GNAC Mourns Passing Of SFU Golf Coach John Buchanan

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
by Simon Fraser Athletic Communications

BURNABY, B.C. – John Buchanan, the long time Simon Fraser University golf coach and the founding coach of both the Clan's golf and men's soccer program, passed away peacefully at his home on January 19. Buchanan was 77.
A charter member of the SFU Athletics Hall of Fame, Buchanan worked at the University for 50 years until recently, starting the Clan men’s soccer program and leading the team to the NAIA national title in 1976, and later re-establishing the golf programs.
“Coach Buchanan left a lasting legacy with the University and his efforts and contributions to the SFU men’s soccer and golf programs will always hold a special place in our hearts,” said Senior Director of Athletics and Recreation Theresa Hanson.
Buchanan arrived at SFU in 1966 as facilities manager and established the soccer club program. Soccer earned varsity status in 1975 and, with Buchanan as head coach, created history. By the time he retired from that position in 1981, the team won seven consecutive regional championships, a NAIA national championship and the overall NAIA/NCAA Championship in 1977. His record was 95-21.
In 1976, the soccer team fulfilled Chancellor Gordon Shrum's promise that "one day SFU would play in the Rose Bowl" when it won the NAIA national title with a 1-0 win over Rockhurst College of Missouri before 10,250 fans at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  A 2-1 semifinal victory over Quincy College of Illinois went 14 overtimes and lasted 243-minutes, setting a Guinness World Book of Records mark for the longest soccer game in modern history. Thirty-six hours later, the bruised and exhausted SFU team defeated Missouri's Rockhurst College for SFU’s first soccer championship.

During SFU’s 50th anniversary the 1976 Rose Bowl win was chosen one of the 50 Most Incredible Moments in SFU Athletics history. It was moment No. 5: WATCH:
Buchanan also served as assistant coach with Team Canada at the 1976 Olympics and with the Vancouver Whitecaps during the 1974-75 North American Soccer League season.
Buchanan had a passion for golf and was the driving force behind the Clan men’s and women’s golf programs in both the NAIA and NCAA. In 1988, he took over the golf program (which began in 1972) and organized it into a dominant force in NAIA district and regional competition and the Clan qualified for nationals on a regular basis.
In 1999, with Buchanan as coach, SFU’s Brent Osachoff was crowned NAIA national tournament medalist champion and team finished second. In 2015, Buchanan led the men’s golf team to fifth place at the NCAA Division II National Championships with Chris Crisologo placing eighth in individual play.
In 1986, Buchanan was inducted as a charter member of the SFU Athletic Hall of Fame and, in 2016, he entered the Hall of Fame again as a member of the 1976 men’s soccer team. In 2006, Buchanan was inducted into the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame and in 2014, he was the recipient of the Chancellor's Distinguished Service Award that recognizes outstanding commitment and service to the university.
Buchanan also played an instrumental role in SFU's world championship pipe band. In 1981, with Ian McGregor, he was instructed by then-President George Pedersen to approach the City of Port Moody Pipe Band and talk them into becoming affiliated with the university.
The SFU band has become one of the world’s top pipe bands for more than 35 years, finishing in the top three more than 20 times with six championship titles that include back-to-back wins in 2008-2009.
In recognition of John’s 50th Anniversary with SFU, Simon Fraser University recently renamed its annual golf tournament that raises money for SFU athletics scholarships, The SFU John Buchanan Golf Classic.
In lieu of flowers, the Buchanan family asks that donations be made to the newly established The John Buchanan Endowment for Golf at SFU, established in recognition of his commitment to the establishment and promotion of golf at Simon Fraser University.  The link to the donation page can be found here:
A Celebration of Life for John’s many colleagues, friends and former student-athletes will be held at a later date.