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Shawnigan Lake School athletic director receives national honour

Tim Murdy named CIAAA Athletic Director of the Year
Shawnigan Lake School Director of Athletics Tim Murdy has earned the Canadian Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association’s Dave Rozdeba Award for Athletic Director of the Year. (Arden Gill/Shawnigan Lake School)

Shawnigan Lake School Director of Athletics Tim Murdy received one of the top national honours in his field when he was presented with the Canadian Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association’s Dave Rozdeba Award for Athletic Director of the Year.

Murdy received the award in a well-attended ceremony on Thursday, April 11 as part of the CIAAA national conference in Regina.

The presentation praised Murdy’s “honesty, integrity and ethical leadership,” as well as his humility and advocacy for student athletes. It included a testimonial from Harry Jones, a rugby player who was coached by Murdy in high school in West Vancouver, and who went on to represent Canada at the 2015 Rugby World Cup and 2020 Summer Olympics.

“Having been fortunate enough to be under his mentorship and guidance, I can attest that Tim is far more than just an athletic director or coach,” Harry Jones wrote.

“He is an educator of life’s core values, a mentor, and the embodiment of the ideas championed by this prestigious award. Tim’s commitment to character development extended beyond the sporting arena and became fundamental life values for many of us. Not only did he equip us with the latest tactics and strategies to excel in our sport of rugby, but he also focused on athlete empowerment, ensuring that we recognize our potential and capacity to influence change, both within and outside of school. To many of us, Tim is not just a coach; he is a role model, a mentor, a beacon of inspiration. His legacy is evident in the countless students over the past 30-plus years, who, shaped by his teachings, now live lives enriched with character, respect, and a deep sense of community.”

Over 35 years as a coach and athletic director, including 18 at Shawnigan, Murdy has received many awards and honours, among them induction to the BC Rugby Hall of Fame in 2019 and the BC School Sports Citation of Excellence in 2023.

“I don’t keep track, but when someone else has done the research and it’s read out, it does sound impressive,” he admitted. “I’ve been fortunate. I joke at times that it’s just a fact of being in this age group, but I have had a fair amount of success, primarily in coaching rugby, although I have coached basically everything under the sun in high school sports, in the public and private systems.”

Shawnigan Head of School Larry Lamont recognizes what Mr. Murdy brings to the school as a coach, administrator and friend to so many on staff.

“Tim’s nomination comes as no surprise,” Lamont said. “During his career, he has won a range of awards as both an athlete and as a coach. What impresses me most about Tim as an athletic director is his ability to adapt and evolve. In my time working with him, I have seen him introduce new and exciting initiatives, increase awareness and support of current student athletes and alumni through social media, and develop a distinct Shawnigan sports philosophy and help shape a sports strategy. And he gets things done.”

The guest speaker at the award ceremony was Tyler Smith, a survivor of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in 2018. Murdy acknowledged that Smith sharing his journey made the evening even more emotional than it already was.

“It was hard not to reflect on the time and the situation I’ve been in, and to be grateful for the opportunities I’ve had, the people I’ve met and the kids I’ve coached,” he said.

Murdy also noted that he’s been fortunate to have “been in the right place at the right time” a few times, and that he has had supportive colleagues over the years.

“I’m aware of the fact that whenever I’ve been successful as a coach, it’s not all on my back,” he said.