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  • Writer's pictureCanada West

Lyle Sanderson (T&F | Coach)

Updated: Feb 10, 2020

NAME: Lyle Sanderson

UNIVERSITY: Saskatchewan


SPORT: Track and Field

YEARS ACTIVE: 1960-2004


  • Combined 10 national championships

  • 33 total conference championships (T&F and XC)

  • 10-time winner of Huskies Coach of the Year award

  • 2006 Austin-Matthews Award winner for lifetime achievement


From his first step onto campus to the last day in his office, Lyle Sanderson’s 44-year journey at the University of Saskatchewan is highly revered.

The native of Piapot, Sask., came to the U of S in 1960 as a student-athlete, competing on both the cross country and track and field teams while studying in the College of Physical Education.

Not long after graduating, in 1965, Sanderson was appointed head coach of Saskatchewan’s track and field program and joined the College of Physical Education. That posting would last 39 years, over which time Sanderson became one of the most decorated coaches of any sport in Canadian university history.

Sanderson led the Huskies to 10 national titles, beginning with the school's first national cross country crown in 1968. He later guided Saskatchewan teams to nine track and field national titles – four men’s (1970, 1971, 1987, 2002) and five women’s (1985, 1986, 2000, 2001, 2003). He also coached 33 conference championship-winning teams.

Internationally, Sanderson coached Canadian athletes at the most elite competitions, including the Olympics, World Track and Field Championships, Commonwealth Games, Universiade, and Pan-Am Games.

A 10-time winner of the Colb McEown Trophy as Saskatchewan’s Coach of the Year, Sanderson was the 2006 recipient of the Austin-Matthews Award for lifetime achievement in Canadian university sport. In 2011, Sanderson was given the prestigious Geoff Gowan Award for coaching excellence. He was also the Canadian Track & Field Association’s Coach of the Year in 1977 and 1979.

Sanderson is a member of the University of Saskatchewan Athletic Wall of Fame, the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame, the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame, and the Canadian Track and Field Hall of Fame. His career was named the No. 3 moment in Huskie Athletics history during the school’s centennial celebrations in 2011-12.

Sanderson passed away in 2018 at age 79.

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