142 UAlberta student-athletes recognized as Academic All-Canadians

U of A continues to lead the country in students who combine academic and athletic excellence.


The University of Alberta continues to lead the country in Academic All-Canadian student-athletes as Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics honoured its best and brightest from the past year at the annual Academic All-Canadian breakfast.

The breakfast celebrates the student-athletes who earned Academic All-Canadian (AAC) status during the 2014-15 season, as well as winners of the Kathlene Yetman Memorial Trophy and the Mark Goodkey Memorial Trophy, which are presented annually to the female and male Academic All-Canadian athletes of the year.  

Academic All-Canadians are student-athletes who have maintained an average of 80 per cent or better over the academic year while competing full-time for one or more of the university’s varsity teams. Golden Bears and Pandas Athletics honour student-athletes who compete in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), as well as those who compete outside of CIS (golf and tennis).

A total of 142 student-athletes were recognized Wednesday morning, including 128 who participate in CIS. With the addition of the 128 CIS academic all-Canadians, the U of A’s all-time total increases to 2,461, the largest amount in Canada. That total keeps the U of A ahead of McGill University (2,369), Queen’s (2,084) and Western (2,027) in the all-time totals, and where the U of A continues to separate itself from the other top five AAC schools is that the Golden Bears and Pandas varsity program has won the third most national championships in Canadian university history, trailing only Toronto and UBC, and far ahead of McGill, Queen’s and Western.

The U of A is the only school in Canada to claim top three status in terms of total athletic and academic achievements.

The 142 AAC student-athletes at the U of A come from 12 faculties, and all 24 Golden Bears and Pandas varsity teams are represented. The Faculty of Science had the most representatives, with 33, and the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation had 28. Fourteen engineering student-athletes were recognized as well, as were eight student-athletes who are pursuing master's degrees, along with three each from the Faculty of Law and the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.

The Golden Bears football program had the single highest amount from one team, with 12 AAC student-athletes. Golden Bears soccer had 11 and Golden Bears hockey and track and field had 10 each. The sports of soccer and track and field had the most combined men’s and women’s AAC student-athletes, with 18 each, and the Pandas rugby and Pandas track and field teams had the most female student-athletes from one team, with eight each.

The Kathlene Yetman Memorial Trophy, named in honour of a Pandas swimmer and Academic All-Canadian who died in a traffic accident in February 1996, was awarded to Hayley Thomas. A recent graduate from the Faculty of Education, Thomas had an outstanding 2014-15 season with Pandas wrestling, winning a CIS gold medal in her weight class and being named the CIS Female Wrestler of the Year. 

The Mark Goodkey Memorial Trophy honours the memory of Golden Bears hockey alumnus and two-time Academic All-Canadian Mark Goodkey, who died tragically in March of 1996. The 2014-15 Goodkey Trophy recipient, Joe Byram from the Faculty of Arts, has had a tremendous four-year career as a Golden Bears swimmer. He is a multiple CIS and Canada West medallist, and this past season he collected two individual medals and paced the Bears to a pair of relay medals, including a gold, and a fourth-place overall finish for the Golden Bears at the national championship meet.