. And finally, we can now sharpen our focus upon being a more integrated part of Canada’s sport community. Our success in swimming through partnerships with competitive swim clubs on the one hand, and our national team program on the other, is a superb example of how UBC can be a part of the playgroundto-podium continuum of athlete and coach development. Our mandate has formally grown beyond inter-university championships to include progression to national and professional teams. Over the years, we will align with local, provincial and national sport organizations including the Canadian Sport Institute.
Looking to the immediate future, our key areas of focus will be converting the review First, we now have valuable information information into action, consolidating – never gathered before - on each team. our visions and emerging with five-year With comprehensive baselines and targets sport plans for each team; harnessing our now in place, we can measure the success resources in varsity, recreation, facilities, of our teams in a more rigorous and marketing, and finances to support our objective manner. This sets a foundation vision with a review of our organisational for a culture of accountability, where structure, roles and responsibilities, and targeted support and adjustments can addressing the considerable challenges be made based on a team’s performance we face over sustainability, including against measures of success. Coaches fundraising to meet the income required to are leaders in performance, but they are support our 24 teams. often left to operate in isolation and it Although at times tumultuous, this process can be a lonely, difficult job. Support, has sparked our community to support our interaction, feedback - these are things teams in new and encouraging ways. I was on which our coaches will thrive. delighted, for example, to overhear one Secondly, we are now in a better of our alumni recently say: “I took what I position to bridge the very real gaps needed from my Thunderbird experience, between Athletics and Recreation and and for years, I walked away. Now, I’m the University that were identified in back.” the 2012 review of the department. We In support of the challenges and have formally dropped our ancillary opportunites before us, my hope is that status, and will pursue opportunities to alumni and friends will remain engaged. create enhanced student learning and Sincerely, engagement across campus. Over the coming years, we will foster partnerships Ashley Howard with expert faculty in areas such as Managing Director sports administration, sport marketing, UBC Athletics and Recreation
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nother big season is closing out for the kids from Point Grey. At press time, Thunderbirds teams had staked claims to three CIS National Championships in 2013-14 and one NAIA crown, with the track, baseball, softball, golf, rowing, men’s field hockey and rugby teams still in the hunt for more hardware down the home stretch. The women’s swim team cruised to a third straight and CIS-leading 19th national title, ending with a combined team score of 802.5 points, 397.5 points ahead of the Montreal Carabins (405), setting the CIS championship record for the largest margin of victory. UBC’s Erika Seltenreich-Hodgson was named both the CIS Female Rookie of the Year and CIS Swimmer of the Year after winning three individual events and picking up a total of five medals over the three-day championship meet at the University of Toronto. Other highlights included two-time Olympian Savannah King claiming her fourth straight 800 freestyle title on day three, while Tera Van Beilen took top spot in both the 50 and 200 breaststroke and helped UBC’s 400 medley relay team to a CIS championship record in the final women’s race of the meet. Not surprisingly, UBC’s Steve Price was honoured as CIS women’s team Coach of the Year. On the men’s side, the host Blues finished with 690 points to edge out the Canada West champion T-Birds who racked up 609.5. UBC’s Coleman Allen was honoured as the CIS male Swimmer of the Year with a seven-medal performance. Allen anchored UBC’s Canadian record-breaking 800 freestyle relay team while also setting a new CIS championship mark in the 100 butterfly. The most recent national title came on the heels of fall championship victories for the Thunderbirds men’s soccer and women’s field hockey teams, as
well as a NAIA Cross Country crown. UBC’s women’s cross country team were national champions for a second consecutive year while the men were eighth, good enough to give UBC a combined team championship. The T-Birds women’s volleyball team went into last month’s CIS championship tournament looking for a record seventh consecutive national title. But the Manitoba Bisons, who had lost to UBC just one week earlier in the Canada West championship final, had other ideas. Reserving their finest play of the season until the end, the Bisons cruised through the tournament without losing a set, including a 3-0 win over UBC (25-22, 25-22, 25-20) in the gold medal match. Ironically, UBC had defeated the Bisons the week before in the Canada West final. It was Manitoba’s first win over UBC in 18 starts and its first national title in the sport since 2002. The disappointing loss notwithstanding, UBC’s Lisa Barclay added further honours to an already impressive resume. The Brandon, Manitoba native was named an All Canadian, a CIS Tournament All-star and took home the Mary Lyons Award as CIS Player of the Year. It was the fifth consecutive year the trophy has been awarded to a UBC player, following Shanice Marcelle (2013, 2011); Kyla Richey (2012) and Liz Cordonier (2010). Team mate Abbey Keeping was also named a CIS Tournament All-Star. Honour Role
Canada West women’s hockey scoring leader Tatiana Rafter becomes the first UBC Thunderbird to win the conference’s Player of the Year award. The fourth-year forward from Winnipeg was the major offensive force behind a continued on page 6
