Durham College trio honoured by the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association

Durham College (DC) and its tradition of athletic excellence was recognized by the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) earlier this month.

On May 1, two members of the DC family were inducted into the OCAA’s Hall of Fame at a ceremony in Windsor. Ken Babcock, DC’s former director of athletics and recreation who recently retired after 36 years of service, was enshrined into the Hall alongside former Durham Lords soccer coach Stan Bombino.

The OCAA also recognized DC’s women’s rugby standout Emily Cooper at the event. The Guelph native’s dominance on the field earned her the OCAA’s Female Rookie of the Year award for the 2022-23 season.

“It was a night of celebration,” said Babcock, who was humbled by his entry into the Hall of Fame. The event also served as an unofficial retirement celebration, allowing him to reunite with a number of the administrators, coaches and athletes he has worked with over the years.

Bombino’s stellar coaching career had already earned him a place in the DC Sports Hall of Fame in 2015. In 16 years as head coach of the DC men’s soccer team, he led them to an impressive record of 119-66-20. They collected multiple provincial medals during his tenure, as well as a national bronze in 1999.

“It certainly was a surprise,” he said. “I’m very appreciative of being nominated.”

Though the two Hall of Famers have moved on, Cooper has only just begun her DC journey. Her remarkable rookie season included 34 tries in 18 games and 170 points, second only to her teammate Shay Morris. She played a key role in the team’s march to an undefeated season and OCAA championship.

“This award means the world to me and being able to win with my team this season means even more. I feel honoured to be winning this award out of all of the fantastic athletes in the OCAA,” she said.

With athletes like Cooper giving their all and new athletic director Scott Dennis leading the way, the future is bright for DC.