VANCOUVER – Two former UBC Thunderbirds were named as inductees to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015 today at a ceremony in Vancouver.
UBC women’s field hockey legend Shelley Winter Andrews and multi-sport superstar John Haar were introduced alongside seven others, as well as the B.C. members of the 2012 Canadian Olympic Women’s Soccer Team, who make up the group of new inductees.
Selected to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame in the Athlete category, Winter Andrews starred for UBC from 1971 to 1976, leading the Thunderbirds to four Canada West championships. The Victoria, B.C., native won the Marilyn Pomfret Trophy as UBC’s outstanding female athlete in 1976.
Winter played on Canada’s national team from 1975, when she was still at UBC, to 1986, anchoring the team’s defence and becoming the first Canadian female player to appear in more than 100 international test matches.
She co-captained Canada to silver at the 1983 World Cup, fifth at the 1984 Olympic Games, and third at the 1986 World Cup.
In 2003, Winter Andrews gained a place in UBC’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Vancouver’s Haar is going into the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame as a Builder for his tireless work to support the sport of baseball in this country. Between 1961 and 1969, he played a total of 10 varsity seasons on three different Thunderbirds teams (soccer, baseball and football).
Haar was both an outstanding defender and a scoring machine with the men’s soccer team, recording a schoolrecord 22 goals alone during the 1962-63 season. In 1967-68. he led the T-Birds to the Pacific Coast League championship, which was tantamount to being the best amateur soccer team in the nation at the time. Against other universities that season, UBC’s notable matches included a 5-0 win over Simon Fraser and a 10-0 triumph over Manitoba in the unofficial Western Intercollegiate soccer championship.
As a baseball player with the T-Birds, he signed contracts with Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants in 1964 and the New York Yankees in 1966. Haar competed in 154 minor league games over parts of four seasons between 1964 and 1968.
He also served as the punter on the UBC football team during the 1965-66 season and was so good, the B.C. Lions tried to sign him in 1966. However, a week earlier, Haar agreed to a contract with the baseball Yankees and left for Johnson City, Tenn.
In the spring of 1968, Haar won the Bobby Gaul Memorial Trophy as the school’s graduating male athlete of the year.
After UBC, he went on to become one of the most respected managers in Canadian baseball history.
In 1986, he was hired as manager of Team Canada. He guided Canada’s National Youth Team to the 1991 World Youth Baseball Championship title in Brandon, Man. It was Baseball Canada’s first international gold medal. He was named Canada’s Coach of the Year in 1991 and the International Baseball Federation’s top coach in 1992.
Also in 1986, Haar was hired to manage the National Baseball Institute in Vancouver. He held that role for the entire existence of the NBI, a span of 14 years. Over that time, he helped produce eight Major League players, including Matt Stairs and Corey Koskie.
In 1999, Haar was inducted into the UBC Sports Hall of Fame, later the Burnaby Hall of Fame and in 2007 received induction into the Canada Baseball Hall of Fame located in St. Thomas, Ont.
Winter Andrews and Haar will be formally inducted to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame at the 47th Annual Banquet of Champions presented by Canadian Direct Insurance at the Vancouver Convention Centre on May 28, 2015.
– with files from Fred Hume (UBC Thunderbirds Historian) and Jason Beck (B.C. Sports Hall of Fame)