Best of 2009: Athletics

SFU Athletics joins NCAA
On July 10, SFU added “another Canadian first to its credit,” as one newspaper noted, when it became the first non-U.S. member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the world's largest college sports organization. SFU was previously the first Canadian university to grant scholarships to student athletes. The Clan's 19 varsity sports will compete in the NCAA's Division II beginning with the 2010-11 season.

Clan grapples men’s wrestling title
Led by super-heavyweight Arjan Bhullar, the Clan men’s wrestling team won their first national title since 2002-03 while the women’s team finished second at the 2009 Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championships in February. The men’s victory ended a 10-year winning streak by the Brock Badgers.

Women basketballers rule
The Clan women’s basketball team continued their countrywide domination of the sport in 2009, winning their fourth Canadian Interuniversity Sport national title in eight years, toppling the home-team Regina Cougars 68–62. The female hoopsters also won the Bronze Baby trophy in 2002, 2005 and 2007.

Soccer midfielder year’s top player
Burnaby sensation Colin Streckmann was named the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) men's soccer national player of the year in 2009. And Clan head coach Alan Koch was named the NAIA Association of Independent Institutions coach of the year. The Clan finished the year with 20 wins, four losses, no ties and a berth in the Final Four—one their most successful seasons in 22 years.

Varsity golf is back
The Clan men's and women's golf programs returned to the fairways in 2009 after a three-year absence. The team hopes to revive its winning record from the 1990s and early 2000s when it won 11 regional championships over 13 years, making it one of the top programs in the NAIA.