McGill Sports Hall of Fame induction class for 2017 announced

Posted on Thursday, June 15, 2017

Top row (L to R): Jason Forsyth, Chris Rumball, Lisa Virgini. Bottom: Ryan Tomicic, Shari Fraser, Hubert Lacroix

By Earl Zukerman

Goaltender Jason Forsyth, a native Montrealer, who backstopped McGill University to a national soccer championship in 1997, is among a half-dozen honorees selected for induction this fall to the McGill Sports Hall of Fame.

Other new laureates, each of them all-Canadians, include football’s Dr. Chris Rumball from Ancaster, Ont., swimmers Lisa Virgini of Pierrefonds, Que., and Ryan Tomicic of Montreal, as well as soccer defender Shari Fraser of Kirkland, Que. Inducted in the builder category will be Hubert T. Lacroix of Montreal, currently president and CEO of CBC/Radio-Canada, who guided the McGill Martlets basketball team to a stellar 190-137 record from 1978 to 1987, including a Quebec conference title in 1985-86.

The hallowed hall now has 139 honoured members, 24 of them Olympians, since the pantheon was initiated in 1996.

The induction luncheon will kick-off the University’s Homecoming Week celebrations on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 and only about 250 tickets will be available for the ceremony, scheduled to be held at the Ritz-Carlton Montreal. Tickets are $70 and can be reserved online beginning in August or by contacting the McGill Alumni Association at 514-398-8288.

Jason Forsyth, who graduated with a mechanical engineering degree in 2001 and now resides in Geneva, Switzerland, was a four-time conference all-star from 1996 to 1999 and merited second-team all-Canadian honours in his senior year, when he served as co-captain. The 6-foot-1, 195-pound ‘keeper posted a 31-13-10 record, with a stingy 1.20 goals-against average and a school record 22 shutouts in 54 starts overall. Forsyth led McGill to Quebec conference titles in three of his four seasons and the 1997 national championship, their first CIAU crown in 15 years. In the national final, he stole the show, backstopping the underdog Redmen to a 1-0 upset in penalty-kicks over heavily-favoured UBC, who held a lopsided 20-0 margin in attempted shots. Forsyth was voted as the most outstanding goalkeeper at both the 1997 and 1998 Nationals.

Dr. Chris Rumball graduated with a bachelor of science in 1971, followed by a medical degree in 1975. He dressed for every game over his five seasons and was a four-time conference all-star, twice at defensive back and twice at running back. No slouch on special teams either, he scored six regular season touchdowns on kick returns. Rumball received all-Canadian honours as a DB in 1969, leading McGill to the Yates Cup league title and a berth in the Vanier Cup national championship game. A co-captain and two-time team MVP, he won the Forbes trophy in 1972-73 as McGill male athlete of the year.

Lisa Virgini, a 5-foot-4 backstroke and butterfly specialist who swam for Canada at the 1997 world short-course championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, graduated in 2000 with a commerce degree, awarded with great distinction. A five-time Quebec conference all-star, she twice merited all-Canadian honours. In five trips to the CIAU national championships, Virgini racked up six gold medals, four silvers and three bronzes. She was also a gold medalist at the 1997 Canadian national championships.

Ryan Tomicic, a 6-foot-3, 195-pound freestyle sprinter who swam for Canada at the 2007 FISU Summer Games in Bangkok, graduated with a mechanical engineering degree in 2004, followed by a couple of law degrees (BCL ’10 and LLB ’10). He became the first McGill swimmer to win 100 career medals, 40 of them golden. A four-time conference all-star and two-time all-Canadian, Tomicic collected seven medals at Nationals, winning two golds, one silver and four bronzes. The two-time Forbes Trophy winner as McGill’s top male athlete, won the 2003-04 Quebec conference nomination for the BLG Award, which goes to the Canadian university athlete of the year. Tomicic currently works for the BLG law firm.

Shari Fraser, who graduated in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in geography and environmental science, started every game in her freshman season and remained a starter throughout her five years at McGill. The 5-foot-7 defender was a four-time conference all-star and two-time all-Canadian who played for Canada at the 2005 FISU Summer Games in Izmir, Turkey. A two-time team MVP who served as captain in her senior year, she shared league MVP honours in 2005 and won the Gladys Bean Trophy that season as McGill female athlete of the year.

Hubert T. Lacroix graduated from McGill with a law degree in 1976 and an MBA in 1981. He served nine years as a part-time head coach of the women’s basketball program, donating his annual honorarium back to the team budget. Lacroix led the Martlets to a 190-137 record overall and the 1985-86 Quebec league championship, their first title in a dozen years. During his tenure, Lacroix produced 14 conference all-stars and four all-Canadians.

NOTE: The McGill Sports Hall of Fame selection committee, chaired by Richard Pound, was composed of a group representing students, administrative staff, university officials and alumni. It included Prof. David Covo, Mike Nelson, Dawson Tilley, Sally McDougall, Bob Winsor, Colin Adair, Gayle Noble, Robert Watt, Stephen Lloyd, Cynthia Price and Greg Weil, in addition to student-athletes Tami Banon and Patrick Farias. Non-voting members included Marc Gelinas, Executive Director of Athletics & Recreation, who served as secretary, plus Filomena Gonçalves (recording secretary), Tom Thompson (resource member) and Earl Zukerman (research coordinator).

Submissions for next year’s induction can be made by completing an online nomination form before March 1, 2018.

 

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