Wayne Fleming left his mark on the University of Manitoba in more ways than one.
Fleming, a native of Snow Lake, Manitoba, passed away in March 2013 at the age of 62 after a battle with brain cancer.
He joined the Bisons in 1970 as a student-athlete, playing for the Herd’s hockey team from 1970-71 to 1972-73 and in 1974-75, when he was named a Great Plains Athletic Conference All-Star.
Fleming later re-joined the Bisons behind the bench in another capacity when he was named an assistant coach in 1976. He would eventually rise to the ranks of head coach in 1980 — a position he held for the next nine seasons.
The U of M physical education graduate later found success at the professional and international levels. Fleming spent over a dozen seasons as an assistant coach in the NHL, spending time with the New York Islanders, Phoenix Coyotes, Philadelphia Flyers, Calgary Flames, Edmonton Oilers and Tampa Bay Lightning. He also worked with Hockey Canada and went to two Olympics.
Fleming is a member of the Bison Hockey Hall of Fame and the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame.
The university most recently honoured Fleming in October 2013, when the Max Bell Arena hockey rink was renamed the Wayne Fleming Arena.
In joining the Canada West Hall of Fame, Fleming is among the likes of builder Joyce Fromson, women’s basketball coach Coleen Dufresne, women’s volleyball alum Michelle Sawatzky-Koop, women’s soccer alum Desiree Scott, the 1968-70 Vanier Cup-winning Bisons football teams, and football alum Israel Idonije as Bisons that have been inducted.
— With files from Bison Sports