|University||University of British Columbia|
|Association||Canadian Interuniversity Sport|
|Athletic director||Ashley Howard|
|Football stadium||Thunderbird Stadium|
|Basketball arena||War Memorial Gym|
|Ice hockey arena||Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre|
|Baseball stadium||Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium|
|Fight song||Hail UBC|
The UBC Thunderbirds are the athletic teams that represent the University of British Columbia in the University Endowment Lands just outside the city limits of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The Thunderbirds are the most successful athletic program in the CIS, though a few of their teams are members of the U.S. NAIA.
- 1 Teams
- 2 Football
- 3 Baseball
- 4 Men's Ice Hockey
- 5 Men's Rugby
- 6 Men's Soccer
- 7 Men's Volleyball
- 8 Women's Volleyball
- 9 CIS and NAIA National Championships
- 10 Facilities
- 11 Fight Song
- 12 NCAA membership bid
- 13 Notes and references
- 14 External links
Thunderbird teams compete in:
- Alpine Skiing (m/w)
- Baseball (m)
- Basketball (m/w)
- Cross Country Running (m/w)
- Field Hockey (m/w)
- Football (m)
- Golf (m/w)
- Ice Hockey (m/w)
- Nordic Skiing (m/w)
- Rowing (m/w)
- Rugby (m/w)
- Soccer (m/w)
- Softball (w)
- Swimming (m/w)
- Track & Field (m/w)
- Volleyball (m/w)
|Athletic director||Ashley Howard|
|Head coach||Blake Nill|
|First year, 0–0–0 (–)|
|Other staff||Steve Buratto (OC), Paul Orzetti (Special Teams coordinator), Vacant (DC)|
|Home stadium||Thunderbird Stadium|
|Field||David Sidoo Field|
|Stadium surface||Polytan LigaTurf|
|Location||Vancouver, British Columbia|
|Conference||CWUAA (1972 - present)|
|Past associations||Western Intercollegiate Football League, Western Intercollegiate Football Union, Evergreen Football League|
1982, 1986, 1997
|Churchill Bowl Championships||3
1978, 1986, 1987
|Atlantic Bowl Championships||2
1929, 1931, 1933, 1938,
1939, 1945, 1959, 1961,
1962, 1976, 1978, 1982,
1986, 1987, 1997
|Hec Crighton winners||3
Jordan Gagner, Mark Nohra, Billy Greene
|Colours||Blue and Gold
|Fight song||Hail U.B.C.|
|Outfitter||Under Armour through 2014|
The UBC Thunderbirds football team has won the Hardy Trophy conference championship 15 times, which is third all-time among competing teams. On a national level, the team has won the Vanier Cup championship three times, in 1982, 1986 and, most recently, in 1997. The team has also lost twice in the title game, in 1978 and 1987. The Thunderbirds program has also yielded three Hec Crighton Trophy winners, Jordan Gagner in 1987, Mark Nohra in 1997, and, most recently, Billy Greene in 2011.
Since 2007, the Thunderbirds have qualified for the playoffs twice and last had a winning record in the 2004 season. The team's best campaign came in 2011 when they finished with a 6-2 record and in second place in the CWUAA with an appearance in the Hardy Cup. Quarterback Billy Greene would also become the third Thunderbird to win the Hec Crighton Award that year. However, all team accolades would be for naught as an ineligible student-athlete, who played in all eight games, would force UBC to forfeit all six regular season wins as well as its post-season results from that year. The school was fined and the program was placed on probation for the following season. This seemed to halt any progress that was made as the team finished 2-6 for the 2012 season and out of the playoffs for the fifth time in six years.
In 2013, the team bounced back with a 4-4 regular season record led by a solid defense and running back Brandon Deschamps, who was one of only three running backs in Canada to rush for more than 1,000 yards. They would lose in the Canada West semifinal to the eventual Mitchell Bowl champion Calgary Dinos 42-28.
The team has a long-standing rivalry with the cross-town Simon Fraser Clan which has been dormant since SFU left for the NCAA Division II Great Northwest Athletic Conference. While the two teams did not play within the same governing bodies until 2002 (SFU played in the NAIA while UBC has always competed in the CIS), they would compete in an annual match-up known as the Shrum Bowl, named after Gordon Shrum. After SFU moved to NCAA II, it seemed as though the game would stop, however, the two teams would indeed play in October 2010 at Thunderbird Stadium using Canadian rules. The game has not been played since then, as scheduling conflicts have prevented the two teams from playing.
The most identifiable rivalry within the conference is with the Saskatchewan Huskies whom they have met in their last four of five playoff games including a win at Thunderbird Stadium in 2011.
