Gord Hopper named Director, Performance and Team Services

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Vancouver, BC – The UBC Department of Athletics and Recreation is pleased to announce the hiring of Gord Hopper as the Director, Performance and Team Services. The newly funded Director position will be responsible for leading our efforts in sport science and sport medicine, coordinating research opportunities in sport with practical impact for our coaches and student-athletes, and working in partnership with other performance organizations.


“I am both honoured and excited to join the UBC Thunderbirds team,” said Gord Hopper. “There is a long history of athletic success, in an exceptional University.  The opportunity to connect researchers, sport science and medicine with motivated teams and coaches presents a unique opportunity that is rare in the National Sport system.”

Most recently Hopper has worked as a consultant in sport administration for the likes of ViaSport, the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, and Pacific Rim Gymnastics. Prior to that, he spent five years as the National Team Director for the Canadian Freestyle Ski Association, spearheading a high performance program focused on developing athletes to win medals at the Olympic Games and World Championships. Hopper also spent 10 years as a Program Director with Gymnastics BC developing and implementing programs, as well as supervising technical staff and regional coaches for a 25,000 member, non-profit Provincial Sport Organization.  Hopper has also been the President of the Board of Coaches BC since 2010 helping to increase membership from 2,500 to 14,000 members.


“I am very keen to get back into an environment where innovative coaches are driven to be the best, while athletes are striving for excellence every day,” said Hopper. ” In my previous work, we were able to create a support team that was preparing and fine tuning athletes for competition, rather than simply trying to address injuries.  With the wealth of knowledge in the UBC system I know we can apply those same principles here.”

“This new role is about increasing our capacity to support our coaches and sharpening our approach to varsity sport at UBC, ultimately leading to an enhanced student-athlete experience, to national championships and progression on to national teams,” said UBC Managing Director Ashley Howard. “We were looking for someone with extensive senior level experience in the high performance sport environment, someone with strategic experience, and someone with a collaborative background. Gord has all three, and more. I am thrilled with his appointment.”


Hopper will work closely with the current Director of Athletics, Theresa Hanson, to help deliver an outstanding student-athlete experience and achieve intercollegiate national championships.


“Gord brings a distinct perspective, having worked and volunteered at the provincial and national levels, with Own the Podium, the Canadian Sport Institute and ViaSport,” said Howard. “His appointment, coupled with Theresa’s outstanding inter-collegiate experience, strong UBC history, and leadership with Canada West and CIS, brings a unique combination of skills together to empower and support our coaches and staff.”


Hopper graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1993. He will officially begin Monday September 15, 2014.

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