Doug Hargreaves is our Sault Legend this week. His passing last month has saddened the football community and many locals as he was remembered for his years coaching Sault Collegiate.
“A wonderful man. Real fair and a real task master,” said Len Monico of Hargreaves.
Monico remembers him because he used to play under him as a center.
“We had 4 iconic coaches,” he said including Hargreaves, Tom Tipton, Frank Donnelly and John Milligan.
“We even had David Johnston as our quarterback,” he said. Johnson who is the Governor General of Canada right now.
“He was a gifted coach, very personable and always smiling,” Monico said.
“He was someone I admired.”
Monico remembers in 1958 when Hargreaves took the Sault Collegiate team to Alpena, which was a first class team at the time and beat them.
“Those coaches… any aspect of the game you wanted to know, they had it mastered.”
Growing up in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., Hargreaves was influenced by his own father’s athleticism, as noted in a Sault Star article in 2012, when he received an honorary doctorate from Queen’s.
Doug went on to be a top athlete, playing basketball and football and was deeply impacted by Sault Collegiate coach Tom Tipton.
Hargreaves’s own coaching career began at Sault Collegiate, and then after several years in the Royal Canadian Air Force, he became assistant athletic director and football coach at the Royal Military College.
In 1972, he moved to Dalhousie University as athletic director and football coach, before making his way to the head coach position at Queen’s in 1976, taking over from Frank Tindall, who retired. It was actually years earlier that after breaking his arm in the first game of the season under Tindall as a player, he assisted him as a coach.
Hargreaves, as good a man as he was, even drove his mentors, Tindall and Tipton to doctor’s appointments later on in life as their health was getting worse.
Hargreaves is said to be “instrumental” in forming the Gaels Football Club and “was the catalyst behind the Alumni Football Hall of Fame,” as recent articles have said.
He was inducted into the Queen’s Football Hall of Fame in 1995, the year after he retired, and in 2003, he was inducted into the Kingston Sports Hall of Fame. In addition to the Queen’s Distinguished Service Award, Hargreaves also won the John Orr Award, (1997) and the Jim Bennett Achievement Award. Each year at Queen’s, the Doug Hargreaves Award is given to the Most Outstanding Offensive Football Player in his honour.
Hargreaves is dubbed by the press as “one of the winningest coaches in Canadian college history,” and led the Gaels for 19 years, from 1976 to 1994, obtaining many titles, championships and awards along the way.
Under his watch, the Gaels won the Vanier Cup twice (1978, 1992) and claimed eight conference titles (two Yates Cups, six Dunsmore Cups). Overall, Hargreaves finished with a 110-59-3 (wins-losses-ties) record. His 1978 national championship team finished with a perfect 10-0 undefeated season and playoffs.
In 1983, Hargreaves was recognized as Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Coach of the Year, receiving the Frank Tindall Trophy. With Hargreaves as leader, the Gaels earned 16 consecutive playoff berths.