The Capilano University sporting community is mourning the loss of longtime titan of the school’s soccer program.
Former women’s head coach Doug Abercrombie, who led the Blues women to five national titles in the 1990s and 2000s, died Monday at age 78.
Abercrombie was at the helm of the program, then called Capilano College, during a dominant stretch, winning CCAA national titles in 1995, ’96, ’98, 2000 and 2001. The Burnaby resident also earned silver in ’97 as part of a run that saw the Blues make the national championship final six times during a seven-year stretch. His career record at the national championship tournament was 19-5.
But his impact at the school went far beyond his championship wins, said Milt Williams, a longtime Capilano administrator who recently retired as the university’s athletic director.
“Doug Abercrombie was a tremendous coach, but an even better person,” Williams told the North Shore News. “We are all better for having known Doug. My thoughts and prayers are with his entire family.”
Abercrombie was well respected by his athletes as coach and mentor, said Williams.
“He was an extremely popular coach because he was known as a caring individual who treated his female athletes with sensitivity and kindness,” he said. “He was without a doubt a loved coach who earned his team’s respect year after year. You will never find an individual who was more dedicated to the total development of his athletes. His motivation and central source of coaching satisfaction had its roots in moulding and guiding his female athletes to reach success in life by balancing their athletic endeavours with a commitment to academic achievement and community involvement.”
Abercrombie, who stepped down as Capilano head coach in 2010, was twice named the BCCAA (now the PacWest) coach of the year, and led the Blues to eight provincial titles.
He was inducted into the Burnaby Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, and the CCAA Hall of Fame in the Coach Category in 2017.