UBC Athletics appoints Gilles Lepine as Senior Athletics Director

Gilles Lepine will take the helm as the Senior Athletics Director for the UBC Thunderbirds. Lepine, the former Director of Excellence for Laval University’s Department of Athletics, will lead the Thunderbirds Athletics program and build upon its position as the most successful university sports program in Canada.

“It’s a very exciting opportunity for me and my family,” says Lepine. “The Thunderbirds program is a great program. I was at UBC for the CIS National Women’s Soccer Championship last year and I realized they had great people around.”

The experience, passion, skill and energy Gilles brings to UBC’s Athletics Department is second to none,” says UBC’s Vice-President, Students Louise Cowin. “Gilles is the real deal – he’s been a student athlete, coach, administrator, and builder of championship Varsity programs. The Thunderbirds are a powerhouse in Canada thanks to the strong passion and commitment of our alumni, donors, coaches, students, staff and community and Gilles is the right person to lead the Thunderbirds to further success.”

Lepine has spent the last 12 years as the Director of Excellence for the Laval Rouge et Or. In that time Laval saw considerable growth in alumni support, fan interest, and the corresponding ability to recruit top tier student-athletes. The Rouge et Or were perennial national championship contenders in a multitude of Varsity sports.

“The culture is great. I love what I see in UBC. The attitude, the campus and the athletics program,” adds Lepine. “We work in a triangle with the Athletics staff, the alumni, and the coaches. So all together we are going to bring something great to the student athletes.”

Lepine played and coached volleyball for the Rouge et Or and has played multiple sports competitively over his lifetime. He has also dedicated countless hours to introducing sports to athletes of all ages through his charity and volunteer work.

Gilles Lepine will join UBC on July 11, 2016.

Strategic Framework 

The UBC Athletics Strategic Framework for a University-wide approach to support the Thunderbirds to greater excellence was developed in consultation with our coaches, student leaders, alumni, partners and stakeholders.

The Framework articulates a bold vision, the key pillars that will drive us to that vision, and what will be needed to achieve that vision, with an emphasis on strong partnerships both internally and externally.   

The Vision articulated in the Framework is that the Thunderbirds will be Canada’s leading varsity athletics program - a centre of excellence for intercollegiate and high performance sports, where student athletes can achieve their full potential, and the  Thunderbirds will be central to campus life and the student experience, building UBC pride, community engagement and UBC's reputation.

The Board of Governors approved the Framework in December, 2015.  The Senior Athletics Director will report on a semi-annual basis to the Board on progress against the Framework and subsequent plans.