Paul Forbes, St. Michael's College School's veteran athletic director, is retiring after 36 years

St. Mike’s athletic director Forbes retires

By 
  • June 20, 2012

TORONTO - It's not the championships, the money and certainly not the hours that Paul Forbes will miss as St. Michael's College School's veteran athletic director sizes up retirement after 36 years.

"It's the personnel, the people you work with. They started as colleagues, as peers, but many of them are close personal friends now," said Forbes, who was appointed athletic director at the midtown Toronto private Catholic school in 1985. "The staff and students I've been privileged to work with over the years is the best part of the job."

Forbes' retirement was announced by principal Terence Sheridan at the school's annual athletic banquet in late May, about two weeks after Forbes' privately handed in his resignation.

"The level of dedication and expertise he brought to his roles as a teacher, counsellor, administrator and successful coach will be greatly missed," said Sheridan. "On behalf of our entire community, I thank Paul for his years of service and wish him well in his future endeavours."

Following his university graduation in 1976, Forbes began teaching geography and physical education at St. Michael's, and also started his career as a football coach — something that proved more challenging than he anticipated.

"I thought I could just walk out and do it," said Forbes, who went 0-6 during his first season behind the Kerry Blues' bench. "My ego was too big when I started out. I had to learn that I didn't know too much about coaching."

Things eventually turned around for Forbes and his teams as he went on to capture seven Metro Bowl championships over the years — including three straight from 2006-08 — a number unmatched by any other high school coach in the city. Co-founded by Forbes in 1982, the Metro Bowl sees the conference champions from Toronto area leagues battle to determine a Greater Toronto Area champion. 

"Winning the three Metro Bowls, the three-peat, was the biggest moment (of my career)," said Forbes.

Forbes was also honoured with the Pete Beech Award, given in recognition of his dedicated service and contributions to high school sports.

When not on the sidelines, or in his office, Forbes could also be found behind the bench at the hockey rink. His coaching success in both sports brought 29 titles to St. Mike's.

But it was more than just student athletes Forbes sought to assist as he was also a part-time guidance counsellor at the school since 1991. 

Now staring his golden years in the face, Forbes does not see himself among student athletes again — aside from the occasional St. Michael's staff/alumni hockey games — but he won't entirely rule it out.

"I'll come down here and play staff hockey when they invite me and I'll come and watch the football games if I'm in town," he said. "(But) I'm going to do some other things in my life other than being in one place."

While Forbes gave no indication of where he may go, there is little holding him down.

"Well I don't have anything in mind right now, just maybe a little bit of travelling and see what other opportunities come up," said Forbes.

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