Robert H. Cockburn
Bob Cockburn of Fredericton had a long and distinguished career, both in the classroom as a professor of English at The University of New Brunswick, and on the rugby pitch as a coach and molder of men. He coached the UNB Ironmen rugby program for 31 years, from 1968 through 1999. Two of his players were selected for the Canada team, and many others went on to play for major clubs in North America, England, France and Uruguay. Seventy-two became coaches of men’s or women’s programs; 24 earned their stripes as referees, some of whom went on to officiate national or international matches. His teams also learned how to win: 22 Maritime university titles; three Caledonia Cup Maritime senior rugby championships and seven McNair Cup titles as New Brunswick Rugby Union champions. Just as important, and a common thread throughout the sport of rugby, is the culture of “brotherhood” he created as a coach and a leader. The fraternity of Ironmen rugby players extends throughout the world. In the last one of eight reunions over the years, some 600 men belonging to The University of New Brunswick Rugby Football Club returned to Fredericton and College Field.
Inducted into the New Brunswick Sports hall of Fame June 10, 2023.
Coached the UNB Ironmen for 31 years, developing players who played for national teams and producing coaches and referees.
Had a long and distinguished career as a professor of English at The University of New Brunswick
UNB rugby clubs won 22 Maritime University Championships, 3 Caledonia Cups, and 7 McNair Cups under his leadership.
Created a culture