Headlines (Campus Updates)
Laurier people prominent among top 25 movers and shakers of the Waterloo Region sports world
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
The Record newspaper recently announced its top 25 movers and shakers in the Waterloo Region sports world. This list of talented individuals includes four Laurier alumni, two Laurier employees and a former Laurier faculty member.
"We are happy to see Laurier ties among such a large number of Waterloo Region's power players in both athletics and academics," said Dr. Max Blouw, Laurier’s president and vice-chancellor. "Laurier has a long tradition of excellence built on the contributions of many outstanding people."
Ranked third in the top 25 list is William Thompson, BMus, ’87. Thompson, a former Kitchener lawyer, is Skate Canada’s chief executive. He grew-up figure skating and was judging for skating competitions by the time he was in his twenties.
According to The Record, Thompson is “a true driving force in the sport” and “is generally credited with helping Canada get figure skating back to the popularity level it enjoyed during the Kurt Browning/Elvis Stojko era.”
Ranked fourth on The Record’s list is Steve Bienkowski, BA General Geography, ’85, chief operating officer, Kitchener Rangers.
Largely credited for being behind the business success of the Rangers, Bienkowski helped the Rangers post more than a $1-million profit in 2007, a franchise record. The Waterloo resident was also chair of last year’s highly-successful Memorial Cup tournament.
Ranked fifth on The Record’s list is Barry MacLean, BA General Geography. ’86, chief executive officer, First Wave Sports Marketing.
MacLean, Canada’s first licensed soccer agent, has about 75 clients worldwide. His company, First Wave Sports Marketing, hosted the Toronto FC’s public tryouts. A talented soccer player in his day, MacLean now coaches the Laurier's women's soccer team and is also an assistant with Laurier’s men's soccer team.
Ranked seventh on the list is Jonathan Weatherdon, BA General Communication Studies, ’99, manager of media relations for the National Hockey League Players' Association.
Weatherdon joined the NHL Players’ Association in 2000 and was the union spokesperson during the last lockout.
Ranked ninth on the list is Dean Boles, swim coach.
Boles is the head coach of Laurier’s swim team. He has been active in swimming and with the Region of Waterloo Swim Club (ROW) for almost three decades, both as a swimmer and now as the head coach. During his career, eight ROW swimmers have competed at the Olympics.
Ranked number 22nd is Don McCrae, a former Laurier faculty member.
Considered a hoops icon in the region, McCrae was recently named to Canada Basketball’s new council of excellence, which aims to help guide Canada’s men and women’s national basketball programs.
Last but not least is Laurier’s director of athletics and recreation, Peter Baxter, who ranked 24th on The Record’s list.
Baxter has been head of Laurier’s athletics and recreation department since 1998. He previously held a similar position at the University of Toronto in Mississauga (1991-98). In his 10 years at Laurier, Baxter has been part of many interuniversity and recreation successes, including 20 of the school’s 50 provincial championships and six of the school’s 10 national championships. He has led the renewal of all three of Laurier’s athletic facilities, which have seen a significant growth in recreation, intramural and fitness activities.
Later this month, Baxter will lead Canada's university contingent as chef de mission at the Winter Universiade games in China.
“I’m honoured to be part of such a talented group of individuals,” said Baxter. “It is students, coaches, faculty, staff, university administration, friends and alumni who are essential to preserve and enhance the proud legacy of Laurier.”
In addition to those mentioned above, Laurier had a number of people included in a list of 10 sports figures “on the cusp” of the main list. They include: Laurier’s head football coach, Gary Jeffries, BA General Political Science, ’72; Colin Doyle, BA General Geography, ’01, who is currently the captain of the San Jose Stealth lacrosse team and who played for the Laurier men's lacrosse team; and Rick Osborne, head coach of Laurier’s women’s hockey team.
The original Record story can be viewed at: http://news.therecord.com/Sports/article/476605