Falcons’ McFadden New OCAA President










by Jeffrey Reed, Editor, LondonOntarioSports.com

When the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) announced Nathan McFadden as its new president today, again the recent success of the Fanshawe Falcons athletics department grabbed national attention.

Since McFadden, 45, took his post as Fanshawe’s manager of athletics in December 2012, the Fredericton, N.B. native has proudly watched the Falcons lead the OCAA in Academic All-Canadians three times, and accumulate 110 medals, including 29 provincial championships and nine national titles.

Nathan McFadden

The 2018-19 season was the Falcons’ most successful in their 52-year history, with a combined 28 provincial and national medals, and with 13 championships leading the country.

Now, the OCAA hopes a little of that magic rubs off on the association.

Fanshawe was a founding member of the OCAA in 1967. Today, there are 27 member schools – the majority of them colleges, with a mix of small university satellite campuses. With thousands of athletes, coaches, support staff and administrators on board, McFadden points to one key element of success that has also seen Fanshawe flourish in the classroom and on the playing field: communication.

“First and foremost, my job will be strengthening membership and the processes we have in place to make sure that when you have 27 members, you keep everyone on the same page on a consistent basis. Staff can change at institutions, too, so you need to make sure that everyone is clear on issues, including athlete eligibility,” McFadden explained.

“We’re certainly well positioned right now – we’re the strongest conference in the country. The success of our teams, the size of our conference and how we operate are testimonies to that.”

In 1984, the OCAA established its Women’s Sport Development Committee, which again met at the association’s annual general meeting last week. Thirty-five years later, the committee remains a strong focal point of the OCAA, McFadden said.

“The development of women in sport is a key portion of our association. Some sports are very strong, and others like women’s golf need further development right across the country. The federal government just earmarked a large portion of money for the development of women in sport. We don’t know yet how that will trickle down but we do know something will come our way,” he said.

In March, Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, announced $3 million in funding over four years to the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS) to support its efforts to increase participation of women and girls in sport as athletes and leaders.

This funding is part of the $30 million announced in the 2018 federal budget to support data and research and innovative practices to promote the participation of women and girls in sport, and to provide support to national sports organizations to foster the greater inclusion of women and girls in all facets of sport.

There are 19 varsity teams, 250 student athletes and one of the largest post-secondary recreation programs in Canada at Fanshawe. When McFadden left a job in professional hockey to take his Falcons post, he quipped that he would need to adjust to heading a college athletic department.

“The biggest change for me, coming from the professional side, is having part-time head (varsity) coaches, and not having your head coach 10 feet down the hall in an office that you could always talk back and forth with. But certainly it’s not a negative in any way. It’s just different,” McFadden said.

Amongst his myriad of accomplishments, McFadden spent six years as the American Hockey League’s manager of operations, and four years as manager of hockey and team operations with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies. An all-around athlete with a passion for hockey, McFadden was also sports information officer for two years at his alma mater University of New Brunswick, and before taking the Falcons job a scout with the AHL’s St. John’s IceCaps, and Manitoba Moose.

McFadden remains keenly focused on creating a winning atmosphere at Fanshawe, where he said “it’s a privilege, not a right, to be a Fanshawe Falcon. And there are many expectations – high ones – that come along with that.

“First and foremost, we’ve been successful because of the culture that we’ve created here over the past six and a half years. We’ve focused on key aspects that are important to being successful in academics and in sports. We treat our student athletes second to none. That’s a big part of what we do. It’s important to me, and it certainly gets paid back to you in competition,” he said.

Falcons coach Colin Robertson with All-Canadians Braydon White and Alyssa Stoddart. Photo: CCAA.

Up next for the Falcons is hosting the Canadian University and College golf championship at FireRock Golf Club in Komoka May 27-31. Last October, Falcons head coach Colin Robertson was named Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) golf coach of the year, prior to his Falcons men’s squad finishing fifth and women’s team sixth at the CCAA golf championships at Desert Blume Golf Club in Medicine Hat, Alta.

Weeks earlier, it was all Fanshawe at FireRock, where Braydon White of Barrie and Alyssa Stoddart of Orangeville won OCAA gold in men’s and women’s competition, while Fanshawe women won team gold – a school first – and the men silver.

White, a graduate of Fanshawe’s highly-respected Golf and Club Management program, fired consistent rounds of 70-71-72 (E) to finish with a six-shot victory and earn Fanshawe’s first individual gold in 43 years at the OCAA championships. Alex Bober accomplished the feat in 1975.

Both White and Stoddart led wire-to-wire at FireRock. Stoddart’s first-place score of 82-80-84 (+27) gave her a six-stroke victory and Fanshawe’s first-ever women’s individual gold medal at the OCAAs. Stoddart and White were both named CCAA All-Canadians, while Robertson was named OCAA Coach of the Year.

“Nathan has done a fantastic job doing what he wanted to do, and that is really putting Fanshawe athletics on the map,” Robertson said. “Golf was something that, for a lot of years, was not showcased as well as it could have been.

“But we hosted the OCAA championship, and now the best university and college varsity golfers will be right in our backyard competing, and we’re excited to be the host college for this national event. Our success and our hosting shows just how far we’ve come.”


Jeffrey Reed has been a member of the London sports media since 1980. Reed is an award-winning sports journalist, and a three-time author. Contact him at jeff@londonontariosports.com.

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About jeffreyreed

A leading Canadian communications professional. Corporate office http://www.JeffreyReedReporting.com established 1989. Publisher/Editor of this website and https://londonontariogolf.com.

One Response to “Falcons’ McFadden New OCAA President”

  1. Alan McFadden says:

    Dear Mr. Reed
    Thank you for the article on Fanshawe College and its Manager of Athletics, Nathan McFadden.
    I found the article to be a very informative and
    interesting. I recall your article a few years ago in McLeans and appreciate your work and reporting skills. All the best in future endeavors.
    Obviously I may appreciate the article more than others.
    Thanks again, Alan McFadden