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UBC team that won 20 regular season games for the first time in program history. With 20 goals and 18 assists in 28 games, Rafter finished the season seven points ahead of her closest competitor in the Canada West scoring race. She led the league in goals, points and power play goals (9) and tied for first in shorthanded goals (2) and game-winning goals (6). Back in December, she scored 15 points in seven games to help Canada win the gold medal at the 2013 Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy. UBC head coach Deb Huband recorded her 400th career win February 1 in Calgary with a 56-53 victory over the Dinos. After completing her 19th season at the helm, the former national team standout and 1984 Olympian’s overall record is 404-213, including three CIS championships. A member of the Canadian Basketball Hall of Fame, Coach Huband had a similarly extraordinary university playing career at Bishop’s University, where she set an all-time CIS record for points in a game with a 50-point performance in 1981-82. UBC outside hitter Ben Chow was named a FirstTeam All-Canadian, while setter Milan Nikic was named a Second Team All-Canadian for their outstanding play during the 2013-14 men’s volleyball season. Chow was a crucial part of UBC’s finely tuned offense this year, finishing tied for fifth in the conference with 3.72 kills per set. UBC led the conference in assists and kills this year
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and finished second in team hitting percentage, thanks in large measure to the stellar play of Nikic, who finished second individually in Canada West with 10.55 assists per set. Men’s basketball team’s Kedar Wright was named to the 2014 Canada West All-Rookie Team after an impressive first season for the Thunderbirds. Wright averaged eight points per game in 27 games this season. He was one of the best players in the T-Birds three-game quarter final playoff series against Alberta, averaging 18 points a game, including a season-high 28 points in game two. Bruchet Breaks Speed Record
Luc Bruchet won the men’s 3,000 metres of the University of Washington Indoor Preview back in January in a blistering time of 7:54.57 breaking not only the 18-year-old UBC record but also the meet record of 7:54.88 set by Irish Olympian Alistair Cragg. Bruchet bettered the former UBC record of 7:59.29, set in 1996 by two-time Olympian Jeff Schiebler who holds multiple Canadian distance records. Bruchet joins Olympian and UBC alumnus Michael Mason in the record books for the Washington event, as Mason set the meet high jump record of 2.30m back in 2008. Bruchet has been impressive all season long, with an NAIA 1500 title and Canadian Cross Country Championship to his credit back in November.
Previous page: CIS Player of the Year Lisa Barclay; CIS Champion Swim Birds; Canada West Player of the Year Tatiana Rafter. This page: Deb Huband does the honours after 400th UBC career win; record breaker Luc Bruchet; Rugby Birds bring the Boot Trophy back to UBC.
Photo: Jack Prior, www.newtonsportsphotography.com
Clerc Receives Governor General Commendation
UBC men’s soccer’s Paul Clerc was distinguished as one of the top eight Academic All-Canadians for the 2012-2013 season at a ceremony hosted by Governor General David Johnston in Ottawa last November. Of the more than 2,500 CIS student-athletes who earn Academic All Canadian status for achieving an academic average of 80% or better, the top male and female from each conference are honoured as The Governor General’s Academic All Canadian Commendation Recipients. A three-time CIS Academic AllCanadian in kinesiology, Clerc maintained an 84.5 per cent average in 2012-13, was named a Canada West all-star and a tournament all-star after contributing to a record 12th CIS Championship. Rugby Birds Get The Boot
For the first time since 1996, the Thunderbirds rugby squad claimed the Wightman Boot as series victors over the University of Victoria in an annual tradition that dates back to 1967-68. UBC defeated the Vikes 29-16 in Victoria back in November to win the first leg of the series and then followed up with a 22-8 win at UBC January 18 to win the two-game total-point affair 51-24. The Boot is the annual home-and-home series named after the
late Brian Wightman, who coached at UBC from 1964 to 1967, and has featured many of Canada’s greatest players over the years. At press time, the Birds remained atop the Okanagan Springs Brewery Division One league with a perfect 10-0 mark, but fell 33-24 at Witter Field in Berkeley, California to the Cal-Berkeley Golden Bears in the first leg of the near century-old World Cup series. The home leg is scheduled for March 23 at the Thunderbird Stadium. Sport BC Awards Honour T-Birds
The 48th annual Sport BC Awards were handed out March 5 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver to recognize B.C.’s top amateur athletes, coaches, and officials in 2013. The winner in the University Athlete of the Year category was UBC volleyball alumna Shanice Marcelle, who wrapped up her phenomenal career in 2013 by winning the Canada West title, a fifth consecutive CIS national championship, her second CIS Player of the Year honour and the Jim Thompson Trophy at the BLG Awards as the top university female athlete in Canada. In the summer, Marcelle continued playing with the senior women’s national volleyball team and was the flag bearer for Canada at the opening ceremonies of the 2013 Summer Universiade in Kazan, Russia. UBC’s second continued on page 8
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Women’s hockey coach Graham Thomas was named 2013 Sport BC Coach of the Year; Sean Callegari struck out eight to lead UBC to 3-1 early season win over Concordia Cavaliers.