Recent Regular Season Results
|2000||8||3||5||0||0.375||206||231||4th in CW|
|2001||8||2||6||0||0.250||132||233||5th in CW|
|2002||8||3||5||0||0.250||144||141||5th in CW|
|2003||8||0||8||0||0.000||132||260||7th in CW|
|2004||8||5||3||0||0.625||235||212||3rd in CW|
|2005||8||4||4||0||0.500||210||200||4th in CW|
|2006||8||4||4||0||0.500||287||209||3rd in CW|
|2007||8||3||5||0||0.375||167||198||5th in CW|
|2008||8||2||6||0||0.250||117||160||6th in CW|
|2009||8||3||5||0||0.375||110||263||5th in CW|
|2010||8||2||6||0||0.250||164||255||6th in CW|
|2011[A]||8||0||8||0||0.000||58||72||2nd in CW|
|2012||8||2||6||0||0.250||193||297||5th in CW|
|2013||8||4||4||0||0.500||256||215||4th in CW|
|2014||8||2||6||0||0.250||175||293||6th in CW|
CIS Playoff Results
- 2000 Lost to Manitoba Bisons in semi-final 14-4
- 2001 Out of Playoffs
- 2002 Out of Playoffs
- 2003 Out of Playoffs
- 2004 Lost to Saskatchewan Huskies in semi-final 39-0
- 2005 Lost to Saskatchewan Huskies in semi-final 32-6
- 2006 Lost to Saskatchewan Huskies in semi-final 35-16
- 2007 Out of Playoffs
- 2008 Out of Playoffs
- 2009 Out of Playoffs
- 2010 Out of Playoffs
- 2011 Defeated Saskatchewan Huskies in semi-final 27-22
Lost to Calgary Dinos in Hardy Cup 62-13
- 2012 Out of Playoffs
- 2013 Lost to Calgary Dinos in semi-final 42-28
- 2014 Out of Playoffs
Thunderbirds in the CFL
As of the start of the 2013 CFL season, five former Thunderbirds are on CFL teams' rosters:
- Shea Emry, Montreal Alouettes
- Cody Husband, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
- Nathan Kanya, Edmonton Eskimos
- Lance Milton, Montreal Alouettes
- Billy Pavlopoulos, Winnipeg Blue Bombers
In the summer of 1996, 30 years after the original UBC baseball program was dismembered due to budget cuts, Athletic Director Bob Phillip along with former professional Jim Murphy and community baseball coach Mark Hiscott provided funding for the present day Thunderbirds baseball. Hiscott recognized student Terry McKaig, a former collegiate player and national team member, as the one to take over the program as head coach. Since 1997, McKaig has been the driving force behind the T-Birds with support and funding from such major leaguers as Jeff Zimmerman and Ryan Dempster.
The Thunderbirds compete in the United States as the only Canadian member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). In 2001, the program reached a new level as the New York Mets made Derran Watts the first ever Thunderbird to be drafted, when they selected him in the 12th round. Since then nine more Thunderbirds have been drafted including 2007 World Series starter Jeff Francis, who recently signed a contract worth close to $50 million. T-bird baseball successes include their trip to the 2006 NAIA World Series.
Men's Ice Hockey
Mens rugby is one of the oldest varsity sports at UBC (including the precursor to UBC, McGill University College of BC, varsity rugby started in 1906). The varsity XV now competes against the University of Victoria in a two-game, combined score series to claim the coveted "Boot". They also play a two-game, combined score series against the University of California (consistently the best university rugby team in the US) for the "World Cup" trophy (a competition started in 1921). The varsity XV is coached by Spence McTavish (former UBC varsity rugby captain, former Canadian rugby international and captain, and former Bobby Gaul award winner), and assistant coach Rod Holloway (former UBC varsity rugby scrumhalf, and former assistant coach of Canada's National Senior Men's team (RWC 1995)). UBC's rugby program has a long tradition of producing national team rugby players (7's and 15's), most recently Jim Douglas (RWC 2003), Mike Burak (RWC 2007), Chris Pack, Ryan MacWhinney, Justin Mensah-Coker, Tyler Hotson, Eric Wilson and Harry Jones.
Notable players include: Brian Budd, Srdjan Djekanovic
The UBC Thunderbirds are the most successful men's soccer program in Canada, having won 12 CIS championships, eight more than any other school in the country.
Previously coached by Dale Ohman, Richard Schick took over the men's program in 2002, coming off of a CIS National Championship with the Alberta Golden Bears.
