July 1, 2021
As the timeline for future inductions into municipal, regional, provincial and national halls of fame are beyond the control of post-secondary institutions, acknowledging alumni in a similar manner on campus is not.
Of the ten post secondary institutions who have had teams raise the CCAA Championship Bowl, one (St. Clair College) has signaled that it will establish a hall of fame after the pandemic while four (Cambrian College, Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe, Cégep de Saint-Laurent and Red Deer College) have not.
As of now, five CCAA national champion hockey teams, four CCAA national champion hockey head coaches, and three CCAA national champion hockey players have been enshrined by five athletic departments.
In 1989, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology established the SAIT Wall of Distinction. The induction of 1980-81 SAIT Trojans in 2014 was preceded by the entry of their head coach Bob Moore in 2009 and their captain Bob Deschamps in 1998 and succeeded by 1980-81 CCAA Tournament MVP Ron Pierce in 2015. The plaque of the 1999-2000 SAIT Trojans was unveiled in 2013.
In 2002, the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology founded the NAIT Athletics Wall of Fame and selected six time CCAA champion head coach Perry Pearn as an inaugural member. Pearn was joined by two time CCAA individual award recipient and two time CCAA champion Ron Amyotte along with the 1984-85 CCAA champion NAIT Ooks in 2007 as part of the most recent induction class.
In 2010, Mount Royal University created the Cougars Wall of Fame. Three years later, former head coach Scott Atkinson received the call. Coincidentally, Atkinson guided the Cougars to three national championships.
In 2012, the Vikings Wall of Fame inducted the 1974-75 CCAA champion Camrose Lutheran College Vikings as part of their first and only class.
In 2018, the Capers Hall of Fame welcomed the 1977-78 CCAA champion College of Cape Breton Capers and their head coach Carl (Bucky) Buchanan as the inaugural inductees.
The inductions to date only scratch the surface. Thirteen hockey head coaches guided 23 teams to a CCAA championship. Of the hundreds of hockey players who have reached the top of the podium from 1975 through 2001, 86 also received at least one CCAA individual award.
The rationale for an athletic department to celebrate the deserving are numerous. Some fall short in meeting the current eligibility criteria for other halls, but are worthy of similar recognition at the campus level. For the post secondary institutions that are no longer CCAA members, players and coaches who represented them are at a distinct disadvantage for entry into the CCAA Hall of Fame as nominations must be submitted by member institutions in good standing who (along with the nominating conference) must fork up for an a $250 ad in the event's program. In addition, the national governing body has not yet added a team category in its hall to immortalize CCAA champions.
If an athletic department is serious about paying tribute to its rich heritage, it would honour individuals and teams regularly in a hall or on a wall.