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UVic coach retires after storied 34-year career with men’s soccer Vikes

Bruce Wilson followed a successful pro and national team career by taking the reins at UVic in 1987
Bruce Wilson, longtime coach of the UVic Vikes men’s soccer team, is retiring after 34 years on the sidelines. (Photo courtesy of UVic Athletics and Recreation)

University of Victoria men’s soccer coach Bruce Wilson is set to retire after a 34-year career with the Vikes.

Wilson, 70, began his long-standing career on the pitch at age six with the North Burnaby Eagles of the BC Youth Soccer Program. His early start set him up for success and he later began playing professionally in 1974 during the Vancouver Whitecaps’ inaugural season.

Wilson played in the North American Soccer League for a variety of teams from 1974 to 1984.

He also captained the Canadian national soccer team for 10 years and helped Canada reach the quarter-finals at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles – Canada’s best-ever men’s Olympic soccer result.

In 1986, Wilson led Canada to the FIFA World Cup in Mexico, the first and only time Canada qualified for the international tournament.

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He retired from the national program after Mexico and joined the Vikes a year later in 1987.

“Coming off a pro career where there was so much pressure, UVic has been a great place to work,” Wilson said in a release. “I wasn’t sure what I was going to do after I finished playing, but once I got into it, it’s exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I’ve never had a bad day.”

He retires having won three U SPORTS National Championship titles, seven Canada West banners, 10 Canada West Coach of the Year awards and three U SPORTS Coach of the Year awards, the last of which was announced in November before his Vikes competed at the 2021 U SPORTS National Championships.

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