nominee in the category was rower Maxwell Lattimer, who finished fifth in the lightweight men’s pair event with partner Evan Cheng at the 2013 World Rowing Under-23 Championships. Back in November Lattimer was honoured as the Canadian University Rowing Association’s Male Athlete of the Year for an outstanding performance at the Canadian University Rowing Championships in Montreal, which included a gold medal and two silvers. Graham Thomas, head coach of the women’s hockey team, took home honours for Male Coach of the Year. In his first season at the helm of the T-Birds in 2012-13, the Calgary native led the team to a 17-7-4 record, an unprecedented improvement from the 1-21-2 campaign the year before. Thomas guided his squad to a Canada West title in the postseason and a berth in the CIS championship, where UBC finished fifth. His debut efforts earned him Coach of the Year honours from both the Canada West conference and the CIS. Not surprisingly, the CIS champion UBC men’s soccer team was named Team of the Year. The Thunderbirds went 19-1 in non-conference, regular season and playoff action in 2013 and swept every major Canada West individual award. After clinching a long-overdue CIS Coach of the Year title, head coach Mike Mosher guided his team to a 3-1 win over Laval in the championship final, a record 13th national championship for the Thunderbirds. It was the first time Mosher has won the honour in his 18 years as head coach at UBC.
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Midfielder Reynold Stewart and defender Paul Clerc were named CIS First Team All-Canadians. Still Ahead
The Thunderbirds baseball team went 7-3 in a pre-season schedule that saw numerous weather related cancellations both at home and on the road. The 28-game NAIA regular season schedule goes March 7 to April 19 with all home games played at Thunderbird Park. The NAIA West tournament goes May 2-5 in Portland and the NAIA World Series May 23-30 in Lewiston, Idaho. The 2014 schedule includes a pair of home and away double headers against Thompson Rivers and Okanagan College. The women’s softball team faced similar weather cancellations and a postponement of a home March 1 double header versus SFU, but is assured of competition in mid-March at the Tuscon Invitational. The T-Birds are scheduled to face SFU in a double-header at Beedie Field April 9. For schedule updates, visit gothunderbirds.ca. UBC’s men’s and women’s golf teams are in full swing and looking ahead to NAIA Championships May 20-23. The women narrowly missed out on the NAIA title last year with all five UBC tournament competitors named All Americans. Both teams will then travel to Winnipeg for the Golf Canada University Championships June 3-6 where the men’s team will be looking to defend their 2013 national championship. ;
News ; notes from the big block club
Former UBC defensive coordinator Bob Laycoe was honoured by alumni at annual TFA Gala; Former UBC coach Bruce Enns was welcomed back to War Memorial Gym by alumni and coach Kevin Hanson.
