1982 UBC Thunderbirds
Under Head Coach Frank Smith, the 1982 UBC football team became the school’s first to capture the Canadian College Championship recognized with the presentation of the Vanier Cup. That season, the Thunderbirds went undefeated against Canadian competition (12-0), beat SFU in the Shrum Bowl, and defeated Manitoba 57-3 to win the Hardy Trophy which represented the Western title. They moved on to the Canadian semi-final against ST. FX winning that game 54-1 and next faced the final hurdle of the collegiate championship game. On November 20, 1982 they defeated the University of Western Ontario 39-14 to capture their first of two titles in the 1980s (the second came in 1986). The school had previously reached the title game in 1978 but fell short. In 1982, running back Glen Steele was voted the game’s Most Valuable Player. Steele was among five first round selections in the Canadian College Draft, among 14 league all-stars, and one of 12 players to achieve a roster spot in the CFL at one time or another. They were voted Sport BC’s Amateur Team of the Year in 1982 and are widely regarded as one of Canadian college football’s most dominant teams across its long history.