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Final Face Off - Sport World Mourns Loss of Frank McKinnon

The Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame mourns the loss of Honoured Member Frank McKinnon who passed away Sunday May 31, 2015 in Calgary at the age of 80.

Born in Wellwood, MB his interest in sports started as a player in the Brandon area, participating in hockey, track and field, football and fastball. A 32 year career in education, included a commitment to the community where he became a founding member and the first treasurer of the Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association (MHSAA) in 1962.

At Carman, MB McKinnon was both principal and coach. He was instrumental in starting a hockey program at the school in 1968. As a coach, his teams would win four provincial championships, in three different sports (hockey, baseball and basketball).

McKinnon served two decades on the executive of the Manitoba Amateur Hockey Association (now Hockey Manitoba), including five as president in the 1970s. He was also president of the Carman-Dufferin Minor Hockey Association.

His outstanding building career includes being chairman of the Canadian Amateur Hockey Association, two years as director of the Sports Federation of Canada, vice president of the same organization and four years as vice president of the Canadian Olympic Association. In 1974, he was a member of the committee that organized the first World Junior Hockey Championship, and at the same time was a member of the Congress of the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF).

After retiring from education, Frank served as the Commissioner of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League (MJHL) for 10 years starting in 1992. He introduced an improved stats system for scouts and increased media attention at games. McKinnon wanted players to be active role models in the community. A scholarship in his name annually rewards a student as accomplished in the classroom as on the ice.

In 1993, McKinnon was named a Life Patron of Hockey Canada, and was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2014.

He’s also been made a Life Member of the Canadian Junior Hockey League and Hockey Manitoba, and been inducted into the Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame, Brandon University and Manitoba High Schools Athletic Association Halls of Fame.