Hall of Fame 2013 Inductees
Mike Gates (Lacrosse)
Mike Gates already had made a name for himself in the senior Inter City Lacrosse League (the predecessor to the Western Lacrosse Association) before joining the expansion Coquitlam Adanacs in 1965. Upon joining Coquitlam, Gates was shifted to defence where he began to post Bobby Orr-like numbers while playing 30 to 40 minutes per game. During seven seasons as an Adanac Gates racked up 776 points, including 336 goals over 215 games. He was named a league all-star seven times and won three league scoring titles. Gates was also chosen the league MVP on two occasions and was awarded the Maitland Trophy, presented to the player who best displays leadership, good sportsmanship and assistance to minor lacrosse. A virtual ironman who missed just 13 games over 11 seasons, Gates finished his hall of fame lacrosse career with 504 goals and 609 points. A long-time employee of the City of Coquitlam and a Port Coquitlam councillor, Gates passed away in 1998.
Wes McLeod (Soccer)
Wes McLeod signed his first pro contract at the age of 20 with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL in 1977. The Coquitlam native’s timing couldn’t have been better, as he debuted in the North American Soccer League during the exciting boom years of the late 1970s against the likes of Pele and Beckenbauer. Over seven seasons he would score 34 goals in 188 games and be named to six consecutive NASL all-star teams. From there, McLeod took to the pro indoor league, where he was a major force until 1992. Between 1976 and 1985, McLeod put on the red-and-white as a member of the Canadian national soccer team, making his international debut as a 17-year-old for Canada against Poland in 1975. He would go on to play 18 games for Canada, including at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. He would conclude his playing career in the Major Indoor Soccer League with New York and Dallas, earning the 1989-90 Defender of the Year award. McLeod joins Uncle Norm as a member of the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame.
Jim Young (Football)
There isn’t much in football that ‘Dirty Thirty’—as Jim Young was famously known—during a pro career that spanned 15 seasons and two leagues. The Hamilton, Ont. native debuted with the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings in 1965. That two-year stint as a role player eventually led him—after a convoluted, rare intra-league trade—to the Canadian Football League and the B.C. Lions.
From 1967 to 1979, Young lined up first as a running back and then a wide receiver, earning a Western Conference All Star honour on two occasions. In a sport where longevity is elusive, Young established numerous Lions records, including most receptions (552), most receiving yards (9,248) and most receiving touchdowns (65). He is one of only two Lions to surpass the 10,000-yard mark overall and ranks as a top-five team scorer with 410 career points. His number 30 has been retired by the Lions, and in 1991 he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and 2002 into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame.
Bill Green (Baseball)
Brought in as an assistant coach in 1984, Bill Green would quickly put a lasting stamp of success in all levels of the Coquitlam Reds premier baseball program. Taking over a struggling club the following year, Green instilled his plain-spoken demeanor and utility-minded determination that would produce a number of college and pro players over 25 years as the head coach and manager. The alumni who benefited from Green’s sage coaching included a dozen who would be drafted or signed as Major League free agents, including Canadian baseball hall-of-fame member Larry Walker.
Under Green, the Reds won 11 provincial titles during his 25 years as manager, including five straight from 1987 to 1991, plus the national juvenile championship in 1988. From 1990 to 2005, Green also coached the B.C. Selects under-17 and 18 teams, and would be named Baseball Canada’s coach of the Year in 1988.
1984 Coquitlam Little League (Baseball)
In a run that would put Coquitlam Little League on the map, a gutsy group of 11-and-12 year olds from Mackin Park carried the B.C. and Canadian baseball banners with pride during a whirlwind run to the Little League World Series. The Coquitlam All-Stars, managed by Lionel Bilodeau, enjoyed a month-long journey that saw them win the regional, then B.C. titles.
At the Canadian nationals in Moose Jaw, the All-Stars lost their first game but bounced back to post a string of wins en route to the club’s first national championship and a berth to Williamsport, Pa., the mecca of minor baseball. At the World Series, the Coquitlam crew blanked Belgium in the opener 3-0 before getting bested 10-0 by South Korea. They completed the run with a fantastic effort, falling 4-3 in extra-innings to a team from Indiana to place fourth at the international championship.