good-sized crowd of friends and alumni of UBC football were on hand at last fall’s Thunderbird Football Association Gala at Richmond’s River Rock Resort. Various awards were handed out, graduating seniors were saluted, and UBC media relations manager Dan Elliott hosted a panel discussion featuring fellow UBC football alumnus and former CFL linebacker Javier Glatt, BC Lions alumnus Brent Johnson and current BC Lion and Harvard grad Marco Iannuzzi. But hands down, the highlight of the evening was the poignant Thunderbird Football Hall of Fame induction of former defensive coordinator Bob Laycoe, who guided some of the stingiest defensive units in CIS history, including those that helped win Vanier Cup championships for the Thunderbirds in 1982 and 1986. Laycoe went on to a successful run as head coach at the University of Toronto where he won a Vanier Cup in 1993. A sizable contingent of basketball alumni turned out to welcome former coach Bruce Enns back to War Memorial Gym at a January 10 game against Saskatchewan at which he was honoured with a presentation from head coach Kevin Hanson. Enns came to UBC from the University of Winnipeg in 1985 and patrolled the T-Birds’ sideline until 2000. With a roster that included Hanson as a fifthyear point guard, sharp shooter Paul Johannson and a trio of talented Okanagan freshmen named
Mike Clarke, Al Lalonde and J.D. Jackson, Enns guided the Thunderbirds to an unforgettable 1987 Canada West Championship victory over Ken Shields’ Victoria Vikes, ending the Vikes sevenyear reign as CIS title holders. Former Bobby Gaul Award winners Perrie Scarlett and Ken Morris were among the cadre of Enns’ former players who showed up for the reunion, which included a pre and post-game reception. The highlight of Enns’ visit, according to Hanson, was an articulate and inspirational locker room speech after the Birds’ Thursday night practise. Enns led the T-Birds to a total of four Canada West men’s basketball titles and four appearances at the CIS men’s basketball national championship tournament. UBC’s women’s team held a reunion of its own at the final regular season tilt on February 15, which saw the T-Birds secure home court advantage for the conference quarter-final with a win over the Vikes. At the end of the game, the members of Coach Deb Huband’s 2003-04 CIS championship-winning team were honoured ten years after they won the school’s first national title in three decades and sparked two more national championships in a five-year span. Those in attendance included the trio grande of Erica McGuiness, Julie Little and Cait Haggarty; continued on page 18
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Two decades ago when a group of UBC students banded themselves together to resurrect a varsity women’s hockey team, it would have been difficult to predict what was in store for the women’s game at the university level, let alone how a UBC team might fare. Now with back-to-back seasons of stellar play boosting their confidence, can the high-flying Thunderbirds maintain altitude at the summit of CIS women’s hockey?
p h o t o b y ma r t i n d ee
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BELIEVE IT by Don Wells
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You can set goals all you want but you need the
rior to the first game of the 2012-13 season, the founder of UBC’s modern women’s hockey program stood in its dressing room to share thoughts on the team’s humble origins. She reminded them to appreciate the full-time coaches, the modern arena and other amenities that previous teams did not have, certainly not the short-lived women’s team of the 1970s, nor the team of six players in wool skirts that represented UBC in its inaugural 1915-16 academic year. But as she spoke about 99-year-old Evelyn Lett, one of the original six, being so enthused about a women’s team starting anew in 1994 that she insisted on making her way to center ice to drop a ceremonial face-off puck, Laura Bennion suddenly felt a tinge of emotion. And the room was so silent you could have heard a tear drop. Minutes later, the Thunderbirds hit the ice to begin the most successful season in team history, one that culminated in a first-ever Canada West championship. After an unprecedented 20 wins the following year, there can be no doubt that the 21st century version of the team constitutes the newest beacon of success within Canada’s most decorated varsity athletics program. Bennion is thrilled to acknowledge that something truly special has evolved from the group that she spirited into play in a little-known club league back in 1994, and theorizes that the sweet taste of triumph has instilled the most essential competitive asset of all. “The girls have started to believe in themselves,” said Bennion in reference to the recently concluded 20-6-2 regular season, in which a solitary shootout loss spoiled an otherwise perfect mark on home ice. “I think there has been a cultural shift on the team. You just need a little taste of success and confidence and it builds momentum. Once you have a couple of years of a winning culture, it becomes easier to keep it going.” While success came quickly in the sport at other schools after official CIS play began in 1997, it has been a long road up for UBC. But if you ask head coach Graham Thomas how the breakthrough occurred shortly after his arrival in 2012 from a job as an assistant at Syracuse University, he begins to shift nervously in his chair. Modest and 12 BLUE ; GOLD spring 2014
