Queen's Golden Gaels

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The Queen's Gaels (also: Queen's Golden Gaels) are the athletic teams that represent Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Team colours are blue, red, and gold. Its main home is Richardson Memorial Stadium on West Campus.

Their rallying cry is the " Oil Thigh ", a fight song sung in Gaelic by spectators when the home team scores a point, goal, touchdown, etc. Originally written in 1898 after a disappointing loss to the University of Toronto, the name comes from the phrase sung repeatedly in the main chorus: "Oilthigh na Banrighinn, a' Banrighinn gu brath", or "College of the Queen forever" in Gaelic. The song has the tune of the Battle Hymn of the Republic; its English verses about the rivals of Queen's College alternate with the Gaelic chorus.

Queen's teams have had a variety of successes on the national and international stages over the university's history. The Gaels football program is one of the oldest and most successful in Canada, boasting a total of three straight Grey Cup victories in the early twentieth century (1922, 1923, and 1924) and four Vanier Cup victories as the top team in Canadian Interuniversity Sport (1968, 1978, 1992, and 2009).

In the last two seasons alone, the Gaels have captured 11 provincial and national championships, including the 2009 Vanier Cup championship, the 2010-11 CIS Men's Curling Championship and the two time 2011 and 2012 CIS Women's Soccer Championships. Men's and Women's Volleyball won OUA Championships in 2012.


The "Golden Gaels" name was coined in 1947 by Kingston Whig-Standard sports reporter Cliff Bowering, after the football team traded its traditional uniform of red, gold, and blue bands for gold jerseys, gold helmets, and red pants. The name caught on and became the familiar term for Queen's teams by the 1950s. "Gaels" is a reference to Queen's Scottish heritage (Queen's University was established in 1841 by the Presbyterian church). Before 1947, Queen's teams were commonly known as "The Tricolour."

In September 2008, Queen's Athletics & Recreation Department began referring to the school's teams as "Queen's Gaels." Along with this change, the website was changed from goldengaels.com to gogaelsgo.com. The change was reportedly made to highlight the university's name in promoting the team, however some have criticised the move as "change for the sake of change." [2] Under media scrutiny, the department claimed it had not in fact officially changed the name of the team; [2] thus, major media sources like the Kingston Whig-Standard and CKWS-TV continue to refer to the team as the "Golden Gaels".


Queen's University Varsity Baseball Team started competing in the Ontario University Athletics circuit as of 2010.

Painted on the walls of the Varsity locker room is the word "Success" followed by the phrase "the harder you work, the luckier you get."


Queen's hosted McGill University at the Kingston YMCA on February 6, 1904, in the first-ever Canadian interuniversity basketball game. McGill won 9–7, after a ten-minute overtime period to break a 7–7 tie. [3]



The men's curling team, in 2010, earned the gold medal at the CIS national championship in Edmonton, Alberta. The team led by First Team All-Canadian Jonathan Beuk went 5-1 in Round Robin play before beating the Manitoba Bisons in the semi-final and the UPEI Panthers in the Championship. The Gaels qualified for the 2011 World University Games in Erzurum, Turkey where they represented Canada. The team finished fifth after losing a tie-breaker match to the Czech Republic. [4]


The Queen's Gaels football program is one of the longest-lived and storied in U Sports. The team began organized play in 1883 when the Ontario Rugby Football Union was first founded and won ORFU champions in 1893 and 1894. Queen's has competed continuously since 1882, celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2007. The first organized university football league in Canada, the Canadian Intercollegiate Rugby Football Union (CIRFU), was founded in Kingston in November, 1897, with charter members Queen's, McGill University, and the University of Toronto., the football squad showed continued success, winning three straight Grey Cups in 1922, 1923 and 1924. Once teams stopped competing for the Grey Cup, which was begun being solely awarded to Canadian Football League teams in 1955, the Gaels turned their attention to the Vanier Cup, appearing in the U Sports championship game five times and winning four of those games in 1968, 1978, 1992 and 2009.

