Jamie Howieson departs Laurier Athletics after decade of sharing Golden Hawk sports stories

After 10 years serving as communications coordinator with Wilfrid Laurier University’s Department of Athletics and Recreation, Jamie Howieson is embarking on a new journey.

While leaving a profound impact on Laurier and its athletic community, Howieson will pursue an opportunity with the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Heat and their athletic department. 

“It was not an easy decision by any stretch of the imagination,” Howieson said of his departure.

“Waterloo has been home for my family for a long time. Laurier has been home for me for a long time as well.”

Since joining the Laurier Department of Athletics and Recreation in the summer of 2011, Howieson has told the stories from all Golden Hawk sports.

While chronicling the varsity teams, student-athletes and their success, Howieson has also mentored countless students over his time with the purple and gold. 

“The Laurier student population is a special group. I’ve been lucky to work with so many incredible students whether it be student-athletes, my own staff, members of The Cord, etc.,” Howieson said.

Director of Athletics and Recreation, Peter Baxter, called Howieson a “seasoned sport information officer within university sport.” 

Through his various years of covering varsity sports, Howieson was exactly that and so much more. 

His passion for his role, the knowledge he carried and the advice he so often gave, helped lead numerous Laurier students into careers within sports — something that he will surely continue with UBC Okanagan, while leaving a profound legacy on the Golden Hawks. 

Whether it be journalism, broadcasting, editing or photography, Howieson put a focus on helping students develop these skills. 

In Howieson’s view, “every element of your time on campus is a learning opportunity,” and knowing him myself, Jamie made it of the utmost priority to help students with these learning opportunities. 

“The amount of knowledge I feel like I’ve passed on to others and provided opportunities to, it definitely brings a lot of satisfaction,” Howieson said. 

While his role as communications coordinator will officially end on Friday, June 11, Howieson received an outpouring of support and congratulations on social media once the announcement was made last week. 

Without university competition this past year, he was a crucial part of some of the virtual initiatives that Laurier conducted.

Under Howieson’s guidance, the department was able to shine a spotlight on a variety of Laurier’s teams and athletes, ensuring the Golden Hawks were not out of sight or out of mind. 

The website released frequent content throughout the year focusing on various student-athletes across all varsity sports.

Howieson was also a significant part of Laurier’s Homecoming, hosting a virtual celebration with the incoming Hall of Fame class in September. 

Howieson will continue his career out west as a communications and marketing strategist with the UBC Okanagan Heat. He will oversee the marketing, communications, community outreach, sports information and student engagement aspects of the Heat’s athletic program. 

The Okanagan Heat compete in the Canada West conference and are a relatively new school, having just gained university status in 2005. Located in Kelowna, British Columbia, the school is notably smaller, with Laurier having nearly double the enrollment of UBC Okanagan.

“It’s definitely exciting to be joining a conference like Canada West. It’s going to be a new experience, but something that I am very [much] looking forward to,” Howieson said. 

“I’m hoping I can bring some of those ideals as well,” he added, speaking on the success he has had mentoring various students at Laurier. 

Like the OUA, the Canada West have announced their plans to resume competition this upcoming season, as university sports seem all but certain to restart for the fall. 

Having covered 17 provincial championships and three national championships, Howieson is incredibly thankful for his opportunity with the Golden Hawks. 

“It’s remarkable to think back on what I’ve been able to witness and some of the unbelievable teams that I’ve had the privilege to cover,” he said. 

When asked about his favourite moment from his time with Laurier, Howieson was not able to limit it to one as he listed a variety of the amazing teams Laurier has seen over the past decade. 

“I can’t just pick one. It’s been an incredible honour to cover the successes, tell the stories and share in the achievements of our great teams.” 

Howieson specifically recalled the 2012 women’s curling national championship team, being that it was one of the first things he covered when joining Laurier in 2011. He also spoke about the provincial champion women’s soccer team and their remarkable runs in his early years. 

“Early in my career, Emily Brown, Alyssa Lagonia and the women’s soccer program was an absolute powerhouse, that team was really special,” he said, speaking on the remarkable runs made by the soccer program in 2010 and 2013, winning the provincial championship both years, led by Hall of Famer Barry MacLean. 

Howieson then went on to list a variety of his favourite teams, struggling to pinpoint just one. He mentioned the women’s hockey team in 2012 who were ranked first in the country, the men’s baseball team who have won three consecutive OUA championships — and of course, the men’s football team and their memorable 2016 Yates Cup run. 

While covering the successes of Laurier’s larger teams, Howieson also mentioned the rise of both the golf and cross-country programs in recent years, focusing on their success. 

Howieson’s impact at Laurier is profound, having been a tremendous storyteller of sports and an outstanding mentor to the student population over ten years. 

I think I can speak for anybody who has met Jamie in saying that he will be tremendously missed within the Golden Hawk athletic community. 

With that being said, the sports departments at Laurier Student Publications would like to wish Howieson the best of luck in his new adventure out west with the UBC Okanagan Heat.  

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