Above: Jim Donlevy (centre) accepts the WHL Governor’s Award in May 2013, alongside WHL Commissioner Ron Robison (left) and WHL Chairman of the Board Bruce Hamilton (right).
NEW WESTMINSTER – For nearly five decades the name Jim Donlevy has been synonymous with university sport in Western Canada.
Donlevy, who got his start in university athletics as an assistant coach with the University of Alberta Golden Bears football team in 1965, was honoured Saturday at McMahon Stadium in Calgary, as the Calgary Dinos hosted the Saskatchewan Huskies in a Hardy Cup semifinal.
Between 1991 and 2016 Donlevy served as the Canada West football convenor, helping shape the direction of university football through his close work with the conference’s head coaches and administrators.
Donlevy transitioned into the convenor role after leading the Golden Bears football program as head coach between 1971 and 1991. During his time at the helm of the Green and Gold, Donlevy led the team to five Hardy Cup titles (1971, 1972, 1979, 1980, 1981) and a pair of Vanier Cup championships (1972, 1980).
“From my time as a student at the University of Alberta when he was head football coach, to my years with Canada West and the CIS, Jim Donlevy’s commitment to university football has been inspirational,” said Canada West director of sport Kim Gordon.
“His 25 years as the Canada West football convenor have made a difference to the league, to the coaches, and to the student-athletes. His influence and contributions will never be forgotten.”
Donlevy was awarded the conference coach of the year award three times during his career at Alberta, winning in 1971 (also the national coach of the year), along with 1984, and 1987.
During his time at Alberta, Donlevy twice served as the president of the Canadian University Football Coaches Association (CUFCA).
Hockey fans would also be familiar with Donlevy’s work, as he served as the Western Hockey League’s director of education services between 1992 and 2015. He was honoured with the WHL’s Governors Award – the highest league honour – in May 2013 for his outstanding achievements and service.
Canada West would like to thank Jim for his tireless work over the years to promote university football in Western Canada as both a coach and administrator.
About Canada West:
Canada West is the premier athletic conference in the country and is home to champion student-athletes that excel on the field, in the classroom and in their communities. Canada West and its 17 member institutions commit to a student-athlete experience where competitive excellence, scholarship and sportsmanship contribute equally towards moulding outstanding graduates and community leaders.
Canada West – Training leaders, building champions.