UBC Thunderbirds headed to the Championships


The UBC Thunderbirds are off to the Vanier Cup for the first time in nearly 20 years after a 36-9 win over Saint F-X in the Uteck Bowl Saturday afternoon.

The football program’s future came into question last January when the issue of funding surfaced, but head coach Blake Nill says this year’s journey towards Canadian university football’s biggest stage will bring some much-needed positivity to UBC.

“There’s a lot of benefit that comes when your football team is a high-profile part of your school. I think UBC will quickly learn that this is going to rally the alumni in some ways, rally school spirit, and it’ll show what the value of varsity athletics is.”

So is making the national championship game vindication for head coach Blake Nill?

“Oh, absolutely.”

Nill says the exposure is huge for a program once in doubt.

“We just had our third straight game on national TV. Each one of them is like a three-hour commercial for UBC. We’re going to be on national TV next week in the biggest showcase of college football that we have in this country.”

The Thunderbirds will meet the University of Montreal Carabins in Quebec City next Saturday.

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The 13th Man Foundation is not affiliated with UBC and is a separate and independent legal entity that sets its own fundraising priorities.