The Department of Recreation and Athletics had the honour of inducting Jackson Winters, an accomplished basketball coach from the Loyola College era, into the Concordia Sports Hall of Fame on Saturday evening.
More than 100 people gathered to hear about his exceptional life and his time at the helm of the Loyola men’s program.
George Lengvari, the former star player who has been a generous supporter of the of the basketball programs, shared his memories of playing for Coach Winters.
The evening ended with an address from Lauren Winters, the coach’s daughter who travelled from Portland, Oregon to attend the ceremony and accept on behalf of her father who passed away in 2021 at 91 years old.
The crowd was riveted as she spoke of her father’s humble beginnings, his success as a player at the University of Portland and with the Harlem Globetrotters. She also shared details of the six years her family spent in Montreal
Lauren Winters concluded with words about her father’s character and above all his kindness, encouraging everyone in the room to follow his example.
Jackson Winters was hired to coach the varsity basketball team by Loyola College Athletic Director Jack Kennedy in October of 1962. The addition of the personable 33-year-old former University of Portland star and Harlem Globetrotter brought great optimism to the campus.
Upon his arrival, the new coach boldly told the Loyola News he expected to have a top-flight team and wanted to win the Ottawa-St. Lawrence Athletic Conference championship. Winters and his rejuvenated team delivered. They had a 10-4 win-loss record in the regular season and beat the Sir George Williams Georgians in the semifinal and the Bishop’s Gaiters in the final. It was the first ever OSL championship for the basketball team and it earned Loyola a berth at the inaugural Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union championship tournament.
Loyola also played in the City Intercollegiate Basketball League where the team hit another milestone. In November of 1962, Winters and his players defeated the Georgians 49-48, marking the first time in nearly a decade that Loyola triumphed over its crosstown rival.
Winters coached Loyola for three seasons, earning respect for his cool, even temperament and for his new methods. During his years at the college, he also worked in the field of social work and served as a player-coach in the Montreal Basketball League.
Visit the Concordia Sports Hall of Fame website HERE