Today we announce the retirement of Gilles Lepine, UBC’s Senior Director of Athletics since 2016. Gilles and his wife Danielle will be moving back to their home in Quebec City to be closer to family.
Gilles has been a visionary and energetic leader for UBC’s varsity athletic programs and we are grateful for his guidance over the past three years. Gilles worked tirelessly to support all UBC varsity sport. He poured an infectious energy and enthusiasm into all events that furthered fan engagement as well as the student athlete experience on campus. Gilles was also integral in securing additional funding to enhance services for all teams and made significant progress in workplace culture initiatives. I would like to thank Gilles for all he has done to put the department in an excellent position for the future.
During his time here, Gilles ensured UBC’s winning tradition continued as the Thunderbirds captured a total of 26 varsity athletic national championships.
“Gilles has done an outstanding job as the Senior Director of Athletics,” said UBC President and Vice Chancellor, Professor Santa J. Ono. “UBC will miss him and I shall miss him, both as a colleague and as a friend. I wish him and his family all the best.”
Gilles shared that coming to this conclusion has left him with mixed emotions. “This has been a difficult decision for me and not one I’ve taken lightly. I’m sure UBC athletes and coaches will continue to lead in their sports for many years to come. I would like to thank all the athletes, coaches, staff and alumni who have made my time here so fulfilling.”
UBC has a proud tradition of championship athletics, and the leadership provided by this position is critical for our continued success. With Gilles’ retirement, we are going to take the opportunity to consult with alumni, staff, coaches, student-athletes, and student leaders as we build criteria and responsibilities for the next senior leader of the department. This work will begin in the fall, and following the consultation, we will begin the recruitment process for the position.
I am pleased to announce that Gord Hopper, Director of Athletes, Performance and Team Support, has agreed to serve as the Interim Senior Director of Athletics effective July 1, 2019.
Statement from Gilles Lepine:
After three very intense and incredible years, my wife Danielle and I are going back to our family and relatives in Quebec City. I’m leaving with mixed feelings; happy to go back to my roots and sad to leave our Thunderbirds family. I would like to thank you all so much for your kindness and warm welcome upon my arrival.
I’m very confident that all the energy and the good work we invested in the last three years are the foundation of a new culture where transparency, trust and creativity will be our trademark. Your contribution is essential and you have the support of an incredible President and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Santa J. Ono, with the addition of a dynamic new VPS, Dr. Ainsley Carry, who’s already a great advocate for varsity. I can’t say thank you enough to Pr. Ono and his wife Wendy for their incredible support and friendship.
I’m so proud of what my colleagues and I accomplished, including the very constructive culture the department has developed. They are great and passionate people who became my friends.
Again, a very sincere thank you, to all the Thunderbirds family for your warm welcome and support. I learned a lot and the T-Birds will always have a very precious place in my heart.