B.C. lacrosse’s great builder dies

Sohen Gill did every job in the sport, including coach/GM of Maple Ridge Burrards

Sohen Gill started the sport at the age of eight. (Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame)

Sohen Gill started the sport at the age of eight. (Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame)

One of the great lacrosse men in B.C., Sohen Gill, passed away Friday at the age of 78.

He was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of fame after a lifetime in the sport. He started playing at the age of eight in his hometown of Burnaby. A friend gave him a stick, but his parents refused to buy him running shoes.

“Gill’s team played between periods of a senior game, resulting in a picture of him scoring a goal appearing in the Vancouver Sun. His parents quickly purchased a pair of running shoes and Sohen has been running in the game ever since,” notes his hall of fame bio.

Sohen played in the 1961 Minto Cup, and in eight seasons of senior lacrosse had 141 points in 111 games. His playing career ended in 1969. He then he went on to serve in virtually every non-playing capacity in the sport.

He was mentored by hall-of-famer Bill Dickinson and married his daughter. Their son is one of the great B.C. players of his generation.

Chris Gill is well known in Maple Ridge lacrosse as a former Western Lacrosse Association player who was a five-time all-star and two-time leading scorer, who then went on to coach.

He joined his father in the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame following a great NLL career, and twice playing for the men’s national team.

Chris is currently the head coach of the Vancouver Warriors of the NLL.

Sohen Gill spent 17 seasons as coach and general manager of junior and senior teams in Burnaby and Coquitlam.

From 1996 to 2000, he was with the Burrards in various roles, including coach, general manager and director of sales and marketing.

He served as commissioner of the WLA for four seasons starting in 1987, and served another term in 2002.

Gill chaired elite tournaments and served on various boards, winning numerous honours along the way.

He received WLA, BCLA, and CLA recognition awards, was a three-time winner of the Tom Gordon ‘Mr. Lacrosse’ award, 2008 Daryl Thompson Award winner, 2005 Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductee and on his 68th birthday, induction into the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

The BCJALL offered condolences to the Gill family, saying: “He gave everything to the game of lacrosse, whether it be as player, coach or most recently BCLA president. His impact will be felt for years to come.”

• There will be a celebration of his life at the Burnaby Firefighter’s Club (6515 Bonsor Ave.), as Gill had a career as a firefighter, on Dec. 18 from 1-5 p.m.


 

@NeilCorbett18
ncorbett@mapleridgenews.com

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