Mary Riezebos has strong ties to the women’s athletic program at Western. She competed for the university on intercollegiate championship teams in both basketball and track and field during her time as a student. She was an FWP Jones Trophy recipient in 1973-74 for both basketball and track, and also received a White Blanket honouring her athletic achievement upon graduation.
Riezebos was hired as a full time faculty member between 1979 and 1985 and remained a significant figure in women’s athletics as a coach.She coached the basketball team to the playoffs each year, but perhaps her most influential role was in the formation of the first intercollegiate soccer team at Western in 1983. A soccer enthusiast herself, she took on the role of coach and faculty advisor to the team, and led them to win Ontario Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Association (OWIAA) championships in their first two years as a team with “A” status in the OWIAA in 1985-86 and 1986-87. Mary Riezebos was honoured for her achievements and her role in the development and success of women’s athletics with a Women’s Athletic Alumnae award at the 1992 Homecoming.