Wilf Wedmann

Athletics director Wedmann leaves

July 12, 2007

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By Stuart Colcleugh

After 27 years, SFU’s legendary recreation and athletics director, Wilf Wedmann, is leaving to pursue a much more important role: full-time dad.   

"I’m 59, I have a two-year-old son, and we have another baby on the way," says the former Olympic athlete and Rhodes scholar, who announced his early retirement June 29.

I really need more time with my family. I’ve been thinking for a while about early retirement and now is the time."

An SFU Clan high jumper in his younger days, Wedmann became SFU’s first Olympian in 1968 and first Rhodes scholar in 1972.

As recreation and athletics director, he was instrumental in the development of new facilities at the Burnaby campus. They include new sports fields, a new $17-million gymnasium, a new state-of-the-art fitness centre, and support from the Vancouver Whitecaps soccer organization that led to two new FieldTurf fields worth more than $2 million each.

The SFU Clan won 39 Canadian, National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and North American titles under Wedmann’s leadership, including:

  • Six men’s swimming and diving team NAIA championships and five women swimmers and divers titles.
  • Three women’s basketball team Canadian championships.
  • Four women’s wrestling team Canadian titles and a North American collegiate trophy.
  • Two women’s softball team NAIA titles and four women’s cross-country team championships.
  • The women’s soccer team NAIA championship in 2000.
  • The women’s track and field team NAIA championship in 2005.

While looking forward to more time with his family, Wedmann says he’ll miss the coaches and staff as well as the athletes.

These are great people, professional and dedicated…and our student-athletes are exceptional young men and women who make all our efforts incredibly rewarding. I’ll miss them tremendously."

Three of the department’s leaders will act together for the director’s office until an acting director is named and a search for Wedmann’s successor gets under way.

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