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  • Writer's pictureCanada West

Manitoba Bisons 1988-96 (MT&F | Team)

Updated: Aug 17, 2022

NAME: Bisons (1988-96)



SPORT: Men's track and field


  • Won seven CW titles in nine years

  • Won seven national titles in nine years

  • Medalled in 82 CW Championship events

  • Earned 60 All-Canadians in seven national victories

  • Earned multiple Coach of the Year awards


The University of Manitoba Bisons men's track and field team created a dynasty, earning seven Canada West and CIAU titles in nine years (1988-96). And they captured most in convincing fashion. The athletes in brown and gold were draped in excellence, creating a winning mentality the club exuded at every meet.

The Bisons won the CW banner in 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1994, 1995 and 1996. They fell short for second in 1990 and 1993. During their seven-title stretch, they averaged victory by 24 points. At the individual level, 50 athletes earned spots atop the podium, while 64 took home bronzes and silvers.

An incredible 56 Bisons were named Canada West First-Team All-Stars while 24 made the second team in the seven championship seasons.

The athletes left lasting marks on the conference, with 10 individual and team records that endured in the U SPORTS Top Ten for more than 20 years after they were set.

The team was nearly untouchable at the national level, capturing seven CIAU titles over the nine seasons (every year except 1991 and 1993).

The Bisons earned a combined 66 national medals over that span, as they took their championship banners by an average of 17 points over their closest competitors.

The team’s championship seasons churned out 43 First-Team All-Canadian selections and 17 Second-Team picks.

“The Bison teams of the late 80’s to the mid 90’s featured many of the best Bison Track & Field athletes in history. These Championships were won as a team with contributions coming from all event groups: sprints, distance, throws, jumps and relays. A culture of excellence and being part of a family was established through the strong leadership of the two Head Coaches over those years – Alex Gardiner and Bruce Pirnie. Athletes and staff who were part of these teams still to this day have fond memories of competitions and friendships that were forged over those years,” said current Bisons track and field head coach Claude Berube.

The revered Bisons track and field program also earned multiple CW and CIAU Athlete of the Meet and Coach of the Year awards. The dynasty left a perpetual mark on the school, the conference and the world of university athletics.

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