Very little if anything ever gets missed by my carrot-munching Southern Alberta correspondent and his experienced hawking of all things CIS and Canada Basketball related has uncovered another piece of CIAU/CIS history that is worth the share.
To wit, several posts ago I made the (incorrect) claim that last season was the first CIS/CIAU championship game appearance by the Calgary Dinos. In reality and with a hat-tip to our good friend out west, in 1965-66, the men’s national championship was actually played in Calgary and the host Dinosaurs advanced all the way to the championship game before bowing to what at that time was a legendary Windsor Lancers program.
More notable was the star-studded roster that represented Calgary at that time which included legendary UVic and Canadian national team Head Coach Ken Shields and CanadaWest Hoops author Wayne Thomas. By eye witness accounts, Shields, Thomas and team were exactly as most would imagine them. Shields was scrappy, used to winning, a leader from the very beginning. Thomas an elegant, very tall perimeter player for his era and was an extremely really bright student, who apparently skipped a grade and started for U of C at 17 from what can be gathered.
Shields played for Mount Royal, then U of C, then UBC. Thomas played his career only at U of C. Other guys who went on to prominence in Canadian basketball include national team player Robin Fry and international referee John Weiland. The Dinos hosted nationals two straight years seasons and were a team made up exclusively of Canadians, which was a bit of an anomaly since the best teams often had many Americans at that juncture.
Head Coach of that Calgary crew was John Dewar, who later became an administrator at Saskatchewan and Laurentian. It is thus likely not a coincidence that Coach Shields ended up as the head man at Laurentian.
In all, at least seven of the players that played for Dewar during that time went on to have long, influential careers in hoops off the court including Fry (Lethbridge), Morgan (Calgary) and Shields (UBC women, Laurentian, UVic), who each went on to be Canadian university head coaches. Thomas was actually interim Head Coach at U of C one semester although that has never been officially noted.
So, yes indeed last season was NOT the first time in the history of the program that the Dinos played in the national championship game, although it was the first time in 50 seasons !
Again another hat-tip to our knowledgeable correspondent out West !