deeply respectful of coaches and players who went before, he insists that the dramatic turnaround has little to do with him, and much more to do with the current crop of Thunderbirds and the solid foundation he inherited. “The girls have done well, they’ve worked really hard for it,” says the 32-year-old Calgary native. “But our success is also due to the support the program has had from a lot of people over the years; players and coaches before us, the athletic department, parents and donors. There is also a fantastic group of men’s team alumni who have provided financial support for scholarship endowments.” The donors are comprised of a growing list of team alumni and a handful of community supporters, including prominent philanthropists Julie Hamilton and Lois Mitchell. The alumni group – “the Old Birds” - consists of a cadre of senior-aged recreational hockey players, including former athletic director Bob Hindmarch, former Dean of Agriculture Jim Richards and Engineering alumnus Keith Morrison, who secretly allowed Bennion to play as a seven-year-old on a boys team he coached in the archaic no-girls-allowed era of minor hockey. It was round about that same time that Hindmarch, then UBC’s men’s coach, unsuccessfully advocated for a women’s team that quietly folded in the late 1970s. Not surprisingly, many years later when Bennion - then an undergraduate Science student and today a Calgary physician with strong ties to Canada’s Olympic team - resurrected the team, Hindmarch encouraged the Old Birds to lend their support. “We played against them in scrimmages for a while, but then they started to embarrass us,” he laughs. “They were such incredible kids and it was great fun for everybody.” But if a transformational shift has occurred in the present day, it would be unreasonable to believe the doubting Thomas when he contends it has little to do with him, especially after he reveals details of a collegial management style that appears sharply focused on altering team culture. “One of the most important things we implemented was a code of conduct that increased
e group to agree on why it’s important to them.
expectations and clearly laid out roles and responsibilities of the athletes, the standards we want to hold them to and the foundations of what we want to develop,” says Thomas, whose incessant use of “we” exemplifies his reverence for assistant coach Kim Coates and two extraordinary volunteers in Ohio State graduate Barbara Bilko and renowned goaltender coach Pasco Valana. “It’s basically a contract that we asked them to agree to and sign.” What the code includes, he explains, is everything from punctuality and dressing room etiquette to use of alcohol and academic standards, proudly noting that the team’s average GPA climbed a full eight points in 2012-13 over the previous year. “Part of the implementation of the code meant talking to the players about why it’s important to do the things we said we would do. You can set goals all you want but you need the group to agree on why it’s important to them. So we had a team meeting and discussed it. Out of that came a team identity and culture that everyone has bought in to. When you get everybody on the same page like that, it can be very powerful.” Whatever was said and agreed upon was sufficiently powerful to propel the Thunderbirds from a team that had never won more than eight games in a season to one with an overall record of 46-19-6 in Thomas’ two seasons behind the bench, including the 2013 Canada West championship over Hayley Wickenheiser and the defending CIS champion Calgary Dinos. Individually, the honour role is similarly encouraging. Graduating team captain Christi Capozzi and 2014 Canada West Player of the Year Tatiana Rafter helped Canada claim its third straight Universiade gold medal
during the mid-season break in December. Former Olympic team goaltender Daniel Dube was named a First-Team All Canadian in 2013, while Rafter and the league’s top scoring blue-liner Sarah Casorso took two of six First Team All Canadian spots in 2014. Thomas meanwhile marked his debut season at UBC by being named 2013 CIS and Sport BC Coach of the Year. But perhaps the best news of all is on the recruiting front. Thomas says that UBC’s strong academic reputation and its stunning campus have always helped to attract bright and talented players, but the team’s success has opened the floodgates. This year’s recruiting class features four blue chip prospects from four different provinces, including a potential marquee player named Logan Boyd from Burlington, Ontario. A perpetual honors student who aspires to study Medicine, the 6’1” forward had offers from several NCAA schools, including Harvard. Securing Boyd, according to Thomas, was aided by a recent change in CIS rules by which the ceiling for scholarships has been raised as part of a pilot project to address the annual flow of
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The Thunderbirds defeated the defending CIS champion Calgary Dinos to win the 2013 Canada West Championship, and repeated the victory a year later in the 2014 conference quarter-finals.
