Earlier this month, 11 Varsity Blues were honoured with induction into the University of Toronto Sports Hall of Fame. The Sports Hall of Fame was established by the T-Holders Association in 1987 to commemorate UofT’s greatest athletes and builders. Among the more notable inductees this year were Nick Volpe, Liz Hoffman and Robin Campbell, and Vicky Sunohara.
Former U of T Director of Athletics Hoffman served on the board of directors of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) for over 12 years, and was president from 1995–97. Hoffman has also been a U of T delegate to the Ontario University Athletics since 1977. As head coach of the women’s field-hockey team, she was selected CIS coach of the year three times, and the annual award for the CIS women’s field hockey player of the year is named in her honour. Hoffman currently sits on the board of the Golf Association of Ontario (GAO), of which she is a former president.
Campbell was honoured for his long devotion to the growth of Varsity Blues athletics. He is now executive director of advancement and alumni affairs at the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Shortly after graduating, Campbell was named head coach of the Varsity Blues swimming team; he led them to 11 OQAA and seven CIAU victories between 1969–79.
After helping UofT win the Yates Cup in 1948 as a student, Volpe became a Blues volunteer recruiter in the early 1950s and has since worked with the Varsity Blues football team. His early achievements include the establishment of the Argo Cup Football Challenge and Friends of Football. In 2001, Volpe became a member of the Varsity Blues All-Century Legend Team and more recently, a member of the Blues football historical committee. He has also been a part of coaching search committees for the Varsity Blues football program.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Vicky Sunohara is best known for her achievements on the international stage. But Sunohara started at U of T, where she played two seasons with the Blues, earning OWIAA all-star status both years. After leading the team to the provincial title in 1990–91, she guided the Blues to another OWIAA championship after an undefeated 1991–92 season, and was named the OWIAA rookie of the year.
Sunohara served as an assistant captain with Team Canada for seven years until her retirement in 2008. As a member of Canada’s national team, Sunohara won 15 gold and three silver medals. After serving as assistant coach in the 2004-05 season, Sunohara was appointed head coach of the U of T women’s hockey team in 2011.
Other athletes inducted this year include swimmer Marco Cavazzoni, all-Canadian basketball player Elizabeth Hart, badminton player Adrian Ma, high jumper Alex Zaliauskas, and football MVP Wayne Dunkley, The 1985 and 1986 CIAU champion field hockey teams, including future Olympians Lisa McRae and Wendy Baker, were also honoured, as was as the 1971–72 national champion men’s hockey team.
Past inductees include the founder of Maple Leafs Garden, Conn Smythe, pro scout and former U of T coach Tom Watt, and the 1986–87 Women’s Swimming Team, which hosted the CIAU championships and claimed the title by the second-largest point margin in national championship history.
—With files from varsityblues.ca