A special steering committee has been formed to lead the process of finding a new name for the men’s Varsity teams. This unique opportunity aims to unite all of McGill’s community, displaying its diversity and eliciting pride among student athletes. The new name will be an expression of the University’s values and principles.
The committee will engage and give an opportunity to the entire McGill community—particularly current and former student athletes and other members of Athletics & Recreation—and will encourage participation from everyone who wishes to be consulted in the naming process.
Prof. Fabrice Labeau, Deputy Provost, Student Life and Learning, and Mr. Hubert T. Lacroix (BCL’76, MBA’81), former McGill varsity head coach and honoured member of McGill’s Sports Hall of Fame, will be co-chairing the committee.
The committee is tasked with the following mandate:
- Solicit input from the A&R and McGill community through focus groups and consultations with groups and individuals, initiated by either the committee or such groups. This will include collecting potential name suggestions.
- Decide the qualities that are essential in a potential new name.
- Determine a short-list of possible names.
- Conduct due diligence as to viability and suitability of short-listed names.
- Select a preferred name (selection will require a two-thirds majority vote).
- Submit a report, including a recommendation for a new name, to the Principal.
The new men’s Varsity teams will compete under their new name starting with the 2020-2021 season.
A call for nominations was opened from October 16 to November 6, 2019, to complete the committee voting member selection process. There was excellent response to the open call, with nearly 60 nominations for the 10 seats. We are excited by the diverse perspectives, positive attitudes and strong commitment to McGill athletics that the 10 new members bring to the committee.
The steering committee composition is as follows:
- Fabrice Labeau, Deputy Provost, Student Life and Learning
- Hubert T. Lacroix
- Phil Quintal, Acting Executive Director, Athletics and Recreation
- Geoffrey Phillips, Director, Sport Programs, Athletics and Recreation
- 5 current student-athletes
- Lindsay Harttrup is a fourth-year Nursing student from Kitchener, Ontario, who competes in high jump for the women’s track and field team.
- Men’s lacrosse midfielder Cougar Shakaienkwarathon Kirby is a second-year Sociology student from Kahnawake, Quebec. He played with the Iroquois Nation Junior team in the 2016 World Championship.
- Tia Lore, from Richmond, B.C., is a winger on the McGill women’s soccer team and a fifth-year Sociology student. She serves as co-chair of the Athletics Varsity Council.
- Men’s rugby hooker Alexander Pantis is an economics/political science double-major graduate (BA’19) from Beaconsfield, Quebec. He is currently enrolled in a Graduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship.
- Sam Tremblay plays right wing for the men’s hockey team, and serves as team captain. He’s a fourth-year Kinesiology major from Saint-Basile-le-Grand, Quebec.
- 3 student-athlete alumni
- Sacha Liben (BA’03) was goalie on the women’s soccer team and a member of the track and field team. After returning to McGill to work with Legal Services as a labour and employment lawyer, she joined BCE as senior counsel.
- Bruno Pietrobon (BEng’89) played five seasons for the men’s varsity football team, and served as team captain in 1987 and 1988. He is a member of the McGill Athletics and Recreation Advisory Board, honorary president of Friends of McGill Football, and honorary secretary of the Martlet Foundation. Mr. Pietrobon is president of Holden America, a Montreal-based manufacturing firm.
- Rick Rusk (LLB’82, BCL’83) played McGill varsity basketball, as did his wife and their daughter, and was named RSEQ First Team All-Star in the 1979-80 season. He serves as president of the Friends of McGill Basketball alumni support group, and is counsel with the Montreal law firm Stikeman Elliott.
- 2 current varsity coaches
- Coach Rikki Bowles (BEd’09) played basketball for McGill for five years. She served as the women’s team’s assistant coach from 2011 to 2017, during which time the team won six conference crowns and one Bronze Baby national championship. She is now the full-time associate coach.
- Ron Hilaire was appointed head coach of McGill’s football team in 2015, after serving as defensive coordinator and defensive line coach. He has previously coached with the Montreal Carabins and the Collège du Vieux Montréal team, and coaches with Team Quebec and the U18 National Team.
Ex-officio (non-voting) members*
- Louis Arseneault, Vice-Principal, Communications and External Relations
- Julie Audette, Manager, Marketing and Communications, Athletics and Recreation
- Bryan Buraga, SSMU President
- Gabrielle Korn, Managing Director, Alumni Relations and Annual Giving, and Executive Director, McGill Alumni Association
- Dakota Rogers, PGSS Secretary-General
* The committee may invite additional observers and subject matter experts to meetings, as deemed necessary.
The steering committee will determine the details of its schedule during its initial meetings.