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Nearing earns U SPORTS award

Nearing earns U SPORTS award

Former men's soccer head coach Pat Nearing has been named this year's winner of the Austin-Matthews Award for outstanding contribution to U SPORTS.

TORONTO (U SPORTS) – Legendary U SPORTS coaches Dave Smart of Carleton and Patrick Nearing of Dalhousie, veteran New Brunswick reporter Bruce Hallihan and Paralympian swimmer Elisabeth Walker-Young of Brock were honoured Tuesday as the winners of the 2020 U SPORTS Honours Awards for their contributions to university sports in Canada.  

Smart took home the Jean-Marie De Koninck Coaching Excellence Award, while Nearing claimed the Austin-Matthews Award, Hallihan earned the Fred Sgambati Media Award and Walker-Young was presented with the L.B. “Mike” Pearson Award.

All winners receive a commemorative ring from Baron, the Exclusive Provider of championship rings and recognition jewelry for U SPORTS.

The announcement follows last Thursday night’s reveal of Montreal’s Aboubacar Sissoko and Manitoba’s Kelsey Wog as the winners of the 2020 Lieutenant Governor Athletic Awards Presented by Makadiff SPORTS as the U SPORTS Athletes of the Year.

For the full release from U SPORTS click here. 


Austin-Matthews Award (Outstanding Contribution): Patrick Nearing, Dalhousie

Patrick Nearing took over as head coach of the Dalhousie Tigers men’s soccer program to start the 1999 season – one that ended with an AUS title – and held the post until the completion of the 2019 campaign.

During his 21-year tenure, he has accumulated a .631 winning percentage in regular season play, finishing his career with a record of 128-75-59. The AUS and U SPORTS Men’s Soccer Fox 40 Coach of the Year in 2008, Nearing led the Tigers to an AUS championship and a sixth-place finish at the national championship that season. Nearing is also the reigning AUS men’s soccer Coach of the Year.

Off the pitch, Nearing has also served on several U SPORTS committees during his career, including compliance, eligibility, and athletic financial awards, while holding the roles of Chair of the men’s soccer sport technical subcommittee and as President of the men’s soccer coaches’ association.

Before assuming the reigns of the Dalhousie men’s soccer team, he was the Technical University of Nova Scotia’s (TUNS) men’s soccer coach for 17 seasons, leading them to nine Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) championship titles. He also chaired the league from 1992-2000 while serving as TUNS’s athletic director. When TUNS amalgamated with Dalhousie University, he continued his tenure as director of the newly named Sexton Campus’s athletic program, eventually becoming Dalhousie’s assistant director of athletics and recreation.

A Dalhousie University grad (BPE ‘79), he also spent 30 years as a club soccer coach in Bedford, N.S., coaching at the grassroots level all the way up to U18. He was also the head coach of the Dartmouth United senior men’s team for 15 seasons, leading them to a number of Nova Scotia provincial and Atlantic championship wins.

“Pat has been an instrumental part of the success of our student-athletes and programs at Dalhousie,” said Dalhousie Executive Director of Athletics and Recreation Tim Maloney. “He’s had an outstanding impact on the future of university sport serving for many years on several national committees. I  can’t think of anyone more deserving of this recognition.”