Getting to know your Bisons: Recent and past history of the eight Bison spectator sports

The University of Manitoba is a proud member of the Canada West conference, one of four major conferences that make up Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS), the national governing body of university sports in Canada. Currently, Bison Sports has 13 athletic teams. Featured below are the eight major spectator sports teams. Not featured here are the cheerleading, cross-country, golf, swimming, and track and field teams.

Record last season: 4-4
Head coach: Brian Dobie
Home field: University Stadium (moving into Investors Group Field next season)
Key athletes: runningback/punt returner Nic Demski, defensive tackle Adam Hindley, linebacker Thomas Hall, defensive back Teague Sherman, quarterback Cam Clark
Notable history: The Bisons have won the Vanier Cup three times: 1969, 1970 and most recently in 2007. DL Israel Idonije is the most notable Bison football alumni, having played in the NFL with the Chicago Bears since 2004.

Record last season: 2-9-3
Head Coach: Hadyn Sloane-Seale
Home field: U of M Outdoor Turf Fields – West Field
Key athletes: forward Daniella Scerbo, midfielder Alison Kastner, defender Julie Lafreniere, goalkeeper Chloe Werle
Notable history: 2012 Olympic bronze medalist Desiree Scott played five years with the school team (2005-09), and is listed as an assistant coach with the team for 2012-13.

Basketball (women’s)
Record last season: 3-17
Co-head coaches: Michele Hynes and Randy Kusano
Home court: Investors Group Athletic Centre
Key athletes: guard Stephanie Gill, guard Robyn Eyer
Notable history: The Bisons made it to the CIAU Championships five times from 1972-1996, winning their first national championship in the 1995-96 season.

Basketball (men’s)
Record last season: 8-12
Head coach: Kirby Schepp
Home Court: Investors Group Athletic Centre
Key athletes: guard Stephan Walton, guard Kevin Oliver, forward Braedon Speer
Notable history: The U of M men’s basketball program won their first and only national championship during the 1975-76 season. After reaching the championship game the previous season, the team was nearly unstoppable during their championship run, going 31-5 through their conference regular season. The team’s achievements were recognized with an induction into the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

Volleyball (women’s)
Record last season: 11-9, eliminated from Canada West playoffs by Winnipeg Wesmen in first round, 2-0
Head coach: Ken Bentley
Home court: Investors Group Athletic Centre
Key athletes: setter Christina Souza, left side Taylor Pischke, libero Nicole Hall, right side Crystal Mulder
Notable history: The U of M are no strangers to the CIS National Championship tournament. Since 1981, the Bisons have played 53 matches at Nationals, winning 38 for a 71.7 win percentage. The program has won five golds, four silvers and four bronzes at Nationals, their most recent coming with back-to-back gold medals in 2000-01 and 2001-02.

Volleyball (men’s)
Record last season: 18-2, settled for bronze at the CIS National Championships
Head coach: Garth Pischke
Home court: Investors Group Athletic Centre
Key athletes: left side Chris Voth, right side Dane Pischke, libero Derek Nieroda
Notable history: The Bisons have qualified for the CIS National Championships 26 times in the 31 years that Garth Pischke has been at the helm of the program. Heading into 2012-13, head coach Pischke has a record 1,209 victories, including 885 against Canadian universities. The Bisons’ most recent national championship came in the 2002-03 season.

Hockey (women’s)
Record last season: 12-8-4
Head coach: Jon Rempel
Home ice: Max Bell arena
Key athletes: forward Maggie Litchfield-Medd, forward Meagan Vestby, forward Nellie Minshull, goalie Leiette Klassen
Notable history: Most recently, the Bisons qualified for the CIS National Championships in 2010-11 after winning the Canada West conference title. Since 2004-05, the Bisons have finished as high as third at the National tournament.

Hockey (men’s)
Record last season: 20-5-3, swept in the first round of the Canada West playoffs by the Calgary Dinos
Head coach: Mike Sirant
Home ice: Max Bell arena
Key athletes: forward Blair Macaulay, forward Tyler Dittmer, defenseman Jeremy Schappert, goaltender Joe Caligiuri
Notable history: Hockey has a proud history at the U of M, dating as early as the late 1800s. The Inter-Collegiate Hockey Association was formed at the University of Manitoba in 1898. Since then, amateur teams from the University have won the Memorial Cup in 1923, the Allen Cup in 1928, and a World Championship in 1931. The Bisons won the University Cup in the CIS in 1964-65. Last year, the Bison finished the regular season atop their conference for the first time since the 1970-71 season.