After 19 years working with the University of Victoria Vikes, Associate Director of Sport James Keogh announced that he is stepping down from his role, effective as of August 31.
“This certainly was not an easy decision to make, particularly in light of our current COVID-19 circumstances, however, this is the right time for me to move on,” said Keogh. “I’ve grown so much both professionally and personally since coming to campus in 1997. It has been an amazing experience working with such passionate, dedicated staff and students.”
Arriving at UVic to work on his Master’s degree in Recreation, it didn’t take Keogh long to get a job with the Athletics and Recreation department. He first served as a lifeguard, all while playing a prominent role on the men’s rowing program with whom he competed for four years.
The Victoria product’s time with the Vikes was highlighted by winning the Brown Cup in 1999, 2000 and 2001, and was a member of the Canadian University Rowing Championships gold medal crew in 2000.
Attributes that made him a great teammate and a leader in the rowing program allowed Keogh to seamlessly transition into a role with the department that lasted nearly two decades. He served as the Coordinator of Athletics and then Athletics Manager from 2002-17, before accepting the role of Associate Director of Sport.
“I understand and respect the decision by James to pursue new professional opportunities. I appreciate the approach James has taken in his work. He is honest, genuine and thoroughly professional at all times. He has embraced our Vikes Edge, evidencing respect for all areas of our department as we continue to find ways to improve,” said Clint Hamilton, Director of Athletics and Recreation. “He has earned the trust across many areas of our campus and in our community in advancing UVic and Vikes specific initiatives.”
Keogh also contributed significantly to the development, design and construction of the Centre for Athletics, Recreation and Special Abilities, which opened in May 2015. For his efforts, Keogh and his leadership teammates were awarded the President’s Extraordinary Service Award in 2016.
Keogh was instrumental in helping develop and grow a number of important Vikes recognition events including: the Celebration of Champions Banquet, UVic Sports Hall of Fame, Vikes Championship Breakfast, Vikes Honour Roll/Academic All-Canadian Luncheon and Graduating Athletes Reception. He also oversaw over a dozen UVic hosted national championships contributing to the institution’s strong reputation in delivering high quality events.
During Keogh’s tenure, Vikes teams captured nine U SPORTS championships, 20 Canadian University National Championships, 29 conference championships, 14 regional championships and helped produce a number of Olympic-level athletes while ensuring that hundreds of student-athletes obtained their post-secondary degrees.
Outside his duties with the Vikes, Keogh also served as Chair of the U SPORTS/Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Sport Committee from 2011 to 2018, and four years on the CIS Board of Directors. Keogh also served as Chef de Mission for Team BC at the 2007 Western Canada Summer Games and as Mission Staff at the 2011 FISU Summer Universiade in Shenzen, China.