In 1973 the Sheridan Athletics Department was only five years old but we had grown to ten varsity sports and with the addition of these new programs and their elite coaching staffs we needed a great management team to keep everything in order.
Barb Ford was hired by then Athletic Director John Cruickshank and to describe her in common sports terminology, Barb was the consummate team player for twenty years.
She was a pro at the basic office management details handling department budgets, purchasing, and expense accounts. But this was in the days of no Photostat machines, no voice mail, and no e-mail or faxes. Typewriters were in the norm to cover the endless stream of player eligibility lists and John Cruickshank’s relentless checklists.
Barb was “command central.” By 1980 the full time staff had become 10 people with 16 varsity teams and their corresponding coaches and assistants, so communication was an endless challenge that Barb refined to a magician’s art.
Her large family of six no doubt was instrumental in honing her efficiency and organization. One of the new programs her first years was football. For twelve years Barb helped register 40, 50 & 60 ball players for try-outs and she helped organize all the home games cafeteria pubs that were so popular with a solid student fan base. Championship games were common occurrences for the Bruins requiring extra planning and promotion.
Barb played a major part as Sheridan hosted national championship tournaments in men’s and women’s volleyball, men’s basketball and the ’76 Nationals in hockey along with numerous provincial championships.
The annual athletic athletic awards banquet was a huge production numbering 300 athletes and often was the highlight celebration of the college year.
Barb’s humble contributions helped to make the department better by adding touches that enhance morale and spirit within the Sheridan Athletic community.
Barb came up with the idea of having a “mental health” day which coincidentally was always the Blue Jay “home opener”.