York Chancellor Roy McMurtry, former head coach of York University’s men’s basketball team, Bob Bain, and former director of Sport & Recreation, Patricia Murray, were honoured by Canadian Interuniversity Sport in Ottawa last week.
Bain received the Jean-Marie De Koninck Coaching Excellence Award, presented since 2007 to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to university sport as demonstrated by long-term commitment and leadership as a coach at the local, provincial, national and/or international levels of Canadian university sport.
Murray received the Austin-Matthews Award, which honours an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to interuniversity sport, as demonstrated by his/her long-term commitment and leadership as a coach, director, chairperson and/or executive committee member at the local, provincial and/or national levels of Canadian interuniversity sport.
McMurtry was given the L.B. “Mike” Pearson Award, presented to a distinguished Canadian citizen of outstanding achievements who, having participated in interuniversity athletics, has by his/her personal accomplishments exemplified the ideals and purposes of interuniversity athletics and amateur sport.
Jean-Marie de Koninck Coaching Excellence Award
Following his high school and university playing career, Bain made a quick transition from the court to the sidelines. In 1973, he was named head coach of York University’s men’s basketball team, a position he held for an unprecedented 38 years, making him the longest-serving head coach in York history. He officially retired at the end of the 2010-2011 season, following a one-year sabbatical.
In his 38 years with the York program, his teams made the playoffs 35 times, claimed 11 OUA East division titles and six OUA banners, and made eight CIS championship appearances, including a pair of bronze-medal finishes in 1978 and 1979. He is one of a handful of CIS men’s hoops coaches to amass more than 700 overall victories over their career.
A nine-time OUA East coach of the year and a two-time recipient at the CIS level (1978, 1984), Bain was inducted into the Ontario Basketball Hall of Fame in 2010 and, last month, received the 2012 OUA John McManus Award for lifetime achievement in coaching.
In addition to his impressive accolades at York, Bain made tremendous contributions to the field of coaching. An Ontario representative in the development of the National Coaching Certification Program (NCCP), he was largely involved in the writing of Levels 1, 2 and 3 of the program, and has trained more Level 3 coaches than anyone in Canada. At York, he was also a senior lecturer in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science.
“Bob’s contributions to coaching and interuniversity sport at York are unparalleled,” said Jennifer Myers, director of Sport & Recreation at York University. “He was instrumental in building a strong basketball program and developing hundreds of young men, but, more importantly, he is revered by his former players and colleagues for his character and leadership both on and off the court. I am appreciative of Bob’s commitment to the University and his dedication to representing the values that we strive to embody at York.”
Murray was director of Sport & Recreation at York University until July 1, 2008, when she stepped down following a successful and rewarding 13-year run in the position.
Under Murray’s watch, York hired full-time coaches in soccer and women’s hockey, expanded its fitness centre and added team rooms and a strength and conditioning facility to the Tait McKenzie Centre. She helped lead the charge for two major new facilities – York Stadium and Canlan Ice Sports – and introduced Excellence Awards for continuing students. During her tenure, the Lions varsity program won 29 provincial titles.
A professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science for over 35 years, Murray was honoured for her efforts at York in 2000 when she was named Continental Airlines Athletic Director of the Year (International Region) for 1999-2000 by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA).
Murray has made an impact at the highest levels of sport. She attended six Olympic Games, was president of Synchro Canada from 1984 to 1988, vice-president of the Canadian Olympic Committee from 2001 to 2005, as well as an important member of the Ontario University President’s Council on Athletics and the Ontario Aquatic Sport Council. She also served on the executive committee for the 2008 Toronto Olympic bid and as a sport representative with the Commonwealth Games Association of Canada until 2008.
On the university front, Murray served as Canada’s chef de mission at the 2005 Summer Universiade in Izmir, Turkey. She was a member of the CIS board of directors as vice-president marketing and, at the OUA level, chaired both the marketing committee and the women’s initiative committee. She also was the president of the Ontario Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Association in 1997, leading to the amalgamation of the OWIAA and the Ontario University Athletic Association (OUAA).
L.B. “Mike” Pearson Award
McMurtry (LLB’58) has a longstanding record of public and community service, as well as a life-long love for the game of football.
A native of Toronto, McMurtry played four seasons with the University of Toronto Varsity Blues football team, meriting conference all-star status in 1952, and later on a spot on the Blues’ all-century team. He signed with the Montreal Alouettes in 1954, but instead of playing linebacker in the Canadian Football League, he decided to become a high school coach and, in 1956, joined the Varsity Blues staff as an assistant for two campaigns. More than three decades later, in 1990, he would resume his involvement in football as chairman and chief executive officer of the CFL.
Following his graduation from Osgoode Hall Law School, McMurtry practised law as a trial counsel for 17 years before being elected to the Ontario legislature in 1975. Upon election, he was appointed to the Cabinet of Premier William G. Davis as the Attorney General of Ontario, a position he held until 1985.
As Attorney General, he oversaw important reforms to Ontario’s justice system including bilingualism in the courts, multiculturalism and family law. He took an active part in the negotiations that led to the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution and the creation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. During that period, he also served for four years as the Solicitor General for Ontario.
In 1985, McMurtry was appointed Canada’s High Commissioner to Great Britain, a post which he held until late 1988. In 1991, he was named Associate Chief Justice of the Superior Court in Ontario and then Chief Justice of that court in 1994. In February 1996, he was appointed Chief Justice of Ontario, a capacity in which he served for over 11 years until May 30, 2007.
McMurtry is the founder and president of the Osgoode Society, a body established in 1979 for the writing of Canadian legal history, which to date has published 70 books. In 2007, his significant contributions to the legal profession were recognized with Osgoode Hall Law School’s Award of Excellence (The Robinette Medal) and the President of the Bar Association’s Award of Merit. He also received an honorary degree from York in 1991. He was appointed a member of the Order of Ontario in 2008 and was inducted as an officer in the Order of Canada in 2010.