On a wing and a prayer and virtually no budget, Dave Scott-Thomas decided he wanted to move from the running hotbed of Victoria, BC to rebuild the University of Guelph’s track and field program. That was 1997 and now he oversees a running program which is the envy of all others.
One of the first things he did after arriving in Guelph was start the Speed River Track and Field Club. It was open to student athletes and other aspiring athletes looking to become fitter and faster, sometimes with Olympic dreams in their heads. The Speed River Club has become one of, if not the top, running clubs in Canada. He has been named a U Sport (Canadian University) Coach of the Year 30 times and counting, the most in CIS history. He is a three-time Fox-40 OUA Coach of the Year, an award that considers coaching across all sports. He was also named the Ontario High Performance Coach of the Year in 2007.
Scott-Thomas has also served as a senior national team coach, representing Canada more than 30 times at international events including the Olympic Games, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Pan Am Games. He has coached more than 50 national medalists and champions, more than 100 national team members and eight athletes who have represented Canada at the Olympic Games.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics, Scott-Thomas coached seven members of Canada’s team, including Eric Gillis who had the best finish by an athlete in the men’s marathon since 1976 and Genevieve Lalonde who broke the Canadian record in the steeplechase.
Scott-Thomas led teams have all but owned cross-country running at the university level for over a decade. His women’s team ran off a streak of 12 consecutive national championships while the men have won the title in 14 of the last 19 years.
He also spearheaded the Guelph Track Project, which raised more than one million dollars in just over one week to redevelop the track and field facilities at the University of Guelph’s Alumni Stadium.
Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Builder category – on May 16, 2018