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Geoff Gowan

Physical Education (Cert Ed 2Yr), 1951

Dr. Geoff Gowan had a great love of sport and excelled as a track and field athlete, teacher, coach, technical specialist, planner, administrator and leader. In his youth, at both county and university levels Geoff competed in the long jump and triple jump. As a coach, his athletes, including Robbie Brightwell, John Cooper, John Sherwood and John Whetton, won medals at Olympic, Commonwealth, European and World Student Games.

In his student years, two people were significantly influential in shaping Geoff’s teaching and coaching – Basil Stamatakis and Geoffrey Dyson. Each in their own way were teacher, coach and then mentor as Geoff taught at high school; next lectured and then coached at Loughborough.

In 1965 he left England for the USA and joined McMaster University in Hamilton as a professor and athletics coach in 1968, later joining the Coaching Association of Canada and serving as technical director, then President, until 1996, changing the face of athletics in Canada. Influential in the training of more than 800,000 coaches and as chief architect of Canada’s internationally renowned National Coaching Certification Program, Geoff later became a commentator for national and international competitions.

He was presented with the Order of Canada in 1992 in recognition of his substantial contribution to sport. He was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Civil Law from Acadia University along with being inducted into the CBC Sports Hall of Fame, Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame.