Abbotsford sports figure Barry Stewart dead at 86

Long-time teacher and hall of fame coach passes away

One of the most decorated figures in Abbotsford sports history has died.

Long-time Abbotsford Junior and Senior teacher and coach Barry Stewart passed away earlier today at the age of 86.

Stewart began his career in the Abbotsford School District in 1962, and was a teacher, librarian and counsellor, but was best known as a coach of both school and community sports teams for decades.

He was inducted into the Abbotsford Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 in the builder category for both football and basketball, but also coached dozens of teams in volleyball, track and field, rugby and football.

Stewart’s 40 years of activities include development, administration, coaching and refereeing. He has volunteered as a coach for numerous teams at secondary and elementary schools in Abbotsford including Abbotsford Senior, Abbotsford Junior and Middle Schools, St. John Brebeuf, Yale and Robert Bateman. For his efforts, he has been named a lifetime member of BC School Sports.

He was also inducted into the Basketball B.C. hall of fame in 2005 for his time coaching in the sport. He coached basketball teams at the B.C. Games, Western Canada Games and the Canada Games, in addition to his time spent in the sport at the community and school levels. He continued coaching locally until 2012.

Stewart was also awarded the Order of Abbotsford in 2011.

He was known for his belief that everyone should be allowed to play, no matter what their level of expertise.

His name will live on at Abbotsford Senior, as the grass field at the school was named after him in 2012.

Further details about a memorial service will be shared if they become available.

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