July 12th, 2024

Johansson humbled by ACAC Hall of Fame induction

By Lethbridge Herald on May 15, 2024.

JULIE Johansson photo ACAC executive director Mark Kosak, Bertil Johansson and Lethbridge CollegeÕs manage of athletics and recreation services Todd Caughlin stand as Johansson receives his ACAC Hall of Fame recognition last week at the induction ceremony.

By Justin Seward

Lethbridge Herald

Bertil Johansson was one of two Lethbridge College Kodiaks representatives to be enshrined into the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conferences Hall of fame during an induction ceremony last week in Red Deer.  

“It’s always an honour, first of all, when you get recognized and that you’re inducted into [the] Alberta Hall of Fame for Colleges,” said Johansson.

Johansson happened to get inducted into the Hall of Fame in the ACAC’s 60th year.

“When you have an anniversary Hall of Fame banquet, it’s a little bit bigger of course. Three hundred people were there and I felt honoured and humbled I guess.”

Johansson coached the  Kodiaks cross-country and indoor teams  from 1987-2018 and was an inductee as a coach.

His accolades included leading the women’s team  to their first ACAC championship in 1988 and later on would ultimately lead student athletes to 54 gold medals between ACAC and Canadian Colleges Athletic Association (CCAA) over 32 seasons.

“I credit …  the athletes,” said Johansson.

“I’m the coach and I drive the program but I share this with all of them because without them, we would not have been the most decorated team in ACAC.”

Johansson’s focus was to make his athletes happy.

“I was trying to make them enthusiastic as I was,” he said.

“ I ran with them, we trained together, we travelled together and they just felt important because I want[ them]to feel important. And I made them feel important and many people have told me, Bertil you made me feel part of something that I  never thought I could be part of.”

In total, his teams collected 110 medals  and led his athletes to 100 conference and national honours.

The accomplishments  allowed Johansson to be the most decorated coach in Lethbridge College and ACAC history.

“The most rewarding now is to see the kids being adults, having children … and their success,” said Johansson.

Johansson was also inducted into the Kodiaks Hall of Fame in February and the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

Johansson was enshrined in front of his two sons, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, his wife, Knud Petersen of the Kodiaks Alumni and an  ACAC founder Gary Bowie.

The 1988-1990 Kodiak women’s basketball teams  were also inducted into the ACAC Hall of Fame.

the team went 14-0 in the regular season and 35-1 overall while beating Quebec 62-45 in the national final in the 1988-1989 season.

That team would repeat as national champions a season later and individual accolades that saw Laurie Hockridge win CCAA National Player of the Year, while Laura Bethlehem and Carrie Kuntz were named all Canadians.

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