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Winnipeg Wesmen’s Longest-Serving Coach Larry McKay Set to Retire

May 4, 2024 8:14 AM | Sports


Larry McKay

Larry McKay (right), head coach of the Winnipeg Wesmen men’s volleyball program, is retiring after 35 years. (WESMEN ATHLETICS / HANDOUT)

After an illustrious career spanning over three decades, Larry McKay, the head coach of the Winnipeg Wesmen men’s volleyball program, has announced his retirement.

McKay, recognized as one of Canada’s premier volleyball coaches, will step down from his role in July, leaving behind a legacy of excellence cultivated over 35 years.

Assuming the head coaching position in 1989, McKay led the Wesmen to two national championships, with their most recent triumph in 2006-07 in Hamilton, Ont. His tenure saw him crowned Canadian university national coach of the year three times, the latest accolade coming after the 2017-18 season.

McKay’s influence extended beyond the collegiate level, as he contributed significantly to Canada’s international volleyball scene. He served on the coaching staff of several national teams, notably as an assistant during the 2016 Rio Olympics and as head coach of the 2021 squad that clinched second place at NORCECA and secured a spot in the world championship.

“When I arrived as coach, the Wesmen were a top-four program in Canada in 1989, and I remain grateful to then-athletic director Aubrey Ferris for the opportunity here,” McKay said, in a release.

“Historically the program has been one of the very best in Canada with 10 national championships and it has been my great honour to be a part of that.”

Inducted into the Volleyball Manitoba Hall of Fame in 2011, McKay leaves behind a profound mark as the longest-serving head coach in the history of Wesmen Athletics. Dave Crook, Wesmen Athletics Director, lauded McKay as the epitome of coaching excellence, emphasizing the challenge of filling his shoes: “It is hard for me to imagine the Winnipeg Wesmen lining up without Larry on the sidelines. He is, in my mind, the best volleyball coach in this country. We cannot replace Larry; we will instead find a new coach to take his place.”

With McKay’s retirement imminent, the university now embarks on the search for his successor for the 2024-25 season and beyond.


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