Folio News Story
March 26, 1999

Sports Wall of Fame Inductees 1999

The Green & Gold Athletic Society (GGAS) is pleased to present the 1999 Sports Wall of Fame Inductees. The 14th annual dinner, April 8, 1999, serves to honor outstanding contributions made by former athletes, coaches and administrators. The dinner is also a major fundraiser in support of the GGAS and its goals to promote the University of Alberta's interuniversity athletics programs. For information call 492-3893.

Brian Heffel
Brian Heffel, BPE (1965)
In an era when athletic specialization was the norm, Brian Heffel won Block A awards in three sports: wrestling, rugby and swimming, a rare accomplishment by a superb athlete. Heffel enjoyed rugby and swimming but his great love was wrestling. He dominated his weight class in Canada from 1964 to 1970. Twice awarded the Beaumont Trophy as the best wrestler in the Western Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (WCIAU), Heffel was the first wrestler named to Canada's Olympic Wrestling team for the 1968 Mexico City Olympic Games and placed ninth. In 1969-1970, while studying for a master's degree, his outstanding athleticism was recognized by the University of Alberta when he was awarded the Wilson Trophy as Male Athlete of the Year. During that year, he competed in 70 matches and compiled a record 68 victories and two draws (both to American wrestlers). His is a legacy of remarkable athletic accomplishments. Heffel has continued to contribute to society as a high-school teacher and coach, as a local, provincial, and national wrestling referee, and as a sport administrator for the city and province.

Liz McBlain
Liz McBlain, BPE (1972)
A stellar track and field athlete, Liz McBlain has set school, city, provincial, national and world records. McBlain's talents as an athlete extended beyond the world of track and field, where she was a Panda from 1969-1972 and 1984-1985. She was also a Panda cross-country skier and basketball player for the same three seasons. In 1972, McBlain was selected to compete on the Ca-nadian Olympic relay team. In addition, she competed in the pentathlon and heptathlon events, and was named to Canada's national team in 1973-1981. Competing in the 1983 Master's World Championships in Puerto Rico, she won the world championship in both the high jump and the pentathlon, a major accomplishment. Continuing in World Master's competitions, McBlain amassed an amazing list of gold, silver and bronze medals in the games held in Italy (1985), Australia (1987), USA (1989), Finland (1991), Japan (1993), Australia (1994) and South Africa (1997). In the '80s and '90s, she dominated in her events in the Pan American Master's competitions. In March 1988, she set two indoor world master's records in the 400 m and the high jump.

From 1973, she has contributed to the building of sport programs as a teacher and as a coach in the Edmonton/Leduc school systems as well as Quebec and Minnesota. She is a Canadian track and field official and served as a volunteer for the 1978 Commonwealth Games, 1983 Universiade Games, Goodwill Games, and the World Firefighter Games. In 1994 McBlain was appointed as the co-meet director for the Master's Pan American Games held in Edmonton.

Vern Pachal
Vern Pachal, BPE (1958), BEd (1963)
A Golden Bear in an era before CIAU national championships, Vern Pachal remains one of the most prolific scorers in the history of Canadian university ice hockey competition. Pachal set Canada West scoring records in single game, season and career categories. His 169 career points (in 42 games) rank him 15th in the University of Alberta's historical scoring records despite playing in 78 fewer games than the 14 players now ahead of him on this list. In 1956-1957, Pachal set a Canada West single season record with 58 points in only 10 games, a record unsurpassed until 1985-1986, when a player scored 67 points in 38 games. But no one has ever approached Pachal's 58 points-in-10-games mark. In 1957, this superb player established a Canada West University Athletic Association (CWUAA) record by scoring 11 points in a Golden Bear victory over Brandon. Pachal won the Canada West scoring championship in each of his three years with the Bears and averaged 3.97 points per game. His superlative play resulted in receiving the Wilson Challenge Trophy, a symbolic recognition extended to the Outstanding Male Athlete at the University of Alberta in 1957-1958. Pachal also won the Andy Purcell Hockey Trophy as the Golden Bears' MVP during each of his three seasons.

Pachal has coached sports, taught school, served as vice-principal, represented Saskatchewan on his home province's Sports Hall of Fame board of directors and was inducted into Yorkton's Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.

Val Schneider
Val Schneider, BPE (1966), MA (1969)
An athlete par excellence and an outstanding builder of sports programs, Val Schneider is widely recognized for his contributions to sport throughout Canada. He played for the Golden Bears football team between 1963-1968. During that time, the Bears won the Western Intercollegiate Football League (WIFL) championship in four consecutive seasons, were Vanier Cup finalists in 1965 (the first year of Vanier Cup competition) and won the Cup in 1967. From 1964-1968 (except for a year teaching in 1966), this inductee was named to the WIFL All-Star team and was co-captain of the Bears from 1965-1968. In the 1967 Vanier Cup championship match, Schneider was awarded the Ted Morris Memorial Trophy as the game's Most Valuable Player. His link with the Vanier Cup continued throughout his career. In 1987, he was inducted into the Vanier Cup Honor Roll for his contributions to college football as a player, coach and administrator.

Schneider has taught high school, college and university, coached at each of these levels, and was the athletic director at the University of Saskatchewan from 1980-1991. He served as a senior administrator for the Canada West University Athletic Association (CWUAA) and the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union (CIAU), and was the assistant dean (services) for the College of Physical Education at the University of Saskatchewan for more than a decade. Schneider has approached each of his roles with enthusiasm and outstanding ability. His name brings honor to the U of A's Sports Wall of Fame.

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