Rob Holody

Robert Holody

Portrait by Robert Howson

At age 24, Rob Holody became the youngest general manager to ever win a Memorial Cup when the storybook 1986 Guelph Platers defeated the Pat Burns coached Hull Olympiques 6-2 in the final. That season, Holody had hired future NHL coach Jacques Martin to take over the reigns of the hockey club and a strike by high school teachers that year allowed Martin to install his smothering defensive system that gave Guelph the edge. Holody had drafted well and also made a key trade that season obtaining Gary Roberts from the Ottawa 67’s and he proved to be the final piece of the puzzle as the Platers won the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) championship defeating Belleville in six games.

What made the Memorial Cup victory so spectacular was the fact the Platers had never even made the playoffs since joining the OHL in 1982.  The ‘86 club featured future NHL’ers Roberts, Steve Chiasson, Kerry Huffman, John McIntyre, Steve Guenette and was captained by Guelph native, Paul Brydges. Ironically, Holody missed his team’s national triumph because he had planned his wedding day well in advance and it fell the same day as the Memorial Cup final.

Holody, chaired numerous OHL committees, has been a volunteer coach with the Guelph Minor Hockey Association and for Guelph Minor Baseball.  He has been a very active supporter of Guelph Community Living, ARC Industries and the Special Olympics.

Holody also played the game of hockey. He was an all-star defenceman with the Guelph Platers when they played Tier II Junior A and was also the team captain.  That club made it to the national final losing to the Prince Albert Raiders.  Holody won an Ontario Universities Athletic Association championship with the Laurier Golden Hawks in 1983.  He would graduate the following year with a degree in Economics.

Rob now joins his father Joe Holody as a member of the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – the first father and son to be recognized as honoured members.

Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Builder category – on June 18, 2014