One of the most successful coaches in any sport in Newfoundland and Labrador has passed away. Soccer coach Alan Ross died in his native England at age 84.
Ross arrived in St. John’s in 1970 to teach at Memorial University, and coach the men’s soccer team. His impact was felt immediately, as Memorial won the 1970 Canadian intercollegiate championship, and finished second the following year.
In his first six years at Memorial, Ross’s teams won three Atlantic conference titles and a Canadian championship.
In 1974, he guided Newfoundland to the Canadian under-18 championship.
“He brought knowledge and ideas that were new to us,” said Hall of Fame player Jeff Babstock. “And we all bought in to what he was teaching because it made sense to us, and they produced results.”
In 1972, Ross was appointed assistant coach of Canada’s national team, serving in that position for two years.
It’s been said Ross raised the coaching, refereeing and playing standard throughout the province from 1970 to 1989, changing the culture of how the game should be played and developed.
In 1989, Ross was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Hall of Fame, and inducted into the St. John's Soccer Hall of Fame the next year.
He was recognized nationally with the Award of Merit from the Canadian Soccer Association in 2008.
In 2013, he was inducted into the Newfoundland and Labrador Sports Hall of Fame.