VANCOUVER — Come Saturday afternoon, in a quiet moment, Jesse Symons is sure to hear his own private ringing of a cel phone, and a special voice on the other end with a message he will never forget.
“Back in 2019, right after we won the national championship, I got a phone call from him and I literally started to tear up,” remembers UBC women’s head soccer coach Symons of chatting with Dick Mosher, the architect of what can best be described as one of the most extended Canadian university championship sporting environments ever created across men’s and women’s programs in a single sport.
Mosher passed away this past April at the age of 77.
“If you had asked me who the one person would be that I would want a phone call from, it was him, so for him to just pick up the phone and show the support and passion he had for the UBC Thunderbirds…,” continued Symons of Mosher who not only won six men’s national titles and three women’s national titles over his 24-year career, but passed on, like a torch, an infrastructure which has resulted in four more men’s titles and two more women’s titles since his retirement in 2010. “I just feel fortunate enough and blessed to have gotten to know him over 14 or 15 years.”
Add it all up, and the Mosher Method brought 15 combined men’s and women’s national soccer titles to the school since 1984, including four men’s title by his son, current UBC men’s HC Mike Mosher (2005, 07, 12, 13) and one women’s title each by Marisa Colzie (2015) and Symons (2019).
On Saturday, he will be fittingly remembered by the decades of men’s and women’s student-athletes he mentored during a celebration of life at Thunderbird Stadium planned, set to run following the completion of play in the women’s game (3:30 p.m. start) against UNBC, and before the men’s game (7:30 p.m. start) against the Timberwolves.
“Dick was always willing to connect with anyone and everyone, and there was just a presence about him,” continued Symons, who got to know Mosher during his years as the head coach of the Whitecaps elite girls program.
“He was just so supportive and when I was with the Whitecaps, we got to play UBC a lot,” continued Symons. “As soon as I got the (UBC head coaching) job here, he was so helpful and supportive,” added Symons of Mosher, enshrined in both the UBC and Canada West halls of fame.
UBC’s fourth-year forward Danielle Steer, when asked what Dick Mosher represents to her, responded quickly and from the heart.
“I think in my time here at UBC, we have done lots of work to connect with our alumni, and looking back, although I didn’t know Dick Mosher personally, his granddaughter Dani is on our team,” Steer began.
“So just knowing what he put into the (women’s) program to build it to what it is today (a seven-time national champion) is amazing,” she continued. “It’s something where we can be like any men’s program, with proud alumni and people who recognize it for something as great as it is.”
Above all else, Symons appreciates the innate quality that Dick Mosher brought with him each and every day of his coaching life.
It was nothing that could be taught from the pages of a manual.
“There was just a presence about him,” added Symons. “He knew how to win and put teams together and cultivate that culture. The words you hear from all of his alums is how well he could put together a group of people and manage them.
“It all just shows that in so many ways, Dick Mosher is UBC soccer.”
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