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Concordia Stingers past and present reunite for Homecoming 2023

Celebrations include Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony, plus football and soccer team reunions
September 1, 2023
By Damon van der Linde, BA 08

A black and white yearbook photo of the 1998 Concordia Stingers The 1998 Stingers football team will reunite during Homecoming 2023 to celebrate 25 years since winning the Atlantic Bowl.

At the 1998 Atlantic Bowl in Halifax, the Concordia Stingers football team was down two points to the Acadia Axemen — with just over a minute left to play. Kicker Dave Miller-Johnston, BA 01, came through with a 45-yard field goal, leading the Stingers to a 25-24 victory and sending the tea to its first national championship Vanier Cup.

“That was probably the defining moment of my university career,” says Miller-Johnston, who was named the game’s MVP. “It was a great kick, but it wouldn’t have happened without my teammates playing the game they did to put me in that position.”

His winning field goal is part of Concordia’s rich history of sports excellence that will be celebrated at Homecoming festivities from September 21 to 24. 

Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony

Black and white photo of two people in formal wear holding plaques and smiling Dave Miller-Johnston and Corinne Swirsky received the 1997-98 Concordia Stingers male and female athletes of the year awards.

Miller-Johnston is among the new inductees to Concordia’s Sports Hall of Fame on September 24. Established in 1995, the Sports Hall of Fame recognizes athletes, teams and builders who have made outstanding contributions to sports at Concordia and its founding institutions, Loyola College and Sir George Williams University.

“This will be one of those special moments in life that I'm going to be very careful not to rush through because this only happens once,” says Miller-Johnston. “What I’m really looking forward to is saying thanks to my teammates, my coaches and my family for helping me succeed.” 

Miller-Johnston will be honoured for his athletic contributions to the Stingers from 1993 to 1998. His career highlights include twice winning the Dunsmore Cup, as well as the Atlantic Bowl victory that led Concordia to its first-ever football national championship.

Meet the Stingers who join him as Sports Hall of Fame inductees:

George Lengvari Jr., BA 63, Builder

This year’s ceremony will mark George Lengvari’s third entry into the Sports Hall of Fame. With Lengvari being inducted as a builder, he becomes the first inductee to be named in all three categories. His was first inducted in 2001 as a member of the Loyola men’s basketball team — the first to win the Ottawa-St. Lawrence title during the 1962-63 season. Lengvari’s talent was later recognized for his individual talents as an athlete in 2011. He will now be inducted in the builder category for his long-standing service to Concordia, which includes a $2-million gift in support of varsity basketball at his two alma maters, Concordia and McGill University.

Richard (Dick) MacKay, BA 58, Athlete

The basketball star will be inducted for his major contributions to the 1957-58 Sir George Williams College Georgians team. Dick was a talented scorer for the campion Georgians best known for his jump shot.  In 2021, he made a $200,000 gift in support of basketball in tribute to the late coach Mag Flynn, who coached Mackay and later served as dean of students at both Sir George Williams and Concordia.

Sheila Turner, BA 95, Athlete

As an all-star Stingers rugby player, Turner never lost a game between 1992 and 1994. She later rejoined the team in 1996 as an assistant coach and was named head coach the following season.

Carol Ann Tull, BA 02, Athlete

As a Stingers basketball player, Tull was named Defensive Player of the Year and two-time MVP by the Fédération du sport scolaire du Québec. Recognized for going above and beyond during her studies, Tull received an Outstanding Contribution Award from the Concordia Council on Student Life in 2000. She later returned to her alma mater as an assistant coach in 2014.

1994 women’s rugby team, Team

The women’s rugby team will be inducted as a whole for its undefeated season and for winning the provincial championships — an achievement that would not be matched for another 16 years.

A black and white yearbook photo of Concordia's 1994 women's rugby team The 1994 women’s rugby team will join Concordia's Sports Hall of Fame, while team member Sheila Turner (back row, second from left) will also be inducted as an individual athlete.

Soccer and football team reunions

Former Stingers alumni will also celebrate milestone anniversaries through Homecoming reunions honouring the 1973 Loyola men’s soccer team, as well as the 1993 and 1998 football teams.

“These gatherings provide a unique opportunity for alumni to reconnect and inspire current players to uphold the university’s sporting traditions,” says Paul Chesser, BA 94, GrDip 97, Concordia’s vice-president of Advancement, who played on the 1993 football team and was the defensive coordinator of the 1998 team. Chesser was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 1996.

“I have fond memories of my time as a student and especially as the former captain and member of the football team. I learned how to be a better leader and really understand the dynamics of effective teams.”

The 1973 men’s soccer team made history by becoming the first Quebec institution to win a national championship. En route, coach Harry Hus’s team had a perfect 10-0 win-loss record and extended its unbeaten streak in league play to 50 games.

On the roster was Jim Corsi, BEng 76, a multi-sport athlete who played both professional soccer and hockey. With stints at the Montreal Olympique and Quebec Selects soccer teams, he then joined the Quebec Nordiques and Edmonton Oilers NHL teams as a goaltender. Corsi went on to play in Italy for both club and national team, tying Team Canada and beating the United States at the 1982 world championships. He later returned to North America, becoming an NHL goaltender coach for the St. Louis Blues, Buffalo Sabres and Columbus Blue Jackets.

“Reminiscing is important, but as a long-time coach, I think it’s invaluable that current Stingers in all sports see the value of being part of a team that has worked its way to success,” he says.

The 1973 team will be honoured on the field at halftime at the men’s soccer game on September 22. Stingers soccer coach Greg Sutton and D’Arcy Ryan, BA 98, MA 02, EMBA 09, director of Recreation and Athletics, will join the ceremony.

Concordia's 1973 men's soccer team pose for a photo in the rain The 1973 men’s soccer team including Jim Corsi (back row, third from right) last reunited at Concordia in 2018 to celebrate its 45th anniversary.

The 1993 Stingers football team will celebrate 30 years since beating the Bishop’s Gaiters to win the Dunsmore Cup, while the 1998 team will mark 25 years since winning the Atlantic Bowl.

Festivities kick off on September 23 with the Alumni Zone Tailgate Experience at the Homecoming football game, followed by The Point After post-game reception. The 1993 and 1998 teams were inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2016 and 2018, respectively.

“These reunions will be emotional experiences for so many of us because they bring us back to a time in our life that was incredibly nurturing and reshaped who we were,” says Miller-Johnston.

Register for Concordia’s 2023 Homecoming festivities from September 21 to 24.

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