MacDougall honoured with national award

MacDougall honoured with national award

(OTTAWA, ONT.) – Record-setting UNB hockey coach Gardiner MacDougall will be honoured by Canadian Interuniversity Sport on Wednesday night in Ottawa.

The awards dinner will be held at the Delta Ottawa City Centre as part of CIS’ annual general meeting.

MacDougall merits the Jean-Marie De Koninck Coaching Excellence Award, which honours since 2007 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.

"It is so fitting that Gardiner receive this prestigious national honour,” said UNB President Dr. Eddy Campbell. “He holds such devotion to the sport, to his team and his players. Gardiner's talent and inspirational leadership loom large behind the University of New Brunswick's long run as a top-ranked hockey program.”

MacDougall just completed his 15th season at the helm of the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, one of Canada’s most successful university hockey programs. The native of Bedeque, PEI, signed a five-year contract last summer to continue his impressive journey at UNB and promptly helped lead a youthful V-Reds squad with 13 new faces to the Atlantic University Sport title and a CIS silver medal in 2014-15. Since he took over the program in 2000-01, MacDougall has guided UNB to 15 straight AUS semifinals, six conference banners and nine University Cup championship appearances, including four CIS titles (2007, 2009, 2011, 2013) in six trips to the national final. The V-Reds have topped the Atlantic standings in each of the past eight campaigns.

“Gardiner devotes endless hours to the UNB program and its players,” said UNB hockey team captain Cam Critchlow. “He challenges his players to be better on the ice and in the classroom and has taken the UNB hockey program to the next level year after year. His passion and positive attitude are contagious.”

A four-time AUS coach of the year, he has twice been honoured at the CIS level with the Father George Kehoe Memorial Award, including this past season. He has also won a similar award in his home province of PEI on two occasions.  MacDougall became the winningest head coach in team history in only his sixth season at the helm in 2006 and has since become the all-time AUS leader in regular season wins (292) and playoff victories (53). He boasts career records of 448-181-20 overall (.706), 292-110-18 in league play (.717) and 73-39 in post-season action (.652), including a 20-6 mark at the CIS championship (.769), good for third place on the University Cup all-time wins list.   

In 2009-10, the V-Reds posted a remarkable 27-1 mark in the regular season, establishing new CIS standards for most conference wins in a single campaign and most consecutive victories from the start of a season (26). Their combined 33 wins in 2007-08 in conference and post-season play are also a CIS record, tied with two other teams. 

In recent years, MacDougall has also proved successful at the international level, helping a pair of Canadian teams made up of AUS all-stars capture gold at the Winter Universiade, first as an assistant coach in 2007 at Torino, Italy, and then as a head coach in 2013 at Trentino, Italy. 

Aside from a successful on-ice coaching record, his background as an educator has helped UNB student-athletes achieve strong academic standing. Sixty-eight of his players have merited Academic All-Canadian status, including two - Adrian Robertson (2013-14) and Colin Sinclair (2006-07) - who were selected as CIS Top 8 Academic All-Canadians. 

In April 2007, MacDougall was honoured with the special UNB President’s Citation Award by then University President John McLaughlin. In March 2009, McLaughlin made him the first coach to receive the UNB President’s Medal – the school’s most prestigious recognition. He was then awarded the Paul Harris Rotary Fellowship medallion as recognition for his service in the Fredericton hockey community and, in 2012, received the distinguished Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. 

Upon graduation from St Francis Xavier University (BSc. P-ED) and Saint Mary’s University (B-ED), MacDougall became a full-time teacher in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. That is where his coaching career began, in the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association, the Manitoba Junior Hockey League and the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, where he was named coach of the year on four separate occasions and claimed four provincial and league championships.  

“Gardiner continuously strives for excellence in everything he does while inspiring those around him to do the same,” says UNB Director of Athletics, John Richard. “His passion for his work and the sport of hockey is infectious, and his dedication to developing the full potential of student-athletes reaches far beyond their performance on the ice. He’s not only reason for the level of success of our men’s hockey program, but he’s the main reason. Gardiner is extremely deserving of this honour, placing his name alongside the tremendous coaching legends who have garnered this award in the past.”

“I’ve known Coach MacDougall for 11 years now and had the privilege of both playing for him and coaching with him,” echoed UNB associate coach Rob Hennigar. “People often ask me what makes UNB Hockey so successful and there is really no secret. It’s Gardiner. His passion, work ethic and commitment to his players is second to none.  Not only does he make them better players when they leave UNB, he makes them better people."

MacDougall now resides in New Maryland, N.B., with wife Lee and children Taylor, a fourth-year member of the hockey V-Reds, and Madison, a third-year UNB student.

Long-time sports information director Jack Neumann and television reporter Marc Durand will also be honoured by the CIS Wednesday evening. 

Neumann will receive the Austin-Matthews Award, presented annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to interuniversity sport, as demonstrated by long-term commitment and leadership as a coach, director, chairperson and/or executive committee member at the local, provincial and/or national levels. 

Durand will take home the Fred Sgambati Media Award, presented to a member of the media in recognition of major contributions to the development and growth of Canadian university sport. 

“On behalf of the entire CIS membership, in particular our 11,500 student-athletes and 700 coaches, I wish to congratulate our 2015 award recipients,” said CIS President, Thérèse Quigley. “They have demonstrated a true passion for university sport throughout their distinguished careers, and we wish to extend our sincere appreciation for their remarkable contribution.” 





2015 Gardiner MacDougall (UNB - men’s hockey)
2014 Clare Drake (Alberta - men’s hockey & football)
2013 Sonny Wolfe (McGill & Acadia - football)
2012 Bob Bain (York & Alberta - men’s basketball)
2011 Kathy Shields (Victoria - women’s basketball) *
2011 Dick Mosher (UBC - men’s & women’s soccer) *
2010 Steve Konchalski (St. Francis Xavier - men’s basketball)
2009 Larry Haylor (Western Ontario - football)
2008 Lou Pero (Lakehead - men’s basketball)
2007 Linda Marquis (Laval - women’s basketball)

* co-recipients


With files from Canadian Interuniversity Sports. Full release here: