All photos and records are courtesy of Rich Lam, Bob Frid, the UBC Archives, and the UBC Department of Athletics.
November 24, 2011 – Fourth-year quarterback Billy Greene is awarded the Hec Crighton Trophy as the best football player in the CIS. He becomes the third Thunderbird, after Jordan Gagner and Mark Nohra, to win the prestigious honour. In eight regular season games, Greene led the country in passing yards (2,558) and total offence (380 ypg), tied for the CIS lead in touchdown passes (20), had the best touchdown-to-interception ratio in the nation (20-4) and topped all CIS quarterbacks with a team-best 482 rushing yards. Along the way, he set single-season school records for TD passes and passing yards.
June 2, 2014 – Justin McIntyre is hired as the first-ever general manager of UBC football. The new position was established by the Department of Athletics and Recreation, with responsibilities surrounding increasing program revenue and creating a first-class experience for players, coaches, alumni, and the community.
October 2006 – Chris Ciezki caps one of the greatest seasons by a UBC running back with a conference record five-touchdown performance against SFU, a game in which he rushed for 328 yards in just over three quarters. He finished the season with 1,082 yards on the ground and 16 majors overall, tying Glenn Steele’s UBC single season record. The Edmonton Eskimo finished his UBC career in 2007 with 3,082 yards and 33 touchdowns.
January 20, 2010 – Former T-Bird quarterback Shawn Olson, a winner of the 1997 Vanier Cup, is hired to be the 17th head coach in the history of UBC football. The Surrey native returns home after spending time coach in Austria and at SFU.
November 1987 – UBC has its first Hec Crighton winner in quarterback Jordan Gagner. The All-Canadian has led the ‘Birds to two successive undefeated seasons and has set 12 UBC passing records. He quarterbacks UBC to its fourth Vanier Cup appearance.
November 1997— Mark Nohra has one of UBC’s best-ever seasons. He is named an All-Canadian, wins the Hec Crighton Award, leads UBC to a Vanier Cup championship, sets three UBC season rushing records, wins the Bobby Gaul Award and is invited to the camp of the Buffalo Bills.
November 22, 1997— Under the direction of coach Casey Smith, UBC defeats the University of Ottawa to win the school’s third Vanier Cup championship. Led by game co- MVPs Mark Nohra and Stewart Scherck, UBC is up 39-7 five minutes into the final quarter.
November 1999 – UBC great Akbal Singh ends his career with a dominating season; leading the top-ranked T-Birds with a school record 1,787 yards on the ground. His 141- yard, three-touchdown performance wasn’t enough to propel UBC past the defending Vanier Cup champion Saskatchewan Huskies. He is still UBC’s career conference rushing leader with 3,438 yards.
April 2003 – Four-year starting linebacker and Bobby Gaul Memorial Trophy winner Javier Glatt is selected 15th overall by the BC Lions in the CFL Draft. His break-out season would come in 2006, when he lead the Grey Cup champion Lions with 82 tackles. He is one of the most well known Lions in the community, participating in Read, Write & Roar, Lions in the House, and Football 101 programs.
November 1978 — For the first time Thunderbirds make it to the Vanier Cup game only to lose to Queens 16-3. Frank Smith was named CIS Coach of the Year and Kevin Konar and John MacKay are selected to the All-Canadian team. The team is named Sport B.C’s Amateur Team of the Year.
November 20, 1982 - ‘Birds win their first Vanier Cup with a 39- 14 victory over Western Ontario. Led by record setting Glenn Steele. This team also wins the Shrum Bowl, is undefeated against Canadian competition and is since deemed by TSN analysts to be the CIS’s best-ever football team. From this team, an unprecedented 10 players are drafted by the CFL including a record five first-rounders with a total of 12 of its players eventually playing in the CFL.
November 1986— UBC wins its second Vanier Cup with a thrilling 25-23 victory over Western Ontario. Second- string quarterback Eric Putoto comes in to throw a touchdown pass with four seconds remaining. 1987 CFL #1 draft pick Leo Groenewegan, Mark Norman and Jack Beetstra are selected as All-Canadians.
September 1946 — UBC adopts American football rules and concentrates more on U.S. competition, specifically the Northwest and Evergreen Conferences. The Thunderbirds return in 1960 to Canadian competition.
October 23, 1951 — The Queen and Prince Philip watch their very first football game, a game at UBC’s Varsity Stadium between UBC and Eastern Oregon.
November 1959 — Hardy Cup champion UBC under coach Frank Gnup represent the West in the first East—West Canadian university football championship against powerful Western Ontario at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium. A precursor to the Vanier Cup, Western won the game 34-7.
October 7, 1967 — Thunderbird Stadium officially opens on this date replacing Varsity Stadium as Thunderbird’s home for football and rugby.
October 16, 1967 — The first Shrum Bowl game is played. Named for UBC educator, athletic facilitator and Hall of Famer Gordon Shrum, UBC loses to SFU 32-13 before 15,000 fans at Empire Stadium.
September 1976 – As UBC football is turning itself into winners and Canada West champions under coach Frank Smith and quarterback Dan Smith, UBC mourns the loss of former coach Frank Gnup who succumbs to a heart attack at age 59. This signals the beginning of a timeless football legacy, which features the Frank Gnup Golf Tournament.
January 1924 - UBC football played its very first game, a 24- 11 victory over YMCA at Athletic Park. UBC was a member of B.C.’s first official football league, comprising four teams and being organized in late 1923.
March 1925 — UBC football team wins the B.C. Championship for the first time with a 27-11 victory over St. Marks.
November 12, 1927 — UBC wins B.C. Championship and for the first and only time enter playoffs for a berth in the 1927 Grey Cup. After a valiant effort the Blue & Gold go down to the Regina Roughriders in this Western Championship. Football however is gaining credibility on campus due in large part to the work of coach ‘Doc’ Burke and young physics professor, Gordon Shrum.
October 2, 1937 – Varsity Stadium opens at the centre of the UBC campus
January 1939 — Renowned pep bandleader and musician Arthur Delamont becomes an integral part of UBC football games. From January 1939 through September 1982 his band evokes spirit after every touchdown creating enthusiasm at each and every game.
November 1939 — This year’s Thunderbirds under coach Maury Van Vliet is the first from UBC football to record an undefeated season. UBC wins the B.C. Championship and the Hardy Cup with a 10-0 record.
Celebrating 90 Years of UBC Football
Mark Norman helped UBC to the 1986 Vanier Cup Championship and holds the CIS record for interceptions in a season with 12.
Mark Nohra led UBC to a Vanier Cup Championship in 1997 and was named the Hec Crighton Award winner.
Mike Emery, Don Coryell, and Jason Riley.
The 1982 Thunderbirds beat Western Ontario 39-14 to win the program's first ever Vanier Cup.
Ken Munro holds the UBC record for career points with 306.