Canadian student-athletes to US schools. “That rule change enabled us to recruit Logan, and I give full credit to our UBC president for getting it passed,” says Thomas, noting that the highly contested rule change was the result of the direct efforts of UBC president Stephen Toope, who led a task force to challenge the status quo in CIS sport. The changes included elimination of the “transfer rule,” which required Canadian students wanting to transfer to a CIS program from an NCAA school to sit out for a year. “It will take a while before we’ll see a dramatic difference in the number of Canadians going to the States, but there
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is no question this is a big step forward. Someday I would love to see a four team NCAA-CIS crossover tournament. That would be incredible.” Incredible is also the word for the recent ascent of the Thunderbirds, for whom the CIS rule changes could not have come at a better time. Looking ahead to the longer term, the sum total of all the things currently going right for UBC’s team provide ample reason for optimism. Seasoned with a newfound measure of confidence, Thomas and his bright-eyed charges have a lot going for them as they set their sights on a CIS title, most importantly a strong and shared belief that it is now entirely within reach. ;
rts hall of o p s
The 2014 class of inductees into the UBC Sports Hall of Fame
will be comprised of five of the most extraordinary athletes in the history of the varsity program, two of its most successful teams and the student-founder of the Thunderbirds women’s ice hockey team. The April 1 induction promises to be a big night for UBC football with the induction of former UBC linebacker and punter Kevin Konar in the Athlete category and the 1986 Vanier Cup Champion Thunderbirds in the Team category. The night will also serve as a reminder of UBC’s contributions to Canadian Olympic teams, with 2000 Olympic Swim Team member and 1998 World Championships and Commonwealth Games double medalist Mark Versfeld entering the Hall of Fame along with rower Laryssa Biesenthal, who won eight international medals after graduating from UBC in 1995, including bronze medals at both the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games. Tammy Crawford, the 1993 CIS women’s soccer MVP and former national team member, will also enter the Sports Hall of Fame in 2014 along with rugby legend Robert “Ro” Hindson. Hindson played at UBC from 1972 to 1976 and went on to a lengthy international career that saw him make 31 appearances for Canada, including the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987. The accumulated members of the 1998-99 and 1999-2000 women’s field hockey teams, which won back-to-back CIS national championships in 1998 and 1999, will enter the Hall of Fame in the Team category, while Laura Bennion, the founder and former player and coach of UBC’s women’s ice hockey team will enter in the Builder category. The inaugural UBC Sports Hall of Fame induction was held in 1993. Since that time a total of 86 former athletes, 24 teams and 33 builders of sport have been inducted for accomplishments dating as far back as the early 1920s. The 2014 induction will take place at the annual 2014 Big Block Awards and Sports Hall of Fame Dinner April 1 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. }}
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Athlete Inductees Laryssa Biesenthal (Rowing 1990-95)
A former track athlete, Laryssa Biesenthal took up rowing when she entered UBC in 1990. She attended her first World Championship in 1995 where alongside Kathleen Heddle, Marnie McBean and Diane O’Grady, she won a silver medal in the quadruple sculls event. The same foursome won bronze medals at the 1996 Olympics. In total, Laryssa won five World Championship medals, two Olympic medals (including a bronze in the Eights in 2000) and a gold medal in the 1999 Pan American Games in double sculls.
Tammy Crawford (Soccer 1993-96)
After a season on Canada’s national team, Tammy Crawford entered UBC in 1993 and promptly led the Thunderbirds to a CIS National Championship. Along the way she led the entire Canada West conference in scoring (seven goals in 10 games) and was named a first-team All Canadian. After the 2-1 victory over Dalhousie in the championship final, she was awarded the Gunn Baldursson Memorial Award as CIS Championship MVP. She played for Canada again in the summer of 1994 and rejoined the Thunderbirds that fall as team captain, leading UBC to an undefeated season, a return trip to the CIS championships, and a silver medal finish following an overtime loss to Dalhousie in the championship final.
Robert Hindson (Rugby 1972-76)
The highlight of Robert Hindson’s UBC playing career was in the 1974-75 season, in which he helped lead the Thunderbirds to a record of 20-2, including a Western Canadian Championship and a victory over the University of California Berkeley in the annual World Cup two-game total-point series. For their efforts, the Thunderbirds were honoured as the 1975 Sport B.C. Team of the Year. Robert Hindson’s international career began in 1972 after his freshman year. When he retired in 1990, he had accumulated a Canadian record 31 international caps. Two of those caps were earned against Ireland 16 BLUE ; GOLD spring 2014
and Wales at the inaugural Rugby World Cup in 1987. His remarkable career was officially recognized by his inductions into the BC Rugby Hall of Fame in 2011 and the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
Kevin Konar (Football 1976-79)
Kevin Konar played middle linebacker and punter at UBC and was a member of two Canada West championship teams (1976 and 1978) and a member of the first UBC team to appear in the Vanier Cup in 1978. He was named a Canada West All-star in 1977, 78 and 79 and an All Canadian in 1978 and 79. A cowinner of the 1980 Bobby Gaul Award (UBC’s most outstanding graduating male athlete), he was a firstround CFL draft pick by the BC Lions, with whom he played 10 seasons as a middle linebacker and was twice named a CFL All-star. As a BC Lion, he played in three Grey Cup Games, and won a Grey Cup championship in 1985. A durable member of the Lions’ defence, he missed only one game in 10 seasons of professional football. He was named to BC Lions Wall of Fame in 2008.
