Homecoming football reunions to honour the Loyola College and Stingers championship teams
When the Concordia Stingers football team hosts the McGill Redbirds at this fall’s Homecoming game on September 17, several special guests in attendance are likely to give the home team an inspirational boost.
That’s because on September 16 and 17, the university will honour the Loyola College — one of Concordia’s founding institutions — and Stingers championship football teams at the Homecoming game with a series of reunions.
Namely, Concordia will celebrate the Ottawa-St. Lawrence Athletic Association champions from 1962, 1968 and 1972, the 1982 Ontario-Quebec Intercollegiate Football Conference championship team, as well as other members of the storied football program.
For long-time assistant coach Pete Regimbald, BA 73 — known as Coach Reg — the aim of the reunions is to give old teammates the chance to renew their friendships and recognize their accomplishments on the field.
“It’s important they understand that they were part of the building block of the football program at Concordia,” he says. “Hopefully, these activities create opportunities for the former teams to link up with the new team and administration.”
To get the reunions off the ground, Regimbald enlisted the help of Richard Brayley, BSc 74, who played for Loyola from 1970 to 1973. In 2018, Brayley attended the celebration of Regimbald’s 50 years of service to the football program and thought they should do the same for the 1972 team.
“We had a reunion 20 years ago when we were inducted into the Concordia University Sports Hall of Fame, but it was time to have another one,” he says. “My five years at Loyola were great and football was a big part of that.”
Together, both men sought the assistance of former players they thought may be interested in organizing the reunions.
Regimbald found partners in Mike Kostin, BA 64, Irv Narvey, BA 63, and Jim Newman, BSc 64. Former members of the 1962 Loyola College team, all three were instrumental in tracking down players for the 60th anniversary. Thanks to their efforts, Regimbald expects up to 20 former teammates from the 1962 team to attend Homecoming.
Meanwhile, Brayley contacted Kevin Levya, Attd 74, to ask if he could reach out to all the 1972 players living in the United States.
Levya, one of eight all-stars on the 1972 roster, jumped at the opportunity and immediately started reaching out to teammates in the U.S. When he had trouble contacting T.K. Bowers, Levya drove more than 120 kilometres from New Hampshire to Massachusetts and waited for his former teammate to get home.
“His wife, Barb, who is a Loyola alumna as well [BA 75], just happened to come home for lunch. She directed me to where T.K. was working on a construction site,” he recalls. “I went over, caught up to him and rekindled things as far as the reunion is concerned.”
The committees were also thrilled with the support provided by Concordia Records Management and Archives (RMA). Thanks to the efforts of RMA staff, reunion attendees can expect to view archival pictures and game footage that they may not have seen before.
‘It was special’
Not all the help is coming from members of past championship teams, either. When John Outridge, BA 81, was asked if he could assist in the 1982 reunion, he was surprised because his last season with the Stingers was in 1980.
Still, he was more than happy to join the organizing committee.
“At the end of the day, it’s not about me. It’s about honouring these guys for bringing the championship to the university,” Outridge says. “I just want to make sure that our round of golf goes right, the dinner goes right, we win the game and the teams get celebrated. Those are the only things I want to happen.”
Andy Malolepszy, BA 70, MA 03, couldn’t agree more. A member of the Loyola football team from 1965 to 1971, he holds dear memories of his time in the program, especially under the coaching leadership of Canadian Football League greats George Dixon and Tony Pajaczkowski.
“They were modest, fun people who inspired us a lot,” Malolepszy recalls. “I was a manager at a multinational company for many years, and I used a lot of what I learned in football in management. You don’t lose those things — it was special.”
The Stingers Homecoming game against the McGill Redbirds takes place Saturday, September 17, at the Concordia Stadium, 7200 Sherbrooke St. W., Montreal. Doors open at 1 p.m. For tickets, visit the Stingers website.
For more information and how to register for Homecoming events, visit concordia.ca/homecoming.