Bruce Deacon

Bruce Deacon

Bruce Deacon

Bruce Deacon

The excitement of the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games sparked in Bruce a deep desire to succeed in sport. He recalls that he “was one of the shortest kids in my school and really uncoordinated. I was the kid who rushed for the outfield in gym class because I knew that no one could hit the ball that far and so I wouldn’t embarrass myself. I was not an athlete. In fact, if they had a vote in my school for the least likely to ever be an Olympian, I would have voted for myself.” Being one of the smallest kids in his class, there were few obvious sports at which he could succeed. All of that changed when he was introduced to long distance running while at summer camp.

By the time he was 13, he had completed two marathons, and his early start launched a winning high school track career. He attended and competed at the University of Western Ontario from 1985 to 1989, before moving west to attend teacher training at Simon Fraser University. He has resided in BC ever since, and in Victoria since 1996. It was after his move to BC, that his running took off and he qualified for his first national team.

Bruce’s international accomplishments as a marathoner include representing Canada at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games, the IAAF World Athletics Championships (1995, 1997, 1999, 2001), the Commonwealth Games (1994), and the 2003 Pan American Games where he won a silver medal. He was a frequent winner of local races such as the Times Colonist 10k and various events at the Victoria Marathon. In addition, he was the first three-time winner of the California International Marathon, and the last Canadian to win the National Capital Marathon. As a masters athlete, he won the New York City Marathon and placed second at the Boston Marathon.

A further level of significance in Bruce’s accomplishments was his appointment to lead the Western office of the Canadian Olympic Committee in Vancouver. Under his guidance the office took care of all of the COC’s education program and community relations west of Toronto. Bruce’s primary responsibility was the Canadian Olympic School Program, which provided Olympic-themed classroom activities for close to one million students.

Since retiring from international competition, Bruce has held various roles within the Provincial Government. He has made valued contributions to the Canadian sports system including his work with Athletics Canada, BC Athletics, BC Athlete Voice, Olympians Canada and the Canadian Olympic Committee. He currently coaches young runners, some of whom have qualified to compete on national and provincial teams.


Homework? What homework? I've got practices to attend.

Chris hoists the National Lacrosse League's Champions Cup in 2004 in front of a sold out Calgary Saddledome crowd.

Hall displays his outstanding scoring touch for the UVic Vikings.

Team Canada's Hall defends in big win over Syracuse University at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore

A five sport athlete in baseball, basketball, football, rugby and lacrosse, Chris starred on many junior and senior teams in Victoria before turning his focus to lacrosse in his mid-twenties.

In basketball Chris was a national junior all star and MVP with the Victoria Chinooks and UVic Junior Varsity then went on to star with the Vikings and later the Senior Men's Scorpions and Datatech teams. In football, Chris was an outstanding receiver and kicker with the BC Football Conference Dolphins and was named to the all-time Victoria team. In rugby, Chris first played for Velox then moved on to first division with the James Bay Athletic Association. In baseball, Chris was an infielder with the Victoria Senior Amateur All Stars and spent a year in the Southern Baseball League with Swift Current just prior to being drafted by the Boston Bolts of the National Lacrosse League in 1975.

From that point, Chris launched a storied career in Canada's National Summer Sport. He spent nine years as a player and ten years as Head Coach of the Victoria Shamrocks, winning three Mann Cups along the way, and is a member of the Shamrocks Wall of Fame. In field lacrosse, Chris co-founded the senior A Men's Victoria Seasprays/Royal Waxmen Club that set lacrosse history in Canada by winning 14 Ross Cup national championships. The team also went on to win three North American Brogden Cup Championships and was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2011.

Chris was an outstanding defenseman with Canada's National Field Lacrosse Team through three World Championships, winning two silver medals and a bronze, and was selected to the All World Team at the World Games in Los Angeles in 1984. He then went on to become Head Coach of the National Team through two more World Championships, winning a silver and bronze.

In box lacrosse, Chris was named Head Coach of the National Lacrosse League Calgary Roughnecks expansion team in 2002 and, in three years, won the NLL Championship. After six years in Calgary he went on to become Head Coach of the San Jose Stealth and won another NLL title when the team moved to Washington in 2012, becoming only the second coach in the history of the league to win titles with two different teams.

Chris spent 12 years as a Head Coach in the NLL, was a five-time All Star Game coach and retired this year as the 3rd all time wins leader. He was nominated and won election as an NLL Hall of Fame inductee Class of 2014. Chris was also the Head Coach of Team England and has taken that country through the last two World Box Championships in Halifax and Prague. Along the way, Chris also found time to spearhead a committee to have field lacrosse accepted as the official Demonstration Sport of the 1994 Victoria Commonwealth Games, and chaired the Games Volunteer Recruitment and Orientation Committee responsible for the 15,000 Games volunteers.

Sponsored by Zieglers Janitorial (Jeevan Dillon)

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Victoria enjoys a stellar sports history and we celebrate the many athletes, teams and builders who have contributed to that history.  Our displays are seen at the Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre (1925 Blanshard St.)  through Gate Three.


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