Mark Versfeld (Swimming 1997-2001)
s t r o p s
Mark Versfeld was a backstroke specialist on four consecutive CIS Championship teams (1998, 99, 2000, 2001). Among the many highlights of his brilliant CIS career, he was a member of UBC's 1999 400-metre medley relay team (with Jeremy Jaud, Garret Pulle and Jake Steele) that defeated the University of Calgary's famed foursome of Chris Renaud, Russell Patrick, Curtis Myden and Etienne Caron, setting a CIS record in the process. The 1998 Sport BC University Athlete of the Year was a national team member from 1996 to 2001 and an Olympian in 2000. At the 1998 World Championships, he won a silver medal in 100-metre backstroke and bronze in 200-metre backstroke. He won gold in the same two events at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. An honours student in the Faculty of Arts, Mark was named the top male Academic All-Canadian in the Canada West conference in 2000-2001.
team Inductees football 1986
Coached by Frank Smith, the Thunderbirds went undefeated in regular-season play and outscored Canada West opponents 237-82. After a crushing 49-3 victory over the Calgary Dinos in the Canada West Championship, the Thunderbirds travelled to Lennoxville, Quebec where they narrowly beat the Bishop’s Gaiters 32-30 in the Churchill Bowl to win a berth in the Vanier Cup. One week later Smith’s Thunderbirds claimed UBC’s second-ever Vanier Cup championship with a thrilling 25-23 win over the Western Ontario Mustangs. A total of nine UBC players were named Canada West All-stars, while three were named First Team All Canadians (Jack Beetstra, Mark Norman, Leo Groenewegen). Defensive back Mark Norman was a finalist for the Hec Crighton Trophy (CIS Most Outstanding Player) and the winner of the President’s trophy (CIS Most Outstanding Defensive Player). Seven members of the team went on to play professional football in the CFL.
hall o f
women’s field hockey 1998-2000 The Thunderbirds field hockey team during this two-year period posted identical records of 14-11 in each season on route to CIS Championship victories in 1998 and 1999. Goaltender Ann Harada was named a First-Team All Canadian and a CIS Championship all-star in 1999. Jennifer Dowdeswell was named to both the 1998 and 1999 CIS Championship all-star teams, and coach Hash Kanjee was honoured as 1998 CIS Coach of the Year. Dowdeswell was subsequently honoured as the winner of the Marilyn Pomfret Award (UBC Female Athlete of the Year) in 2001 while team mate Stephanie Hume was the award’s co-winner in 2002. Remarkably, a total of seven team members from these two seasons represented Canada in international competition (Laura Balakshin, Kim Buker, Ann Harada, Stephanie Hume, Lesley Magnus, Mo O’Connor, Emily Menzies).
