Brandon University: History of Bobcats

Originally known as the Caps and Cappettes, Brandon University Athletics department has changed greatly over the years. Being active for over one hundred years and adapting to each of the challenges which came along, Brandon has a rich sports history in a variety of sports. BU once fielded teams in curling, football, field hockey, tennis, badminton, judo, swimming and ice hockey. Of course now we also have our basketball, volleyball and soccer teams! Brandon University Athletics would adopt the name as we know it today in 1969 going from Caps and Cappettes to Bobcats. 

Brandon University’s centre piece of its athletic program was focused around Ice Hockey. There are documents suggesting there were men’s and women’s team as early as 1910. The Brandon College Caps played in junior and intermediate hockey leagues around the time of 1923, 1925. The Caps would play in the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association, around the 1950’s would play against teams like Dauphin and Portage La Prairie. The Ice Hockey program would cut in and out between the middle of the century and stopped completely between the years 1958-1969. When Brandon got involved with hockey again they would be the Bobcats and play in several different leagues against teams from Lakehead University to the University of Regina. It is widely stated that the 1980-81 season would be the highlight of the Bobcats hockey program when they would go 23-1 and won the championships in playoffs. The Ice Hockey program would cease after the season of 2001-02 when they won 8 of their 36 games.

Football was another staple at Brandon College, starting in 1950 and going till 1973. 1950 marked the first time in 15 years that organized football was played in the city of Brandon. One of BU’s rivals were the Notre Dame Hounds of Wilcox, Saskatchewan and when the teams battled it out there were sellout crowds at Kinsmen Stadium during Homecoming weekend. The Caps/Bobcats would play against teams from Valley City to Minot State.

The curling program at Brandon has been quite successful, still going strong with the support of the community. The most successful team from BU was led by Mike McEwen. 

The Bobcats men’s basketball team is a 4-time Canadian University national championship winners, taking the title three consecutive years in a row from 1987-1989 and again in 1996. They would win the Canada West Championships in 2002 and would win 15 GPAC Championships. The members of the women’s basketball team have earned Academic All-Canadian syaus 45 times since 1989. 

The Bobcats  men’s volleyball team was formed in 2005 and since then has been a nationally ranked team in the CIS and has played in the playoffs every year since 2007. There are several members of the women’s team who have made the Canada West record books. From career kills with Teagan Hunter to Erin Visch-Krahn with career blocks.