Sports Wall of Fame member Brian Heffel passes away

    By Matt Gutsch on January 16, 2013

    Brian Heffel, a member of the University of Alberta’s Sports Wall of Fame, and a former Golden Bears wrestler, swimmer, and rugby club player, has passed away at the age of 68.

    A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 19, 2013 at Strathearn United Church, 8510 - 95 Avenue N.W., Edmonton. A Celebration of Life will follow at 4:00 p.m. at Ellerslie Rugby Park, 11014 Ellerslie Road S.W., Edmonton. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Arthritis Society, Suite 307, 10109 - 106 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 3L7.

    Heffel earned a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the U of A in 1965, as well as a masters’ degree.

    An amazing three-sport competitor at the U of A, Heffel won the Block ‘A’ award for his excellence in wrestling, and swimming as well as with the U of A rugby club. While he enjoyed swimming and rugby, he was twice named MVP while with the Edmonton Druids Rugby Club, his great love was wrestling. He dominated his weight class in Canada from 1964 to 1970. He was twice awarded the Beaumont Trophy as the best wrestler in the Western Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (WCIAU), and he was the first wrestler named to Canada's Olympic Wrestling team for the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games where he placed ninth. In 1969-1970, while studying for a master's degree, he was awarded the Wilson Challenge Trophy as Male Athlete of the Year. During that year, he competed in 70 matches and compiled a record 68 victories and two draws (both to American wrestlers). Upon graduation, Heffel continued to contribute to society as a high-school teacher and coach. He guided the Bonnie Doon Lancers’ senior rugby team to six city championships, and he led the Druids’ junior program to a city championship as well. He also made his mark as a local, provincial, and national wrestling referee, earning an honour from the Edmonton Boxing and Wrestling Commission for his contributions, and as a sport administrator for the city and province.

    U of A Sports Wall of Fame link: