Dennis Fairall built one of Canada’s finest track and field programs at the University of Windsor. He is one of the most decorated coaches in the history of Canadian Interuniversity Sport.
Fairall was born on June 10, 1953 in Tillsonburg, Ontario.
As a student at the University of Western Ontario, Fairall won a gold medal in the men’s 4×200-metre relay at the 1977 Ontario University Athletics (UOA) Championships. He also contributed to a silver medal for Tillsonburg in the 4×100-metre relay at the 1975 Canadian Championships.
In 1974, Fairall founded the Tillsonburg Legion Track Club, where he was Head Coach for a decade.
In 1985, Fairall was hired to coach the Lancers track and field and cross-country teams by then-dean Mike Salters. At the time of his induction, his teams had captured 19 CIS Track and Field Championships and five Cross-Country Championships for a total of 24 national titles. Under Fairall, the Lancers had added an additional 43 Ontario University Championships (36 in track and field and seven in cross-country). In 2012, Fairall’s Lancers had won 19 of the past 20 provincial championships in men’s track and field and four of the past five championships in women’s track and field.
At the time of his induction, Fairall was already one of the most decorated coached in the history of postsecondary athletics in Canada. He has been honoured 38 times as the CIS or OUA Coach of the Year in Track and Field and Cross County.
In addition to his coaching duties with the Lancers, Fairall has extensive international coaching experience. He served as the Head Coach for Team Canada at the 1985, ’89, and ’93 Canadian Maccabi Games in Israel and the ’89 World University Games in Duisburg, West Germany.
Fairall also was a member of the coaching staffs at the ’95, ’97, and ’99 World University Games. In 2005, he served as the Head Coach of Team Canada at the Pan American Junior Championships, which were held in Windsor shortly after the completion of the school’s new outdoor stadium. Under his direction, Team Canada earned its highest medal count in the history of the event.
During Fairall’s time with the Lancers, the program has produced the Olympians Peter Fonseca, O’Brian Gibbons, and Melissa Bishop, the latter of whom Fairall trained personally.