Former long-time Mount Allison Athletics Director Jack Drover honoured with prestigious U SPORTS Award
SACKVILLE, NB — Former long-time Athletics Director Jack Drover spent nearly his entire career at Mount Allison, dedicating 35 years to university athletics as a varsity soccer and hockey coach and then as Director of Athletics & Recreation. He was recently awarded the L.B. “Mike” Pearson Award by U SPORTS for his outstanding achievements in interuniversity athletics.
“I am both humbled and overwhelmed to be honoured as the 2023 recipient of the U SPORTS L.B. "Mike" Pearson Award,” says Drover. “I truly enjoyed my 35-year career as a coach and administrator at Mount Allison. I was so fortunate to have a job that I loved. My association with Mount Allison student-athletes, Mount Allison University, Atlantic University Sport, and U SPORTS leaves me with many, many cherished memories. I want to thank my family for their never-ending support. Without this, I would not be receiving this prestigious award.”
Growing up in St. John’s, NL, Drover was a decorated athlete, being placed on the Chicago Blackhawks protected list and playing with the St. Catharines Major Junior Team before attending the University of New Brunswick, where he obtained his degree in physical education and his university athletics career began.
He played both varsity soccer and hockey, winning an AUS Soccer Championship in 1964, a consolation title in hockey at the University Cup in 1964, and was named a University Cup all-star. Despite only playing for two seasons, he was named to UNB’s All-Decade Hockey Team for the 1960s.
After six years of teaching in Labrador City, Drover was recruited to Mount Allison in 1974 as head coach of men’s hockey and soccer and in 1991 became the Director of Athletics and Recreation. In 2002, he earned the U SPORTS coaching hat-trick, assuming the role of head coach for Mount Allison’s women’s hockey team.
Mount Allison’s Vice-President, International and Student Affairs Anne Comfort says Drover’s career is unmatched in the University’s history.
“As a coach of three different varsity programs, an administrator, and a mentor to countless student-athletes and coaches, Jack was a champion of Mount Allison, Atlantic University Sport, and U SPORTS,” she says. “He stayed true to his principles and values, believing in sport as part of an overall student’s development. Jack’s influence on student-athletes can be seen in the number of individuals who have gone on to be coaches and mentors themselves.”
Drover served two terms as president of the AUS and three, two-year terms as President of the Canadian University Hockey Coaches Association. Throughout his coaching career at Mount Allison, he earned AUS Coach of the Year awards in Men’s Hockey (1975-76) and Men’s Soccer (1978). In 2009, he was presented with the Bubsy Grant Award, honouring an individual who goes above and beyond the call of duty in their service to the Mount Allison athletics program.
As one of his nominators for this U SPORTS award says, “Jack has given so much to university sport in Canada and specifically in Atlantic Canada.”
Upon his retirement, former Mounties, family, and friends established the Jack Drover Athletics Award at Mount Allison University, an endowed scholarship presented annually to a Mounties student-athlete, in his honour.
Drover has also devoted 12 years as president of the Sackville Minor Hockey Association and was instrumental in founding the Sackville Youth Soccer Association in 1980. In his retirement, he has been an active board member, including multiple terms as President of the Sackville Golf Club.
He and his wife Jane have been married for 56 years and have two sons, Steven and Scott (‘01), and five grandchildren, all athletes — Clara, Daniel, Sam, James, and Emma.
The L.B. “Mike” Pearson Award is presented to a distinguished Canadian citizen of outstanding achievements who, having participated in interuniversity athletics, has by their personal accomplishments exemplified the ideals and purposes of interuniversity athletics and amateur sport. The award is named for the 14th Prime Minister of Canada, who coached the University of Toronto hockey and football teams and served as a history professor at the university. Drover received his award on June 12 at the U SPORTS Annual Meeting award reception in Ottawa.