Men's Athletics

Phil Fitz-James

Phil 'Doc' Fitz-James

Photograph of Phil “Doc” Fitz-James with a megaphone most likely instructing rowers on the water. Courtesy of the UWO Student Council.

No one has done more for the sport of rowing at the UWO than Phil “Doc” Fitz-James. Fitz–James, a microbiologist and biochemist, was the leading proponent arguing for the official recognition of rowing as an intercollegiate sport at Western. In 1957, his hard work paid off and Fitz-James was made head coach, a position he held for over thirty years until his retirement in 1992. Admired and respected by his students, Fitz-James was named the Canadian Coach of the Year in 1980 by the Canadian Association of Amateur Oarsmen.  On October 11, 2006, Dr. Philip Fitz-James passed away, leaving behind a rowing legacy which will not soon be forgotten.