UBC Sports Hall of Fame

Bill Holowaty

Bill Holowaty

  • Class
  • Induction
  • Sport(s)

One of Canada's best university hockey players, was twice selected Canada West MVP and in '82 and '85 a CIAU All-Canadian. Was twice selected to play for Canada's World University Games team and in '85 played on Canada's victorious entry in the Spengler Cup (European club championship).

Bill Holowaty, a native of North Vancouver, BC, joined the UBC Thunderbird hockey team in 1979 after a fine Junior career with the Nor-Wes Caps where he led the 1978/79 Pacific 'A' league in scoring. The rookie centre made a big impression as a member of the UBC Thunderbirds. He was among the team's top point scorers and played to a level where, at the end of the season, he was awarded the University of Alberta Alumni Trophy as the outstanding freshman player in the Canada West Conference.

The following season Holowaty again stood out for the UBC Thunderbirds under coach Bert Halliwell as he, along with Ron Paterson and Jim McLaughlin, were UBC’s selected representatives to the World Student Games hockey team competing in Spain in early 1981. Holowaty finished the season as the only member of the UBC team to be named to the Canada West first All-Star team.

Holowaty's third season, 1981/82, was to this point his best. He led this year's team in goals, assists and total points and for the second consecutive year was selected to the Canada West first All-Star team. Moreover, he was the winner of the CWUAA Outstanding Player Award, the premier player in the entire Canada West Conference. To top it off, he was selected to the 1981/82 All-Canadian hockey team, a rare feat for a UBC player.

After playing for two years in Japan, Holowaty returned to UBC for the 1984/85 school year, his fourth and final, as he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in the spring of 1985. On the ice, this player's season turned out to be one of the greatest in UBC history. He topped the UBC Thunderbirds in goals, assists and total points breezing to the Canada West scoring title in the process. At the end of the season he was presented with the award as the Canada West player best combining sportsmanship and ability.

The UBC Thunderbirds captain also received the CWU AA Outstanding Player Award - the outstanding player in the Canada West Conference - the same honour he received back in 1981/82. This outstanding player double win is unique in Canada West history, the only time a player has won it twice. Holowaty was also for the second time selected to the CIAU All-Canadian team, the only UBC player to achieve this ultimate honour more than once. Holowaty's 1984/85 season culminated in his being named co-winner of UBC's prestigious Bobby Gaul Award, sharing it with UBC football great, Glenn Steele.

In addition to his World Student Garnes experience, Holowaty this 1984/85 season saw international action with Canada's team at the 1985 Spengler Cup held in Davos, Switzerland, a tournament Canada this year won for the first time.

During Holowaty's four years on campus he amassed 215 points, third among all-time UBC scorers. He twice led the team in scoring and was selected to the Canada West first All-Star team three times, one of only two Thunderbirds to achieve this feat. He is the only Canada West player to win the league's Outstanding Player award twice and the only UBC Thunderbird to be twice selected to Canada's All-Canadian hockey team.

Researched and written by Fred Hume, UBC Athletics Historian