Robert (Bob) Vigars came to Western in 1968 and has never left! As of 2011, he is still Western’s cross-country coach (men’s and women’s), a position that he has held for forty-three years. In addition to cross-country, Vigars has coached track and field and gymnastics. He started as men’s track coach in 1968 and held the position, for thirty-one years, until 1999. He was instrumental in initiating a women’s track and field team at Western which he coached for seventeen years from 1972 to 1989. Vigars also transformed the gymnastics men’s and women’s club into an intercollegiate team starting with the 1969-70 season and remained coach for three years.
As a coach, his teams have won fourteen Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) national team titles and twenty-eight Ontario University Athletics (OUA) team titles. In recognition of his success, Vigars has been selected fourteen times as CIS Coach of the Year and twenty-eight times as OUA Coach of the Year.
Vigars has also played a large role within the greater university sporting world. He is the founder of the CIAU Cross-Country Coaches Association and the CIAU Track and Field Coaches Association. He also authored the playing regulations for the OUA track and field championships in 1973 and the inaugural CIAU track and field championships in 1981. His enthusiasm for sport, coaching endurance and motivation has made him an amazing asset to the Western athletic community.