Badgers Payne receives Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal
St. Catharines, Ont.- Former Brock Badgers Cross Country coach Bill Payne was the recipient of the 2012 Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. The medal is given to a Canadian citizen that has made an honorable service for outstanding achievement or public service.
Bill Payne has been involved in the sport of running for over 60 years. Throughout his years in athletics he was an active International runner, a member of six-track clubs, coach and committee member. Bill has been granted lifetime membership for three track and field clubs.
"Brock University is fortunate to have a sport leader and coach, such as Bill Payne," said Director of Athletics Robert Hilson. "Bill has served as a builder of the Brock Cross Country program, and a mentor to hundreds of student-athletes at Brock University."
Payne, a native of England, began his running career in 1944. In his early 20's, the accomplished international runner made it to the finals of England's 1952 Olympic Trials in the 800-metre race. He also represented his country in numerous track and cross-country meets, taking weekend leave from his duties in the Royal Air Force.
He obtained his first coaching certification in 1957 and senior coaching certification in 1961. In his career, he has coached four English high school runners to the Olympic Games, several more to the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and European championships and two more to junior world records. His athletes have won 53 British Championships, some in championship record times. He also accompanied a British team to the first ever EUROPA CUP in 1965.
Payne came to Canada in 1973, where he joined the North York Track Club. In 1980 his company transferred him to Houston where he coached in the Houston high schools before returning back to Canada in 1988. In 1988 he became involved in development of the sport as President of the Niagara Olympic Club and the construction of the West Park track.
In 1998, he was hired by Brock University as the head cross country coach. In his first couple years the teams had a dozen runners and through his enthusiastic effort as a promoter of running the team grew to a roster size of 40. While at Brock, he developed such standout runners as Brock Hall of Famer Donna Mae Robbins, and triathletes Emily Allan and Tim McClure who both competed on the world stage.
For many years he was involved in the track and field Administration. From 1963-73 he was the Coaching Secretary of the Surrey County, the strongest British County. He is also the former secretary of the Ontario Coaching Council. In 2002 he was named the Ontario Track and Field Association Coach of the Year and 3M Community Coach of the Year.
Bill has coached more than a thousand athletes and introduced year round training for athletes of all ages from elementary school level to master's road races and marathon runners.