Dobell Taking Time to Recover
We were surprised to hear that our friend Marc Dobell, the long-time Head Coach of the Mt. Royal Cougars, had suffered a heart attack last Thursday, July 28. Marc shared his experience in a detailed note to friends, team members and supporters today, and he expressed his wishes for the near future, “I look forward to seeing you all down the road to recovery and into the basketball and school season. I also look forward to being back with the team soon! In the meantime I have great immediate support with my family, assistant coaches (Ty (McVicar), Rich (Foggo) and Hidesh (Bhardwaj)- they will be taking the reigns for the next couple of weeks).”
Dobell described the heart attack as having delivered a “serious blow to the heart”, but “ Current prognosis is I should get to a near full recovery, although I have lost some functionality in the heart. “
Coach Dobell led the Cougars into CIS competition in the 2012-13 season after he had established Mt. Royal as one of the perennial powers in Canadian Colleges play. He won a CCAA title with MRU in 2009, a Silver medal in 2012, and another National championship while coaching NAIT in 2003.
Coach Dobell’s episode is such a surprise, but a reminder that life is unpredictable, and we would be wise to enjoy it, and appreciate our friendships on a daily basis. We, along with so many colleagues, friends, and people in the basketball community wish Marc the very best in his recovery. We hope to see him back on the bench this Fall, with a good health outlook.
Respect for a Southern Alberta High School Legend
Jim Whitelaw, an outstanding basketball and football coach during his teaching career at Lethbridge Collegiate Institute (LCI) from 1951-1979, died last week in Lethbridge. A driving force in the establishment of the Alberta Schools Athletic Association, Mr. Whitelaw was considered one Alberta’s very top coaches in both sports as he directed the Rams to many championships over his tenure.
The LCI basketball teams won provincial titles in 1958, ’60, ’61, ’65 and ’79 with the football teams capturing 19 Southern Alberta championships, with five undefeated seasons in the 1950s and early ‘60s.
His teams displayed the determination, poise, and discipline which Coach Whitelaw had as the foundation of his coaching philosophy. He was a demanding task-master, and had confidence in his coaching system, and transferred that confidence to his players. He was a multiple winner of coach of the year honours in both football and basketball in the very competitive Southern Alberta League. He was inducted into the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame in 1986, and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
In the summer months Jim’s game was golf, and in that too, he was extremely competitive in winning two Southern Alberta Open Golf Championships, a City of Lethbridge Open Championship, and winning a spot on the Alberta Senior Men’s team in 1982.
Certainly, those who played for him, and those who coached with him and against him, had the utmost respect for the tireless efforts Coach Whitelaw made on behalf of the youth of Lethbridge, and for basketball and football in Alberta. He leaves a tremendous legacy, in the tradition of the LCI Rams, and through his many grads, including current U of L Women’s coach Dave Adams, and former Stampeders football great, Jim Furlong.
- NCAA squads are beginning to cross the Canadian border to play games against CIS teams, with most games in Eastern Canada . The only games for Canada West teams are with UNC-Charlotte, who will play 3 B.C. schools in mid-August.
- Charlotte at UBC on Aug 11, at Trinity Western on Aug 12, and at Victoria on Aug 15.
- The other games starting Friday include Stetson Univ (FL) at McGill, Carleton, Concordia … Wichita State at UQAM, Carleton, McGill, … Charleston Southern vs Windsor and Toronto … Arkansas- Pine Bluff at Laval, UQAM, Carleton, McGill … Morgan St. at Concordia … Florida A&M at UQAM, Laval, McGill, Concordia … Other visitors will be Fairleigh Dickenson, Northwestern St., Buffalo, Northwood, and St. Thomas Aquinas