Marauders Quinlan adds to his list of honours

Kyle Quinlan was named OUA Male Athlete of the Year.  (Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson, Aerial Promotions)

Kyle Quinlan was named OUA Male Athlete of the Year. (Photo: Robin Leworthy Wilson, Aerial Promotions)

GRAVENHURST- Guelph rugby standout Britt Benn (Napanee, Ont.) and McMaster quarterback sensation Kyle Quinlan (South Woodslee, Ont.) were named Ontario University Athletics Athletes of the Year at the 2013 OUA Honour Awards Banquet on Thursday (May 9).

The award is Quinlan’s second consecutive male athlete of the year while Benn’s victory marks the second consecutive season that a member of the Guelph Gryphons women’s rugby team has earned female MVP.

Quinlan completed his varsity career with one of the best statistical seasons in Canadian Interuniversity Sport football annals. In eight regular season contests last fall, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound quarterback led the country with 19 touchdown passes against only two interceptions, the lowest total among starting pivots. He ranked second in the nation in both passing yards per game (307.1) and completion percentage, with a new single-season OUA record of 68.9.

The ultimate dual threat, he also led all CIS signal callers with seven majors and 550 yards on the ground. Quinlan was a logical choice for the Hec Crighton Trophy as CIS player of the year. His stellar play helped the Marauders to their first 8-0 regular season since 2003, a second straight OUA banner and a return trip to the Vanier Cup final, which ended in a loss to archrival Laval in front of a record crowd of 37,098 at Rogers Centre.

In her fifth and final year of eligibility, Benn led the OUA conference in scoring in the regular season with 80 points on 16 tries, eight more than any other player. The 5-foot-6 outside centre helped guide the Gryphons to a perfect 6-0 record in league play and a trio of playoff wins en route to their fifth consecutive OUA title.

Benn ends her remarkable university career with five selections as an OUA all-star, four OUA scoring titles and four all-Canadian nods. Named the OUA Russell division rookie of the year in 2008, she led Guelph to the podium in each of her first four trips to the CIS championship, including three bronze medals and a Monilex Trophy triumph a year ago in Peterborough. Benn was named CIS women’s rugby MVP.

Pioneer Energy, the presenting sponsor for the OUA Athletes of the Year, also provided a monetary award to each recipient to go towards educational expenses.

The Windsor Lancers won the OUA Team of the Year Award for the second time in three years. The Lancers claimed their third straight CIS national women’s basketball championship title this season with a hard fought 66-57 win over the Regina Cougars in Regina, Saskatchewan. Windsor was playing in the championship game for the fourth straight year, and joins UBC (1971-73), Laurentian (1975-79), Victoria (1980-1982) and Winnipeg (1993-1995) as the only schools to capture three straight Bronze Baby trophies.

Their undefeated regular season marked the first time that a women’s basketball team has managed such a feat since the OUA went to a 22-game schedule.

Windsor Lancers women’s basketball coach Chantal Vallée and Toronto Varsity Blues men’s swimming coach Byron MacDonald were named the 2013 Fox 40 OUA Coaches of the Year.

In her eighth year at the helm of the Lancers, Vallée led the Lancers to an undefeated season, their second consecutive OUA title and third straight CIS banner. Over the past year, she has received the prestigious Athena Award and was presented with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee medal.

In 2013, MacDonald led the Blues to their 10th straight OUA title and first CIS banner since 1994. The win marked the Blues as the first non-Canada West team to win the CIS title in the past 18 years. It was also Toronto’s CIS-leading 17th national title in program history. The 2012-13 season was MacDonald’s 35th year at the helm of the team.

Two lifetime achievement awards were given out as Jack Fairs took home the John McManus Award, presented by Game Tape Exchange, and Paul Carson received the J.P. Loosemore Award.

Fairs, in his 66th year of coaching at Western University, is the longest serving coach at the school. He has served as a coach for a number of sports including football and basketball, but he’s best known as the coach of the Mustangs men’s squash team. Taking over as head coach for the 1962-63 season, Fairs has become one of the longest serving coaches in Canadian university sport history, and the 2012-13 season marked his 51st season with the team. Of those 51 seasons, 40 have ended with Western capturing the OUA Men’s Squash Championship, including every OUA Championship for the past 30 seasons.

Carson has been associated with the athletics and recreation program at the University of Toronto and the OUA/CIS for more than 50 years. He served as U of T’s Sports Information Director for more than 25 years before being Executive Assistant to former Dean Bruce Kidd for 11 years. Carson received a 25-Year Service Award from the College Sports Information Directors of America (COSIDA) in 2004 and in July 2010, he was the first Canadian to receive a CoSIDA Lifetime Achievement Award.

At U of T, the Faculty has created two awards in his honour: the Paul Carson Student Leadership Award and the Paul Carson Intramural Referee of the Year Award. In addition, in July 2010 the Faculty named the game operations room in Varsity Stadium as the Paul Carson Room to recognize his service to U of T athletics.

Darren Stevenson of CTV Kitchener is the 2013 recipient of the OUA Media Award of Distinction.

OUA Honour Award winners

Female Athlete of the Year
Britt Benn, Guelph Gryphons Rugby

Male Athlete of the Year
Kyle Quinlan, McMaster Marauders Football

Team of the Year
Windsor Lancers Women’s Basketball

Fox 40 Female Coach of the Year
Chantal Vallée, Windsor Lancers Women’s Basketball

Fox 40 Male Coach of the Year
Byron MacDonald, Toronto Varsity Blues Men’s Swimming

John McManus Award
Jack Fairs, Western University

J.P. Loosemore Award
Paul Carson, University of Toronto

Media Member Award of Distinction
Darren Stevenson, CTV Kitchener