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Flashback Friday (May 4)

Ted Wickwire
Ted Wickwire

With the 2018 Dal Tigers Hall of Fame Gala & Auction just two weeks away, we're featuring four Hall of Famers from four different induction years. Our third Hall of Famer to be featured is football and basketball player Ted Wickwire! We hope you'll join us for this year's event on Thursday, May 17, 2018. Ticket information

Ted's induction citation from 2004:

If the field and court could talk…oh, the stories they would tell. 

They would talk of the football and basketball legend, Ted Wickwire. 

Frederick B. “Ted” Wickwire began his university career at Dalhousie in 1956. That autumn, Ted suited up for his first football game as a starting cornerback. During that game the quarterback suffered a serious injury. The result was bittersweet as rookie Ted assumed the quarterback position and did not relinquish his post through six seasons of varsity football. 

During his rookie year (1956-57), the football Tigers did not win a game. Yet, the stands were full of cheering fans out to catch a glimpse of the perseverance and determination of the young team. Ted’s individual efforts were recognized by the Nova Scotia Canadian Football League as he was runner-up for Most Valuable Rookie honours. 

It wasn’t until October 5, 1957 when the team’s hard work paid off. Dalhousie recorded a 39-6 victory over the Greenwood Bombers, breaking a 10-game, two-year losing streak. Ted and company never looked back. Ted was the passing and running star, alongside friend and fellow inductee, runningback great, Peter Corkum. The team became a force to be reckoned with and finished second to eventual league champs, the Shearwater Flyers. 

The following year (1958-59), Ted, scored one touchdown and passed for another in a game against Stadacona. That effort propelled the team into the league semifinals. Dalhousie finished the season after being edged into a semifinal loss again at the hands of the Shearwater Flyers. The two-game total point series was a heartbreaking 28-20 deficit for the Tigers. 

The team continued to improve into the 1959-60 season, the senior year of Ted’s undergraduate program. Again, Dalhousie faced Stadacona, this time in the league semifinal. The Tigers were victorious and advanced to the league’s championship game. Unfortunately, they fell victim to StFX, a team that would be the eventual national champions; a first for the Atlantic conference. 

Ted’s exceptional play and leadership during the 1959-60 season resulted in the conference’s highest honour. He was awarded the Duffus Trophy as the Atlantic Football Conference (AFC)’s most valuable player. Also, Ted was runner-up for this award the following year. 

Ted’s final season (1961-62) saw Dalhousie continue to be a leading force in the AFC. In the final game of his career, he went 15-31 for 142 yards and ran four times for 56 yards. Despite a third place league finish, Dalhousie’s superstar Ted was outstanding.   

Ted’s university football career included rushing for 1100 yards and leading the conference by passing for over 4000 yards. He scored 42 points in league competition. Twice, Ted won the Little Trophy awarded to Dalhousie’s most valuable football player (1960-61, 1961-62). He also took home the Climo Award (1959-60), the highest athletic award that can be bestowed on a male Dalhousie student. The award is presented annually to the male who best displays outstanding athletic ability, sportsmanship and team spirit. Ted is remembered as one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play in Maritime football. 

The University honoured Ted and Peter, the living legends, at a ceremony following their last game of varsity football at Dalhousie. It was officially declared that November 11, 1961 was “Corkum and Wickwire Day,” marking the end of an era of football at Dalhousie. 

On the court, Ted wore the black and gold for four varsity basketball seasons. In his rookie year (1956-57), Ted scored 28 points against Acadia only to out-do his own record the following year (1957-58) by scoring an unprecedented 42 points in a single playoff match against Saint Mary’s, putting Dalhousie in the conference championship final. He managed to accomplish these individual feats while being recognized as a superb team player, always willing to pass the ball. 

Ted had a quiet modesty over his individual achievements. He was more eager to talk about Dalhousie’s 1959 basketball upset of StFX. The 56-55 score broke a five-year losing streak against the X-Men. 

Other Dalhousie awards bestowed on Ted include a Silver “D” award for his rookie efforts in football and basketball in 1956-57 followed by a Gold “D” in 1958-59. Ted was also honoured with a First Engraving “D” in 1960-61. The monogrammed placards were presented for years of outstanding contribution to Dalhousie athletics. 

Ted graduated from Dalhousie in 1959 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He was later admitted to the bar after receiving a Bachelor of Law degree in 1962. 

Ted has served his community and his alma mater well. He was involved with numerous athletic organizations and councils at Dalhousie including three years as Chairman of the Advisory Council on Athletics and 13 years on the University’s Board of Governors. He also volunteered his time and shared his expertise with many professional associations related to his profession. In 1978, Ted was appointed the prestigious honour of Queen’s Council. In 1990, Ted was elected president of the Barrister’s Society and, in 1991, he was presented the Weldon Law Award for unselfish public service. 

In 1993, by unanimous vote, the University’s Board of Governors renamed Studley Field, Wickwire Memorial Field, as it is known today. A commemorative plaque dedicated to Ted greets players, coaches and visitors upon entry to Wickwire Field. 

Ted is remembered as an outstanding team player not only in sport but within his community. He set a great example of integrity, determination and spirit. It is an honour to recognize Ted’s exemplary contribution to athletics at Dalhousie by inducting him with the inaugural class of the Dalhousie University Sport Hall of Fame.