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Athletics Canada mourns passing of Lyle Sanderson

The Canadian athletics community is in mourning following the death of Lyle Sanderson yesterday in Mexico.

Sanderson was inducted to Athletics Canada’s Hall of Fame in 2012 in the coach category. His lifelong contributions to the sport could have easily seen him enriched to the Hall of Fame in the builder’s category as well.

Upon learning of the news, Victor Lopez, NACAC President, “Lyle was instrumental in the development of the NACAC Area Coaching Education program, that would later be adopted by the IAAF.” Lopes adds, “Undoubtedly an icon in our sport, moreover a wonderful ambassador for the sport. We will carry his philosophy and ethics in coach education forever.”

Sanderson coached Olympians Diane Jones Konihowski and Joanne McTaggart and served as head coach at the University of Saskatchewan for 39 years, leading them to 11 national and 33 conference titles. 

Sanderson was named to the Canadian coaching staff of 54 Athletics Canada national teams, including three Olympic Games (1976, 1980 and 1984), and two World Championships (1993 and 2001). He is a two-time recipient (1977, 1979) of the Canadian Track and Field Association (now Athletics Canada) Coach of the Year award. In 2010 he was awarded the Geoff Gowan Award for his lifetime contribution to coaching and development.

Athletics Canada’s annual Lyle Sanderson Award recognizes the top athlete in combined events.

The University of Saskatchewan has a great write up about Lyle’s life and contributions to Canadian athletics.

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