2008 Hall of Fame
One of the most remarkable athletes in Edmonton’s history, Brian Fryer began his quest for athletic excellence as a three sport athlete at Strathcona High School from the fall of 1968 to the spring of 1971. In team sports, he starred on both the Lords football and basketball teams for all three years, but it was in track and field that he excelled provincially. As an intermediate boy in his grade 11 year at the ASAA provincial track and field meet in Calgary, Brian won and set the ASAA record for the 120 yard hurdles with a time of 14.4 seconds. The following year at the provincial championship in Edmonton, this time as a senior, Brian once again won the 120 yard hurdles, setting a new record of 14.2 seconds. He also smashed the records in both the long jump (7.08m) and triple jump (13.8m) – setting standards that stood for almost two decades before being surpassed. In total during his ASAA provincial experience, Brian won four gold medals and set three provincial records.
After his high school experience, Brian became one of the most decorated football players the province has ever known. At the University of Alberta he starred with the football team, setting seven team records during his time there. He was the last Golden Bear to win the Hec Creighton Award as the Most Valuable Player in Canadian University Football in 1975. Following that he became the first player ever selected out of a Canadian University by the National Football League when he was chosen by the Washington Redskins in the 1976 NFL Draft. After two years with the Redskins, he returned home to play for his hometown Edmonton Eskimos and was a big part of their record five in a row Grey Cups from 1978-82. He retired from football in 1985.
Since his retirement, Brian has been employed as the Executive Director of Football Alberta. During this time he has seen football become a part of the ASAA provincials and interest in high school football explode. Brian is truly a dedicated sportsman who had a great career as an athlete and has given back in spades since his retirement as an athlete.
The late Robert (Bob) Stewart graduated from the University of Alberta with a Bachelor of Education in Physical Education in 1955. During his university years he played for the U of A Golden Bears hockey team and was a gifted baseball player. In the fall of 1955, he accepted his first and only teaching position in Stettler, Alberta. He would later complete his Masters of Science and become Vice-Principal of Wm. E. Hay High. After thirty-five years he “retired” in 1990, but Bob continued his work as an educator for another ten years when he became the Administrative Coordinator with the Big Country Educational Consortium and later the Stettler and District Community Adult Learning Council.
From day one of his teaching career he served as Athletic Director, organizing and coaching a wide variety of school sports including volleyball, basketball, badminton, football, track and field and golf. Many years he coached both boys and girls teams in these sports. In his early years of teaching, Bob was instrumental in developing the track and field section of the Physical Education Junior-Senior High School Curriculum guide for the Department of Education.
Bob and several other Central Alberta educators organized the Central Western Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association and he was an early member of the ASAA. He served as President, Vice-President and Past-President of the ASAA and was also Track and Field Chairman, Basketball Chairman and Basketball Commissioner. He served similar positions within CWASAA (and later CASAA) many times throughout his teaching career. Bob organized numerous CWASAA/CASAA and ASAA athletic events in Stettler, including the first eight provincial Track and Field championships from 1958-1965. His teams went to provincials many times, and won provincials in girls and boys basketball and in boys volleyball. For thirty-five years, he was the face of athletics at Wm. E. Hay High school. His memory is also honoured through an Athletic Board scholarship offered to students entering an athletic or recreation program.
Bob was presented with an ASAA gold medal at the 1997 ASAA Track & Field provincials in recognition of his contributions to the ASAA. He served on the board of the ASRPW Foundation and during this time displayed an ongoing commitment to school sports.
Among Bob’s many special honours and achievements are the following:
- ASAA Robert H. Routledge Award (1972)
- Frank Morris Football Coach of the Year Award (1972)
- CAHPER Honor Award (1979)
- Alberta Recreation and Parks Volunteer Recognition (1985)
- Air Canada - Newspaper Association Gold Heart Award (1988)
- Citizen of the Year - Stettler Chamber of Commerce (1989)
- Alberta Sports Hall of Fame Inductee as a Multisport Builder (1992)
- Governor Generals Commemorative Medal Award (1993)
Bob had a profound and long-lasting effect on athletes in Stettler, Central Alberta and Alberta. He was tireless in his promotion of the importance of athletics and recreation not only to the youth of Alberta, but also as a life-long pursuit for all.
Gordon has always been a committed member of the community and schools of Strathmore. Gordon began his teaching career in 1956 and was a teacher or administrator until 1994. Gordon would become a Vice-Principal at Samuel Crowther and then move on to become the Vice-Principal of Strathmore High School from 1986-1992 and finally return to Samuel Crowther Middle School in 1992 as Principal.
Gordon could be found coaching cross country in the fall to track and field in the spring. However, to find Gordon’s true passion and dedication one needed to look no farther than the gymnasium. Gordon loved the extra-curricular events that the school had to offer and his real passion was volleyball. In 1964, the ASAA (Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association) hosted the first ever provincial volleyball tournament at the University of Calgary. The driving force behind this event was none other than Mr. Prusky. Gordon’s love of volleyball and his efforts with it were realized in 1968 when his team captured Strathmore High School’s first ever provincial championship.
To be there to start one provincial championship was amazing, but Gordon would be there for a second one as well when Strathmore hosted the first ever high school mixed curling provincial championship. Gordon’s commitment extended even farther as he became a huge advocate for high school rodeo as it began in Strathmore in 1971. Gordon would again be there as the provincial high school rodeo association developed in 1972. He served as secretary-treasurer for high school rodeo from 1972-1983 and has been the high school arena director from the beginning and still is today.
Gordon’s commitment to the organization of high school sports started in 1964 when he was part of the South West Zone executive. Gordon remained on the zone executive from 1964 to 1967. Gordon again served on the zone executive from 1970 to 1982. In addition to Gordon’s involvement at the zone level, he was also very active at the provincial level, acting as the editor/creator of the ASAA yearbook from 1966 to 1975. During this time, Gordon also served on the ASAA executive from 1966 to 1969.
Among Gordon’s many accolades he has been awarded the Kinsman’s Sportsman of the Year and in 1974, Gordon was awarded the Robert H. Routledge Award by the ASAA. This award symbolizes outstanding service to the students of Alberta schools in the promotion and operation of an athletic program and it is the highest award that a coach can receive in the province of Alberta. Comments made about Gordon while receiving this award were “Gordon has given hours of his time to the organization of the zone and he has been a constant supporter of the South Central’s teams and contestants at the majority of provincial competitions. He has continually offered his assistance to adjacent zones that have been privileged to host provincial competitions in badminton, gymnastics, track and field, and volleyball. Gordon’s background has resulted in him being controversial, committed and sometimes impatient at annual meetings. However, those in this association who know him are indebted to him for his adherence to his principles and his heartfelt desire to do his best for the Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association.” The Routledge award certainly holds a special place with Gordon as he and Robert (the award’s namesake) had served on the executive committee together during Gordon’s three years with the ASAA.
Gordon’s administrative talents were not limited to the school setting. Gordon would also take these to a number of other areas serving as President of the Wheatland Coaches Association from 1963 to 1993, serving as the lone representative for the South Central Zone and eventually taking a position on that zone’s executive with the ASAA for 10 years; a position which also included yearbook editor for the ASAA. Gordon was also one of the founding members of the Canadian Federation of Provincial Schools Athletic Association in 1967, later to become the Canadian School Sport Federation.