Bison Sports and the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management remember long-serving Faculty member and Bison Football Team Manager Pat Gill. Gill passed away in the early morning of Tuesday, December 13. He was 72 years old.
“It was always a better day when Pat dropped by the office and shared his quick wit. I will surely miss him and Bison Football is left with a huge hole in its’ heart,” reflected Bison Sports Athletic Director Coleen Dufresne. “My deepest sympathies go out to Denise and Evan.”
Gill was not only part of the Bison program but worked in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management for 32 years (1966-1998).
He started his career at the University of Manitoba as he was first appointed in 1966 as rink assistant for Bison Gardens (old Bison hockey arena) and was also appointed as Head of Facilities during his 32 year tenure with the Faculty.
Gill also became involved with Bison Football as a team manager from 1967 and held onto the position until the completion of the 2011 season. He just finished his 44th season in his role with the Bisons (he was away for one season) and was part of the three Vanier Cup Championships teams at Manitoba (1969, 1970, 2007).
Bison Football head coach Brian Dobie commented, “Our heartfelt sympathy reaches out to his daughter Denise and to his grandson Evan. They were the loves of Pat’s life. I have had the unique honor and privilege of both playing and coaching during Pat’s time with Bison football and I know I can say that he stands as the icon of our program. No one loved Bison Football more than Pat. Through the mid-sixties to his passing, he touched and affected the lives of hundreds of players and coaches. I know, I can tell you this…we were all his kids, his family. We will all miss him.”
Gill had been a fixture with Bison Sports throughout the last six decades.
He was part of the last 44 years played at University Stadium (U of Manitoba campus) with Bison Football and saw the hockey teams play in two separate facilities (Bison Gardens and Max Bell Centre) plus the old Bison East Gym (basketball and volleyball).
“The Bison Football Alumni Association is saddened by Pat’s passing and going to miss his presence, stated Bison Football Alumni Association president Dave Henry. “Pat has been Mr. Bison Football for close to 50 years and it is not going to be the same without him around and his strong personality.”
With Bison Football over the years, Gill has been instrumental in assisting players with equipment needs, setting up the locker room and being a constant throughout whenever anything had to be done.
An extra significant during the last two seasons occurred when his grandson Evan joined the Bisons at the defensive lineman position and his daughter Denise worked with Pat to help during the last few seasons.
Gill is survived by daughter, Denise, and grandson, Evan. A celebration of Pat’s life is being planned and details will be announced as they become available.