By Amit Shilton
A year after being fired from his job as the school’s athletic director, Dave Dubois still doesn’t know why he was let go.
“Maybe I said something that offended somebody,” Dubois said. “I would be really interested to know why they decided to not employ us [Dubois and former inter-university sport manager Terry Haggerty] anymore.”
Dubois and Haggerty were unceremoniously fired by Ryerson last year without explanation.
Jean Kennedy has served as the interm athletic director since Dubois’ departure. Dubois says it took him the first four months after being fired to figure out what he wanted to do next.
He now works out of his home running a company he started that focuses on sports contract work. While he misses interacting with colleagues at the university, working at home has allowed him to spend more time with his children.
“One thing I really liked when I was at Ryerson was being around the students,” he said. “I miss the people, I miss the staff that worked with me.”
Under Dubois, Ryerson’s athletic program went from having no full-time coaches to four. “The coaching staff is the coaching staff we brought in,” said Dubois, who says he still stays in touch with men’s volleyball coach Mirek Porosa and men’s hockey coach Graham Wise. “It’s just a continuation of what we were trying to build, Terry and I.”
Just before being fired, Dubois said he felt the department started to turn the corner into developing as a contender.
This year, Ryerson had the highest number of teams make the playoffs in the school’s history.
The teams’ records this season serve as a sign to Dubois about the optimistic future he helped build before leaving.
“We started to produce a winning attitude, that we can be successful,” he said. “I think we built something pretty positive.”
But since being fired, the former department of parks and recreation manager thinks the program has been missing a captain to guide its ship.
He says the lack of direction within the department showed instability not only to the province, but also to prospective recruits.
Zouheir Fawaz, VP Students and head of the search committee to find a new director, said he hopes to have a shortlist for the position by the end of March.
The school has set a July 1 deadline to appoint a new director. “We’ve had meetings already and we’re doing interviews later in March,” Fawaz said.
One thing the new athletic director will likely have to face is a referendum to increase student fees to fund construction of a new facility.
A similar referendum by Dubois to improve existing athletic service failed in 2004, but he believes it would pass if put to a vote today.
“Looking back at it now I don’t regret anything that I did.”