Retired Laurier women’s hockey coach Rick Osborne recipient of OUA John McManus award

On May 15, 2019, former Laurier women’s hockey coach Rick Osborne was awarded the OUA’s John McManus award, an honour that recognizes a retired OUA coach who has exemplified sportsmanship and service to the greatest extent during their tenure coaching in university sport.

Osborne took over the women’s hockey team midway through the 2003-2004 season, and in his time as head coach up until 2018, Osborne achieved many highlight reel wins including nine OUA banners and even a national championship in the 2004-2005 season.

Under Osborne’s coaching, three different female hockey players received OUA athlete of the year honours, with 2009-2010 recipient and former goaltender Liz Knox being the only Laurier player to also receive the USPORTS player of the year award.

“The accolades go on and on for the talented coach, but with a career regular season win percentage of .774, a career goal-differential of +685, and five OUA Coach of the Year honours, it is clear that Osborne set a lofty bar behind the bench during his time with the Laurier Golden Hawks women’s hockey team,” said the OUA in their press release on the award.

Though his final season with the team was rebuilding years of the program, Osborne’s final home game as coach of the Golden Hawks still resulted in a win for the team as they took down the Queen’s Gaels 3-2 in a shootout.

Osborne had a total of 265 regular season wins and 57 playoff wins in his time at Laurier, leading the women’s hockey team to seven straight OUA championships between the years of 2003-2010.

The last time the team won a championship was under Osborne, winning their most recent OUA title in 2013-2014, the same year the team was awarded the Glen Carroll team of the year award from the school.

47 different athletes coached by Osborne when on to receive provincial all-star recognitions during their time with the Hawks, as well as the all-Canadian honour being received 11 times. On top of the athletic success, Osborne also coached 37 academic all-Canadians, ensuring these Golden Hawks were just as successful off the ice.

On top of this award that showcases his legacy, Osborne also received the OUA women’s hockey coach of the year award five times during his 15-year tenure with the school, an award that speaks for itself as he sits fourth on the USPORTS all-time wins list for women’s hockey.

With many of his former players going on to continue playing hockey as careers whether it be in the CWHL or the Olympics, the impact that Osborne has had not only on the program but on his players stretches far beyond the ice.

“Rick made a tremendous difference in the lives of his student-athletes athletically, academically, and in leadership development. His record of winning made Laurier women’s hockey a top team in the OUA and USPORTS,” said Peter Baxter athletic director at Wilfrid Laurier University in an email statement.

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