builder Inductees Laura Bennion
After earning a degree in Journalism at Boston’s Northeastern University and playing three seasons of NCAA division one hockey, Laura Bennion enrolled in UBC’s Faculty of Science. In the spring of 1994 she made an appointment to see UBC Athletic Director Bob Philip to ask for $10,000 so she could start a women’s hockey team. Six months later, with Bennion as coach, a determined group of students hit the ice for the inaugural season. As she had assured Philip, the team soon moved up to increasingly more competitive levels of play, prompting her to surrender the coaching role so
that she could join the team as its first-line centre. The year after she graduated, the modern coastto-coast CIS league became a reality, with seven Canada West teams competing in a 16-game schedule leading up to playoffs and the national championship. Twenty years following the meeting with Bob Philip, UBC’s women’s hockey team is well-entrenched and one of the most competitive teams in the country. Laura Bennion’s induction in the Builder category represents just the second time that an inductee has been honoured in that category for accomplishments as a student. ;
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scoring and rebound leader Kelsey Blair and current assistant coach Carrie Watson (Watts). “They’re a special group,” said Huband. “They’re the team that made the push to get us to the next level, from being a good team to a great team and earn that national championship.” UBC swim team alumni were in reunion mode too recently, with a rare get-together that honoured the three primary builders of Canada’s most decorated university swim program. University of Washington multi-sport letterman Jack Pomfret, who coached UBC’s swim teams from 1962 to 1975, was on hand as distinguished elder statesman. A member of the BC and UBC Sport Halls of Fame, Pomfret coached six Western Canadian champion swim teams at UBC and was named 1971 CIAU Swim Coach of the Year. In addition to leading the construction of the UBC Aquatic Centre in the early 70s, he coached many of his swimmers to international-level competition, including Olympians Ken Campbell, Karen James, George Smith and Bill Mahony. Fellow BC Sports Hall of Fame member Jack Kelso was also honoured on the occasion for his contributions to UBC swimming. Still the holder of world records for his age category in masters swimming events, the Ocean Falls native took over as swim coach from Pomfret in 1975 and guided the UBC women’s team to back-to-back CIAU championships in 1985 and 1986. A former faculty member along with Pomfret in the UBC School of Kinesiology (then Physical Education), Kelso recommended upon his retirement as coach that UBC pursue an up and coming international level coach named Tom Johnson, who since 1979 had guided the Pacific Dolphins Swim Club. On an already special occasion, the combined presence of Pomfret, Kelso, Johnson and their former athletes poignantly symbolized the cohesive culture that has been at the heart of over 50 years of academic and sport excellence on Point Grey.
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Women’s hockey team kicked off the season with alumni event. Left to right, Doug Mitchell, alumna Kira Sinow, Lois Mitchell, alumnae Laura Bennion, Jen Cham and Monica Eickmeier, head coach Graham Thomas.
In Memoriam Last month the UBC sport community was shocked to learn that Sonya Lumholst-Smith passed away after a short illness on Christmas Day in Chapala, Mexico. A former dance instructor in the UBC School of Kinesiology, she branched out in numerous ways over a 25-year UBC career as an administrator and leader of countless initiatives in sport and physical education, including a lead role in the development of the Student Recreation Centre. Sonya was predeceased in 2012 by her long-time friend and partner Bob Morford, a former director of the UBC School of Kinesiology who was inspired to pursue a scholarly career by former UBC rugby coach Max Howell, who passed away February 3 in Brisbane, Australia. A member of the UBC Sports Hall of Fame, Max taught at UBC and coached rugby from 1954 to 1961. UBC rowing alumni were recently saddened by the loss of Peter Yates at his home in Cobble Hill, BC on December 10. A graduate of the School of Kinesiology and Faculty of Education, Peter was a former varsity rower and coach who went on to become a much admired teacher and rowing coach at Shawnigan Lake School. Rosalind (Rosy) Lecky will also be fondly remembered by UBC rowing alumni for her patronage of philanthropic endeavours that included the UBC John M. S. Lecky Boat House and the UBC Women’s Rowing team. Rosy Lecky passed away February 25 at North Shore Hospice.
UBC assistant swim coach Brian Johns (far left) and head coach Steve Price (far right) flank the honoured trio of Tom Johnson, Jack Pomfret and Jack Kelso at alumni event. Below right: swim alumnus and Rhodes Scholar John McArthur was keynote speaker at 2014 TELUS Millennium Scholarship Breakfast.
Former UBC soccer great Bill Popowich died after a lengthy illness on February 22. A teacher for over 35 years and principal at New Westminster Senior Secondary School, Bill devoted almost his entire adult life to amateur sport coaching and volunteering, including his key involvement in the BC High School Boys Basketball Championship. He was inducted in the Builder category of the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. Former UBC Professor, Dean of Commerce and swim coach Peter Lusztig’s distinguished journey ended on January 26. Born May 12, 1930 in Budapest, he came to UBC as a student in 1948. Before leaving for graduate school, he coached the UBC swim teams in the years leading up to the construction of the Commonwealth Games Pool, thereby helping to establish the foundation of one of Canada’s most successful university swim programs. The family and friends of BC and UBC Sports Hall of Fame member Reg Clarkson, who passed away in 2012, have established the Reginald Clarkson Memorial Award in Athletics recognizing excellence in leadership and academics. In the spirit of Reg’s lifelong passion for participation in team sports and for lending a helping hand to others who needed it, preference will be given to student-athletes who demonstrate financial need. ;
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