Led by head coach Doug Reimer, the women's volleyball team captured a historic 5th CIS championship in a row in 2012. Beating out the Alberta Pandas in a 5 set match, the team became the second Thunderbird squad to win 5 CIS championships consecutively. With the opening of the 2012-2013 season they are ranked first in Canada and are attempting to win a 6th consecutive title.
CIS and NAIA National Championships
Canadian Interuniversity Sport Championships
Women’s Swimming (18)
- 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1986, 1985
Men’s Swimming (13)
- 2015, 2012, 2009, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1965
Women’s Field Hockey (14)
- 2012, 2011, 2009, 2006, 2004, 2003, 2001, 1999, 1998, 1990, 1983, 1982, 1980, 1978
Men’s Soccer (13)
- 2013, 2012, 2007, 2005, 1994, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1974
Women’s Volleyball (10)
- 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 1978, 1977, 1974, 1973
Women’s Basketball (6)
- 2008, 2006, 2004, 1974, 1973, 1972
Women’s Soccer (5)
- 2006, 2003, 2002, 1993, 1987
- 1997, 1986, 1982
Men’s Volleyball (3)
- 1983, 1976, 1967
Men's Basketball (2)
- 1972, 1970
Men’s Cross Country
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Championships (7)
- 2012, 2010, 2004, 2000
- 2012, 2013
See also Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
- Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre (Ice Hockey)
- John M.S. Lecky UBC Boathouse (Rowing)
- Nat Bailey Stadium (Baseball)
- Thunderbird Stadium (Football and Soccer)
- Thunderbird Park (Field Hockey, Rugby, Soccer, Track & Field)
- War Memorial Gymnasium (Basketball and Volleyball)
- UBC Aquatics Centre (Swimming)
- Gerald McGavin UBC Thunderbird Rugby Centre (Rugby)
UBC used to have a fight song "Hail UBC", written by Harold King in 1931.
A pep song with the same name "Hail UBC", written by Steve Chatman, was adopted in 2011. The lyrics go:
Hail to the Thunderbirds! Hail UBC!
Thunder and lightning — Onward to victory!
Hail to the Blue-and-Gold! Hail UBC!
U, B, C forever — Onward to victory!
NCAA membership bid
In 2005, they applied to become members of the principal U.S. college sports governing body, the NCAA. They are not the first Canadian school to try to join the NCAA; in 2000, local rival Simon Fraser, then exclusively an NAIA member, sought to join the NCAA but was turned down. At the time, the NCAA's constitution prohibited non-U.S. schools from joining; however, some observers believed the real reason Simon Fraser was turned down was that the school sought to join as a Division II school, and the NCAA did not want to set a precedent with a lower-level school. UBC, on the other hand, was reportedly interested in joining Division I. UBC's athletic budget of approximately $4 million Canadian is dwarfed by those of schools in the Pacific-10 Conference, the only BCS conference on the U.S. West Coast. However, at least two mid-major conferences with a West Coast presence, the West Coast Conference and Western Athletic Conference, had been suggested as possible future homes for the Thunderbirds.
The NCAA approved a change to its constitution on January 14, 2008 to allow Canadian schools to become members. Under a 10-year pilot program due to begin June 1, 2008, Canadian schools can join the NCAA as Division II members, and any school that meets the June 1 deadline for application can become a member as of the academic year immediately following the deadline. CIS has not officially indicated whether a school joining the NCAA under this program can retain its CIS membership. It was expected that both UBC and Simon Fraser would be among the first schools to apply for NCAA membership under this program. Simon Fraser did apply and was accepted, but in April 2009 UBC deferred a decision on applying.
Notes and references
- "Canada West sanctions UBC for eligibility violation". 2011-12-20. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- Rose, Les (1974). "Thunderbirds in China". Documentary film. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 2009-10-05.
- "CIS:Past CIS Champions". Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Canadian Interuniversity Sport. Retrieved 31 May 2013.
- Fenton, Drake (2012-03-04). "Drive for five completed, UBC women's volleyball wins national championship | The UbysseyThe Ubyssey". Ubyssey.ca. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- Tsumura, Howard (2012-10-17). "Classic serving up fireworks". Theprovince.com. Retrieved 2012-12-14.
- Ewen, Steve (2005-11-08). "UBC expects visit by NCAA". The Province. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
- Press release, Canadian Interuniversity Sport (2008-01-15). "CIS responds to NCAA membership openings". TSN. Archived from the original on 2008-01-19. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
- "No Canadian schools apply for Division II membership". NCAA. 2008-06-03. Archived from the original on 2008-06-09. Retrieved 2008-06-12.
- "UBC defers decision on application to join NCAA Division II". UBC. Retrieved 2010-06-18.
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