York University Athletics & Recreation and the School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health, will welcome six new inductees to the York University Sport Hall of Fame at the annual dinner and induction ceremony on Friday, Sept. 22.
Four former student-athletes and two coaches/administrators will be inducted in 2017. This year’s inductees are tennis player Peter Bedard, football player Jeff Johnson, and hockey players Melanie Roach and Greg Rolston, as well as former football coach Frank Cosentino and longtime administrator Patricia Murray.
Created in 1980, the Sport Hall of Fame honours individuals who have significantly contributed to York’s interuniversity sport program as athletes, coaches and administrators, and who have exemplified the spirit and ideals of York University sports in their professional and community life. The selection committee consisted of varsity alumni, current student-athletes and several university administrators.
Peter Bedard (MBA ’93) starred for the York tennis team for five years and helped the program win conference medals each year. He won two Ontario University Athletics Association (OUAA) team titles (1991, 1996), a pair of silver medals (1993, 1995) and a bronze in 1992. As part of the championships, he also won three doubles gold medals and a silver, and was a three-time OUAA all-star, the first player in program history to receive the honour three times. Bedard went on to compete for several years provincially and nationally, winning four U.S. senior national father-son championships and multiple Ontario doubles championships in the open category.
Jeff Johnson (BA ’00) is one of York’s most decorated football players. He burst onto the scene in 1996, winning the Peter Gorman Trophy as Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) rookie of the year to become the first national major award winner in program history, and the Norm Marshall Trophy as Ontario University Athletics (OUA) rookie of the year. He was honoured throughout his career at the conference and national levels, earning three OUA first-team all-star selections (1996, 1997, 1999) and two CIS second-team all-Canadian awards (1997, 1999). He holds the York record for most career rushing yards (3358) and carries (553) and ranks third in yards per carry (6.1). Johnson signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats as an undrafted free agent in 2000 and went on to a 14-year career in the CFL, spending two seasons in Hamilton and 12 in Toronto, and winning a pair of Grey Cups with the Argonauts in 2004 and 2012.
Melanie Roach (BA ’03) is the most decorated women’s hockey player in York history. She spent five years with the team (1998-03) and won a conference silver medal in her first year in 1999. She was honoured as the OUA rookie of the year that season, the first and only York recipient of the award, and was named an OUA all-star in each of her five seasons with the team, including three times on the first team (1999, 2000, 2002). She was the first all-Canadian in program history, earning a place on the first team in 2000, and became the only two-time all-Canadian with her second selection in 2002. She was named York’s female athlete of the year in 2002 and remains the program’s all-time leading scorer with 108 points in 98 regular-season games played.
Greg Rolston (BA ’89) was a prolific scorer during the most successful era of men’s hockey at York. He helped the squad reach the national tournament in each of his four seasons (1985-89), winning back-to-back Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) titles in 1988 and 1989 to go along with three OUAA championships (1986-88) and a silver medal in his final season. He was a three-time OUAA first-team all-star, one of only a trio of players in program history to achieve the honour three times, and in 1987 he received the Jack Kennedy Trophy as the most outstanding player of the OUAA championship series. Rolston, who was selected in the 10th round (184th overall) by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1983 NHL Entry Draft, remains York’s all-time leading goal scorer with 92, and he is fifth all-time in scoring with 159 points.
Frank Cosentino coached the York football team for seven seasons (1978-80, 1984-87) and has the best winning percentage in program history. He coached the team to its first winning season, its inaugural OUAA playoff berth and its first national ranking, and he was the recipient of the OUAA West coach of the year award in 1978. Throughout his career, he coached 31 OUAA all-stars, two CIAU all-Canadians and had more than 10 players drafted into the CFL. He was also the former chair and director of the Department of Physical Education & Athletics at York, and served as a professor from 1981-97. As a player himself, Cosentino won a pair of Yates Cup championships with the Western Mustangs (1957, 1959), including as captain for the second one, and had a 10-year playing career in the CFL where he twice won Grey Cup titles (1963, 1965) with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. He earned his PhD in sport history from the University of Alberta and then went back to Western as an assistant professor and the head football coach, winning two Vanier Cup titles in 1971 and 1974, and then becoming the chair of the Undergraduate Physical Education Department before coming to York. He has since authored or co-authored 17 books on the history of sport in Canada, including four on football.
Patricia Murray had a long, impressive career as a coach and administrator at York University (1972-10). She was the director of Sport & Recreation for 13 years (1995-08) and, while under her watch, the Lions varsity program won 29 conference titles. During her tenure, the department 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 also provided leadership for two major new facilities (York Stadium and Canlan Ice Sports) and introduced excellence awards to provide financial support for continuing student-athletes. At York, she was also the head coach of the badminton and synchronized swimming teams for 20 years and a professor in the School of Kinesiology & Health Science for 38 years. On the university front, she served as a vice-president of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) for five years, Canada’s chef de mission at the 2005 Summer Universiade and was the president of the OWIAA in 1997, leading to the amalgamation of the OWIAA and the OUAA. She also made an impact at the highest levels of sport, attending six Olympic Games and serving as an executive member of the Canadian Olympic Committee for eight years (1997-05), including four as a vice-president, and president of Synchro Canada for four years (1984-88). She won multiple major awards for her tremendous work, including the Athletic Director of the Year Award (International Region) by NACDA in 2000, the OUA Honour Award in 2008 and the CIS’s Austin-Matthews Award in 2012.
The Hall of Fame Dinner and Induction Ceremony will take place at The Royalton in Woodbridge, Ont. (8201 Weston Rd.). Tickets are $80 per person and may be purchased online at yorkulions.ca/ticketing. For more information on the event, contact Kim Servinis at 416-736-5982 or firstname.lastname@example.org.