Remembering Gord May

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October 2, 2013, VANCOUVER – It is with heavy hearts the Coaches Association of BC and ViaSport recognize the passing of Gord May, founding Executive Director of Coaches BC. Gord passed away on the evening of September 30 in Victoria, BC, surrounded by his family and friends.

Coaches BC and ViaSport have lost a great leader in sport. Along with his prominent role in developing Coaches BC, Gord made many other valuable contributions to the Canadian sport system throughout his life. Almost everyone who worked with Gord in some capacity has a story about him to tell; what made him so amazing was his ability to connect with people and leave them feeling so respected and valued.

Reflecting on Gord’s leadership and influence, ViaSport Coaching Manager Chantelle Reinkens says, “I have lost a close friend and leader, a caring mentor and someone who had an incredible impact on everyone he met. It was such a pleasure working with Gord, he was not only my boss for the last 6 years but he’s also been a great friend. Gord has had such an influence on my life and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him. He will be greatly missed.”

In honour of his retirement in February 2013, the Coaches BC staff put together the following list reflecting back on why he was such a great leader. We feel now is a time to re-visit and share this list once again to show the impact he made in our lives:

  • Not only did Gord start the Coaches Association of BC in 1993, but he was the reason that so many coaches had a voice in the province.
  • Gord was a huge Edmonton Oilers fan, living in a Canuck city. Not only did this lead to some terrible YouTube clips being sent around the office, but during playoff time you can likely guess the heckling that took place.
  • Gord was a very easy person to talk to. He was a good counselor to a lot of people, which was evident by the number of people who stopped by the office to chat. No one came to the Coaches BC office without stopping by to see Gord.
  • Gord had a great sense of humour… if you could catch the joke. Although sometimes it was hard to hold back rolling our eyes, he was always able to keep the mood light and make the office a fun place to be.
  • Gord rode a motorcycle, which we caringly referred to as a “scootercycle.” If you ever noticed that guy flying into the parking lot wearing a black leather jacket and intimidating looking helmet – that was Gord!
  • Gord went to Tim Hortons every day! We think they’ve gone out of business since he’s been away from the office.
  • Gord always thought outside of the box and had ideas for the Association that didn’t necessarily follow the norm, which kept the association ‘fresh’. It’s one of the reasons Coaches BC became the leader in coaching education and training across Canada.
  • Gord kept up with technology and therefore always kept the computers and software up-to-date for the staff. Did you know that Coaches BC ran on Google Apps (aka G-mail)? Gord was a Mac user at home and had a Macbook Air. Needless to say, he was very tech-savvy.
  • Gord always allowed the staff to take on new projects and had faith that we would always do a good job. He recognized our accomplishments and took the time to show his appreciation.
  • Gord was a very caring boss, always checking on his staff to make sure we were okay. Personal well-being was a priority for Gord and he worked hard to ensure that his team was happy and healthy.

During the last talks the Coaches staff had with Gord, he just wanted to know one thing…were we happy? And indeed we were, having been able to work with such a wonderful man. We will miss you Gord.

The service for Gord is planned for Monday October 7th at 1 pm at McCall’s in Victoria.

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.