My Father being inducted into the Wall of Champions

6:00:00 AM AnnMarie Brown 0 Comments

What child does not look up at their parents and think of them as a hero at one time or another. My father is one of the most important and respected people in my life. The impact he has had on not just my life and the life of our family but on every life he has touched over the years. The example he has set as a human being being the first to step up and help others and never judging a book by it's cover. He gave my brother and I important values that have helped me in my life.

Photo Credit - Jeff Chan
My fathers unwavering love and strength is the pillar that keeps our family strong in times of struggles. My dad listens diligently and is understanding when we come to him with problems in our life. He helps us to stay on track and always gives good advice. He is cool and collected in all situations. Family is very important to my father and he always makes time for family. My father along with my mother open their home to any family passing through the city they live in no matter if it is a short term stay or a long term stay - family is family and you are there for family no matter what my dad always says.

My dad was always my biggest supporter no matter what I did in life. Whether I was playing baseball, doing a project or working my dad was always supporting me. He was definitely was not the loudest one cheering at my games or when it came to any accolades I did get he was there and the smile on his face said it all. I always valued myself as a person and a lot of that came from my father encouraging us to do our best but at the same time as long as you do your best and try your hardest they you should not be disappointed with the out come because you did all you could do.

I think back to September 2000 when I had to have surgery to remove the cancer in my body. My father was one of the first people in my recovery room after my husband and he walked in with my mother and my children. I know I didn't look good I could see it on the faces of my mother and children but there was my father looking at me telling me everything was going to be okay and I just needed to rest up and get my energy back. Truth be told I looked like I was knocking on deaths door. But my dad was there the pillar of strength for every one else.

There comes a day when you realize that you are not the only one that looks up to this amazing individual. You realize that he has impacted many other lives by his love of life and love of people. His loyalty to his family and friends shines through in every thing he does. Today is one of those days for not just me but my family also.

Today my father will be inducted into the prestigious Western University -  Wall of Champions. My father became part of the Western University Football team in 1991 after his love of the game brought him to his dream job. He loves everything football and I remember as a young child moving to London, Ontario and my dad taking us to our first football game at Western and I fondly remember spending every Saturday in the stands at JW Little Stadium and then years later TD Waterhouse. Western Football became a fixture in our families life and house even before my father started working for them.

It has been 5 years since my father has officially retired from Western Football but as all the other coaches know my dad is still a fixture at the University spending many hours in the football offices and helping with many projects. Thank you Western University for honouring the man I have always known was a Champion with this award. I am truly blessed to call him my father!

The inductees to the Wall of Champions this year at Western University are:

Larry Bird MA'76, 1969-70; 2002 inducted into Saskatchewan Roughriders Plaza of Honour; 1969 College Dream Team All Star

Derek Krete BA'97, 1993-97 started at linebacker; all Canadian 1994 and 1996; 1996 awarded President's Trophy as top defensive player in the country; member of 1994 Vanier Cup team; won OUA Yates Cup in 1994 and 1995; also won the Claude Brown Trophy as Western's Male Athlete of the Year in 1997

Reg Ort BA'52 MD'57, 1948-1951; starred in three sports at Western - football, wrestling and hockey; awarded Claude Brown Trophy as Western's Male Athlete of the Year in 1952; won the Howard Ferguson Award for achievement in athletics, academics and community spirit; inducted into the "W" Club Hall of Fame 1984 (awarded posthumously)

Joe Breen 1929-1934; first Head Coach of Mustang Football team; began coaching in 1929 and his best season was 1931 when he lead the Mustangs to a 6-5 record and Western's first Yates Cup; Member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and Canada's Football Hall of Fame (awarded posthumously)

Gary Jubenville - video coordinator and team manager from 1991-2009; personally managed and implemented the change from standard video to digital computer video and was directly responsible for the administration of our Champions Club events

1994 Team - undefeated Vanier Cup Champions; 1994 defeated Saskatchewan 50-40 in overtime to capture the Vanier Cup. The team was captained by Jude St John and featured seven All-Canadians; Stewart Beak, PJ Gleason, Sean Reade, Derek Krete, Mark Lawson, Tim Hughes and David Burnie

Congratulations Dad!