Bill Wedlake to Retire
UWinnipeg Athletic Director to depart after 24 years of service
The University of Winnipeg today announced that Athletic Director Bill Wedlake will be retiring effective April 1 after 24 years of service to the University.
“Bill’s efforts over the years have made the University of Winnipeg a leader in athletics and community participation,” said UWinnipeg President & Vice-Chancellor Dr. Lloyd Axworthy. “The University thanks Bill for his achievements and wishes him the best for the future.”
Wedlake joined The University of Winnipeg in 1984 as head coach of the Men’s Basketball Team – a role he held until 2000 when he became Athletic Director. Prior to arriving at UWinnipeg, Wedlake was a teacher and coach for 16 years at St. John’s High School.
“It’s been an absolutely fabulous time. There is no better place to work than The University of Winnipeg,” Wedlake said. “The support of the administration has been unbelievable and the support of the team in the Athletics Department has made my job very easy.”
As Men’s Basketball Coach, Wedlake led his teams to national prominence with six appearances at the CIAU / CIS National Championships, a No. 1 National ranking on several occasions and a consistent place in Canada’s Top-10 basketball rankings. Many of his players became either All-Canadians, professional basketball players overseas or members of Canada’s National Basketball Team. Most importantly, close to 90% of his student-athletes graduated with degrees with many of those individuals being honored as Academic All-Canadians along the way.
As Athletic Director, Wedlake led a period of significant growth for Wesmen Athletics and community involvement. The Wesmen Classic evolved from a 16-team event to Canada’s largest basketball tournament, featuring 107 teams this season. The University rescued the Winnipeg Men’s Basketball League and turned it into a flourishing 96-team program. The Duckworth Centre itself has become a mini-convention centre with its constant facility use by community members.
The University of Winnipeg leads the Canada West Conference in game attendance every year, thanks in large part to Wedlake’s leadership. The facility thrives with the support of 33 corporate partners and the four Wesmen teams that play in the facility boast 20 National Championships – the highest total in the country. These teams average a total of 50% of its athletes as Academic All-Canadians – one of the highest rates in Canada.
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Shawn Coates, Director of Marketing & Communications, University of Winnipeg
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