Humber sits atop the all-time championship leaderboard
ETOBICOKE, Ont -- It's official. No school has won more CCAA championships than Humber, which secured its 50th title on Nov. 10 with men's soccer claiming its seventh national crown following a 1-0 victory over Ahuntsic.
The unprecedented total is a tangible indication of a dominance that began 23 years ago.
Numbers tell one part of the story:
- Ten different programs have won CCAA championships.
- Humber has won at least one CCAA title in 18 of the last 19 academic years.
- Five programs have won at least four CCAA titles.
- The men's golf program leads the way for Humber, capturing ten team titles and six individual titles.
- In 2015-16, Humber captured six CCAA titles, its most in one academic year.
However, numbers can't fully describe the stories, events and effort that went into each championship. After joining the OCAA in 1968, Humber started with only four varsity programs and endured the growing pains of a young athletic program. In the 1980s, Humber hockey became a perennial national contender but was unable to ever capture a crown.
After 21 long years and nine unsuccessful attempts by various varsity programs at Nationals, Humber's luck began to change. Overcoming a 22-point deficit to beat Sheridan in the provincial championship, top-ranked men's basketball defeated Briercrest at Cariboo College for the first national title in Humber history.
The men's basketball team was the first Humber superpower, winning four of five CCAA titles from 1991-95, under head coach Mike Katz. During that five-year stretch, the Hawks captured five provincial titles, had four student-athletes named All-Canadians, and finished with an incredible 102-9 (.919) regular and postseason record.
A year removed from losing in the finals, the men's soccer program captured its first national title in 1995. Under the guidance of CCAA Coach of the Year Germain Sanchez, the Hawks took revenge for their '94 loss, blanking Mount Royal 2-0.
Humber's second superpower came by way of the men's golf program – under the direction of head coach Ray Chateau – winning ten national titles from 2001-12, with six individual titles during that span, as well. The women's golf team reached national recognition during the turn of the century, winning titles in 2003, 2007, and 2008. To this day, Shauna Wilde's title in 2007 is the programs only individual crown.
Many of Humber's national titles have come in bunches, like the badminton program in 2010. Since winning the mixed doubles crown that year, Humber badminton has gone on to win nine more in total. Olivia Lei and Adam Dong were responsible for six of those titles, winning three each.
After experimenting with cross country in the 70s, Humber Athletics reintroduced the program in 2005 and spent the next half-decade flirting with a national title. When Vicky Siemon won the women's programs first national medal in 2011, Humber was able to capture the elusive team title for the first time. Three years later – led by Daniel Bright – the men's team was able to win its first team crown.
The men's volleyball program was crowned national champions in 2012, finishing the year with a 23-1 record in head coach Wayne Wilkins' 17th year at the helm. Led by Player of the Year Terrell Bramwell, the Hawks became just the second OCAA men's volleyball program to win a CCAA title.
Curling captured Humber's first provincial title in 1969 but would have to wait almost 50 years before winning on the national stage. In 2016, a late run by the Hawks saw the men's curling team defeat Sault 8-4 for its first CCAA championship.
Coaching legends filter through Humber's championships history. Michael Aquino has won four national titles since 2013, making men's soccer Humber's fourth superpower. Numbers alone cannot speak of the drama of Humber's 2015 title, winning on penalty kicks after playing two men down for nearly 100 minutes of game time with keeper Eugenio Garro being named championship MVP for the second time.
And numbers mean little in the drama of a close contest for the ultimate prize, like when Ruth Holland hit a three-pointer trailing by two with less than a second remaining to capture women's basketball first national title – becoming the first women's OCAA team sport to win a CCAA crown.
No school can match the number of championships, and none can match the breadth of championships. At Humber, No. 50 and any of those that will follow, always will mean much more than a number.