The founder of UBC Baseball and Dawgs Hall of Fame Class of 2019 Inductee, Terry McKaig, has stepped down from UBC after 23 years with the program.
Terry McKaig was the head baseball coach at the University of British Columbia (UBC) from 1997 to 2015, winning 553 games in his 18-years at the helm (.614 win percentage), as well as eight NAIA West titles and an NAIA World Series berth. In that time, UBC became a collegiate destination for premiere baseball talent from across Canada, producing 20 major league draft picks, headlined by left-handed pitcher Jeff Francis (Vancouver, BC), the ninth overall selection in 2002 (Colorado) who went on to enjoy an 11-year major league career.
McKaig, a native of Vernon, BC, was named NAIA West Coach of the year four times in his tenure.
It was that excellent reputation and record of success that made McKaig’s program an outstanding partner for the Dawgs. This included both Dawgs Academy graduates playing their collegiate baseball at UBC including Brendan Rose, as well as the Thunderbirds sending many of their stand out players, including future drafted and professional players, to play for the Dawgs summer-collegiate team.
Future major league draft selections from UBC who have played for the Dawgs summer-collegiate team include players like like left-handed pitcher Mark Hardy (Dawgs ’08-’09, Padres), infielder Sammie Starr (Dawgs ’08, Orioles), Bruce Yari (Dawgs ’15-’16, Reds) as well as left-hander Jeremy Newton (Dawgs ’15) who signed as a minor league free agent with the Milwaukee Brewers.
McKaig was elevated to the title of Director of Baseball at UBC in 2015, orchestrating the build-out of their multi-million dollar baseball complex, with donations from Mike Rose, which includes the state-of-the-art Rose Indoor Training Centre as well as Tourmaline West Baseball Stadium.
The scope of McKaig’s vision has broadened and is now reminiscent in concept to the Dawgs program. UBC baseball now encompasses not only UBC’s NAIA collegiate program, but also now a youth program including high school teams under UBC branding as well as community programs for local youth players.
The partnership between UBC baseball and the Dawgs has widened in recent years as well, now including the ‘Dawgs Academy vs. UBC Challenge’, pitting arguably the two most successful brands in Canadian amateur baseball against each other each season in a friendly, but highly competitive, home and home series.
Dawgs managing director John Ircandia had this to say about McKaig:
“I first met a young Terry McKaig when we were coaching teams at the Arizona Scouting Showcase where his passion for the game was already evident. Fast forward a few years and that passion translated into Canada’s only affiliated college baseball program, the UBC Thunderbirds,” Ircandia said. “His success as head coach with UBC is renowned. His coaching resume includes several players whom he coached to MLB draft selections, highlighted by a 1st rounder, Jeff Francis, who enjoyed a stellar career pitching in the big leagues,” he said.
Ircandia concluded by saying, “Terry’s passion for the game went much further. He was the driving force behind the creation of facilities, an indoor training center and now a full service baseball stadium at UBC that are leading edge and the envy of universities on both sides of the border. And now to top it off he has realized his vision of creating a UBC youth program to complement the collegiate team. Terry McKaig is and will always be synonymous with UBC Thunderbird Baseball.”
McKaig has accepted a new and exciting role with the BC Cancer Foundation as the Director of Development for the Fraser Valley region. The Dawgs wish Terry nothing but the best in his new career moving forward!