Gord Grace, Pierre Lafontaine and Leo MacPherson
Source: OUA Communications
HAMILTON, Ont. – Ontario University Athletics is pleased to announce that Gord Grace, former OUA President and long-time university administrator, will be returning to the organization in the newly established role of Chief Executive Officer.
“Selecting Gord as the first Chief Executive Officer is a tremendous hire for Ontario University Athletics,” said Jennifer Myers, OUA President. “His passion and experience is an excellent match with the conference’s new strategic plan, and I believe he is the perfect choice to lead its activation over the next several years. As a long-time leader within OUA and Canadian Interuniversity Sport, he has built many key relationships with people in the industry and I have no doubt he can lead this conference to new heights.”
Grace, who previously had been working with CIS as Chief Marketing Officer, served as OUA President from 2010-2012. During that time, he was also the Director of Athletics and Recreation at the University of Windsor, a position he held for over 10 years.
“I am thrilled to be rejoining Ontario University Athletics and am excited to have the opportunity to take this organization to the next level,” said Grace. “Building upon the solid foundation of our recently released strategic plan, we are committed to developing student-athletes through academics and athletics.
“I am committed to focusing on the student-athlete experience, and working with our membership in establishing Ontario University Athletics as the preeminent university sport conference in Canada,” he added.
While with CIS, Grace was responsible for successfully implementing broadcast partnerships with Sportsnet and Radio-Canada, as well as developing the national governing body’s marketing initiatives for its 21 national championships.
Throughout his transition to Ontario University Athletics, Grace will continue to work closely with CIS in the planning and preparation of the 50th TELUS Vanier Cup in Montreal.
“On behalf of the CIS board of directors and our membership, I’d like to thank Gord for his tremendous work and leadership over the past 15 months in his role as CMO,” said Pierre Lafontaine, Chief Executive Officer of CIS. “I have no doubt he will be an exceptional leader for OUA. We’re glad to see him remain in the CIS family and I’m looking forward to working closely with him in his new position.”
Following a five-year playing career at the University of Waterloo (1979-1983), Grace returned to university football in 1991 as an Assistant coach with the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks, who went on to capture the Vanier Cup national championship that same year. In 1995, while completing his Master of Science at the University of Michigan, he took on a Graduate Assistant coaching role with the Wolverines. He returned to CIS in 1996 as Head Football Coach at Mount Allison University, before becoming the school’s Director of Development in 1999, a position he held until his appointment as Windsor Athletic Director in 2002.
Grace became more involved with OUA in 2003 when he took on numerous convener roles. From 2003 to 2012, he was a contributing member to numerous OUA committees and task forces, and became OUA Vice-President in 2010.
Grace was recognized with a 2012 International Athletic Director of the Year Award from the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics (NACDA) and the 2012 Sport Executive of the Year Award from Windsor-Essex County.
Over the years, Grace has also been involved with the CIS International Programs and was part of the Canadian delegation at two world university games, including in the role of Chef de Mission at the 2013 Winter Universiade in Italy.