W. F. ‘Bill’ Mitchell

Bill Mitchell

Portrait by Robert Howson

“This campus has been the centre of my life for a long time” said Bill Mitchell referring to the University of Guelph, where he spent 44 years.

As quarterback and team captain of the Ontario Agriculture College (as it was known then) football team in the 30’s, Mitchell won the Wildman Trophy as the team’s outstanding player. Following service in the Navy in World War II, Professor Mitchell was appointed Director of Physical Education. His goal was to ensure the College had first-class athletic facilities that could be enjoyed by students and the community.

Mr. Mitchell was responsible for the completing projects like the opening the Athletic Centre in 1958, Alumni Stadium in 1970 and the first ice rink on campus. To honour his tremendous contribution to the school and the community, the athletic complex was named the W.F. Mitchell Centre soon after his retirement in 1978.

Mitchell was not only a builder of buildings, but of people as well. During his time as Director of Athletics he also coached the football team. Dr. Jack Cote, himself a former Wildman Trophy winner said of Mitchell, “We were very fortunate in having a coach like Bill Mitchell who not only prepared us for the football games but prepared us for the game of life.”

Mr. Mitchell passed away in 2000, but left a legacy that our children continue to enjoy today.

Elected to the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Builder category – on April 16, 2002