Brent Fougner, who led the University of Victoria (UVic) Cross Country and Track team for 31 years, has announced his impending retirement. On Aug. 31, Fougner will end his tenure as the team’s head coach.
During his time coaching the team, Fougner led the UVic to nine U Sports Cross Country Championships and guided 60 athletes to the podium at the U Sports Track and Field Championships. He was also named the U Sports Cross Country Coach of the Year nine times.
“Fougner has made an enormous contribution to [UVic]’s reputation of excellence,” said Clint Hamilton, director of Vikes Athletics and Recreation. “[He] cares deeply about UVic and our Vikes program and was passionate in supporting the students and staff.”
Hamilton also pointed out that Fougner has made significant accomplishments in athletics both as a coach and as an athlete. Before becoming a coach, Fougner was an athlete for the Canadian National Team and won gold in the triple jump event at the 1981 CIS Championships. His coaching career also wasn’t restricted to UVic. He served as an assistant coach for the Canadian team during the Beijing Olympics in 2008.
Fougner’s legacy of caring and genuine leadership will far extend his time as the head coach, said Hamilton
“Our Vikes program is grateful for all that Coach Fougner has contributed as a sport leader — on campus, in the community and for our country — and for the first class, humble and respectful manner in which he went about his daily work,” he explained.
At the end of the month, Fougner will pass the reins to the current Assistant Coach, Hilary Stellingwerff who competed in the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. She will will assume the role of interim program leader on Aug. 15 and will serve for the 2019-2020 season.
Fougner wasn’t quite ready to stop working with the team entirely, so he will serve as assistant coach and will support Stellingwerff in her new role, said Hamilton.
The search for the official new program leader for the team will take place in 2020 once the U Sports competitive season ends.