Mel Keeling

Category

Builder

Sport

Athletics

Hometown

Fredericton

Year Inducted

2006

Sport Ambassador

builder

Mel Keeling

HONOURED MEMBER

Biography

For forty years he coached track and field and cross country running at his own club in Fredericton; at UNB and St. Thomas; at Fredericton High School; with three provincial Canada Games teams; and as a member of the staff of Canada’s entry in the 1977 Pan-American Games. His list of athletes is a who’s who: Willy Best and Kelsey Daley, Ricky Hull and Wayne Stewart, Roly McSorley and Patti Blanchard, Peter Richardson and Jill Brennan are just eight of literally dozens who developed because of his coaching genius. The “proof of the pudding” can be found in the fact that twenty-two provincial records are held by his protégés. He has been called “a wizard of a coach”, “a great ambassador”, “a sport inspiration”, and “the personification of what a coach should be”.He was all of these things and so much more to hundreds of runners and would-be runners for four decades. Enrolled in the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, June 3rd, 2006

Quick Facts

  • Has been New Brunswick’s most successful athletics and cross country coach for forty years 

  • Coached athletes in track and cross country with the Fredericton Legion Track & Field Club, the Fredericton Track Club, Fredericton High School, University of New Brunswick, and St. Thomas University 

  • Head coach of the New Brunswick team to the 1969, 1973, and 1989 Canada Summer Games 

  • Middle distance coach for the Canadian team at the 1977 Pan-American Games 

  • His athletes have set 22 provincial records, Canadian and World records, and have represented Canada at the Pan-American and Commonwealth Games and World Championships 

  • Has produced world class runners including Willy Best, gold medalist at the 1995 Canadian Championships, Wayne Stewart, Canadian record-holder in the indoor mile, and Patti Blanchard, world record holder in the indoor mile 

  • Coached UNB to five consecutive women’s cross country titles and three men’s titles in the 1980’s 

  • Named Atlantic University Sport Coach of the Year in 1980 & 1982 

  • Elected to the Fredericton Sports Wall of Fame in 1996