Mike Babcock guest speaker at awards reception

OTTAWA (CIS) – Sports reporter Mary Caton, legendary basketball coach Bob Bain, long-time administrator Patricia Murray, and The Honourable R. Roy McMurtry will be honoured by Canadian Interuniversity Sport on Wednesday night.

The awards reception will be held at the Ottawa Marriott Hotel as part of CIS’ annual general meeting.

Caton will receive the Fred Sgambati Media Award, presented annually to a member of media in recognition of his/her major contribution to the development and growth of Canadian university sport.

Bain merits 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 will put her hands on 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 will receive 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.

“It’s important that we take time to celebrate and show our sincere appreciation for the outstanding careers of these four individuals,” said CIS president Leo MacPherson. “Each of the award recipients has made significant and meaningful contributions that have led to the growth and development of CIS and university sport in Canada.”

Also highlighting the awards reception will be guest speaker Mike Babcock, head coach of the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings. Babcock, who led Detroit to the Stanley Cup in 2008 and Team Canada to gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, left his mark on CIS hockey in the 80s and early 90s. As a player, he spent four seasons with McGill (1983-84 to 1986-87), where he was a team captain and MVP, and a two-time all-star defenceman. A few years later, in 1993-94, he guided Lethbridge to the University Cup national championship in his only campaign at the helm of the Pronghorns.


Born and raised in Windsor, Ont., Mary Caton graduated from Ryerson University with a BAA in journalism in 1979. While at the Toronto school, she played for the Rams’ volleyball team for two seasons before switching to basketball in her third year. In her final campaign with the hoops squad, in 1978-79, she was named team MVP and received the G.L. Dobson Trophy for greatest contribution to sport, campus and community life by a Ryerson female student-athlete.

Immediately following graduation, she was hired by The Windsor Star as a summer intern in the sports department. A few months later, in December of 1979, she was hired full time to work as a news reporter in the Star’s Chatham bureau. She moved back into sports the following year and was assigned to cover the local scene, including the University of Windsor Lancers.

Caton has covered the Lancers ever since, with a focus on basketball, volleyball, and track and field. With four major professional teams competing only 20 minutes away in Detroit, her efforts have helped to ensure that Windsor student-athletes have remained relevant and received fair coverage throughout the years. In 2009-10, she received the Lancers ‘A’ Award presented annually to an individual who has made a special contribution to Lancer Athletics, as well as the OUA Media Award, becoming the first-ever female recipient.

In addition to local sports, Caton has covered a number of professional and international events over the course of her career at The Star, including the Detroit Tigers, Pistons and Lions, PGA and LPGA tournaments, the Pan Am junior championships, and the Detroit Grand Prix Circuit (auto racing).

“Mary is exceptional in her coverage of university sport in our community,” said Gord Grace, director of Athletics at the University of Windsor. “Not only is she there for the high-profile sports but she also makes a concentrated effort to cover the sports and the athletes that are not always ‘top of mind’ with the readers. She has taken the time to develop personal relationships with the coaches and staff, and has been a tremendous asset to our department. Mary continues to be a devoted supporter of the Lancers and university sport in Canada.”


A native of Niagara Falls, Ont., Bob Bain played high school basketball at Stamford Collegiate Institute before moving on to Waterloo Lutheran University (now Wilfrid Laurier University), where he helped the Golden Hawks capture a national championship in 1967-68. After graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in psychology, he moved to Edmonton and the University of Alberta, where he completed a bachelor of physical education degree and a master’s in physical education, while playing two seasons for the Golden Bears.

Following his playing career, Bain made a quick transition from the court to the sidelines and spent one campaign at the helm of the Bears in 1972-73. The next season, 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 2010-11 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.”


Patricia 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).

“Pat contributed tremendously to university sport in Canada as a progressive leader in the marketing of sport, an advocate of the student-athlete experience and a mentor to many athletic administrators over the years,” said Thérèse Quigley, director of Sports & Recreation Services at Western University. “She brought a knowledge base and a network of experience to the CIAU and later CIS through her involvement in the Olympic movement at the international level and high performance sport in Canada. Pat was a voice of reason, a well informed leader and a tremendous advocate for sport in Canada.”


The Honourable R. Roy McMurtry, Q.C., has a long-standing record of public and community service, as well as a lifelong love for the game of football.

A native of Toronto, McMurtry received a bachelor of arts degree from the University of Toronto’s Trinity College in 1954 and a bachelor of laws degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1958. While at the UofT, he played four seasons with the 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 practiced 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 University in 1991. He was appointed a member of the Order of Ontario in January 2008 and was inducted as an Officer in the Order of Canada on September 2, 2010.

He is currently Chancellor of York University.

“Roy McMurtry’s contributions and achievements as a student-athlete, as a professional and as an educator across the varying forums are unparallel,” said Beth Ali, director of Intercollegiate and High Performance Sport at the University of Toronto. “He has dedicated his life to the betterment of others as well as servicing his community and the country. The University of Toronto could not be prouder to have nominated him for this much deserved recognition, highlighting not only what he’s achieved at the collegiate level but far beyond. He’s a remarkable individual and a true Canadian icon.”