Ice hockey


In 1886, Queen's challenged the Royal Military College of Canada to a game played on the frozen Kingston harbour; the two schools play annually for the Carr-Harris Cup, to continue the world's oldest hockey rivalry. Queen's hockey is one of the oldest hockey clubs in the world; only McGill University's team, started in 1875, is older among Canadian university teams. Queen's played its first season in 1883-84, with the first game for which records exist played against a team from Petawawa.

In the 1890s, Queen's played in the Ontario Hockey Association, winning its championship three times consecutively, taking the Cosby Cup into its permanent possession. As Ontario champion, the Queen's hockey team was a regular in Stanley Cup Challenge Games by challenging in 1895, [6] 1899 and 1906.

Queen's donated the Queen's Cup for annual Ontario University Athletics competition in 1898. In 1902, the Intercollegiate Hockey Union was formed and the Gaels won the title in 1904 and 1906. In 1909, Queen's won the Intercollegiate league and then won the Allan Cup national championship by defeating the Ottawa Cliffsides in a challenge. The 1910 team won the Allan Cup for a second time by winning the Intercollegiate title and a challenge before losing the Cup in a second challenge to Toronto St. Michael's.

In 1926, Queen's was the Eastern Canadian Champions, but lost the Memorial Cup series to the Calgary Canadians for the national championship.

The varsity teams play at the Kingston Memorial Centre following the demolition of the Jock Harty Arena, while the new arena (part of the Queen's Centre project) is being constructed.

Regular Season Results

Season Games Won Lost Tied OTL Points Pct % Goals For Goals Against Standing
1970-71 15 7 4 4 18 0.600 102 73 2nd in East
1971-72 19 8 10 1 17 0.447 99 81 5th in East
1972-73 17 10 6 1 21 0.618 96 67 3rd in East
1989-90 22 8 14 0 16 0.364 85 125
1992-93 22 8 11 3 19 0.432 80 97
1996-97 26 4 18 4 12 0.231 71 151 3rd in Mid-East
1997-98 26 8 16 2 18 0.346 76 123 3rd in Mid-East
1998-99 26 5 14 7 17 0.327 85 113 2nd in Mid-East
1998-99 26 5 14 7 17 0.327 85 113 2nd in Mid-East
1999-00 26 9 15 2 20 0.385 88 104 3rd in Mid-East
2000-01 24 6 16 2 14 0.292 75 108 2nd in Mid-East
2001-02 24 4 19 1 0 9 0.188 66 117 4th in Mid-East
2002-03 24 7 17 0 0 14 0.292 73 124 2nd in Mid-East
2003-04 24 9 13 2 0 20 0.416 76 95 2nd in Mid-East
2004-05 24 8 14 0 2 18 0.375 69 98 3rd in Mid-East
2005-06 24 7 15 1 1 16 0.333 59 98 3rd in Mid-East
2006-07 28 8 14 5 1 22 0.392 78 96 2nd in Mid-East
2007-08 28 13 12 0 3 29 0.518 77 93 1st in Mid-East
2008-09 28 12 13 0 3 27 0.482 57 82 2nd in Mid-East
2009-10 28 14 12 0 2 30 0.536 102 120 5th in East
2010-11 28 14 11 0 1 31 0.554 99 110 5th in East

Playoff Results

  • 1999-2000 Defeated Toronto Varsity Blues in first round, 2 games to 1.

Down 4-1 heading into the 3rd period of game 3. Scored 3 goals in 82 seconds to tie the game and another 74 secs later to take the lead. Won the game 6-4 with an empty net goal.

  • Defeated Guelph Gryphons in quarter-final, 2 games to 0.
    Lost to UQTR in OUA Final Four, semi-final, 3-2.
  • 2000-2001 Lost to RMC Paladins in first round 2 games to 0
  • 2001-2002 Out of Playoffs
  • 2002-2003 Defeated RMC Paladins in first round 2 games to 0
    Lost to Toronto Varsity Blues in quarter-final 2 games to 1
  • 2003-2004 Defeated RMC Paladins in first round 2 games to 0
    Lost to Toronto Varsity Blues in quarter-final 2 games to 0
  • 2004-2005 Out of Playoffs
  • 2005-2006 Out of Playoffs
  • 2006-2007 Lost to Ottawa Gee-Gees in quarter-final 2 games to 0
  • 2007-2008 Gained first round bye
    Lost to McGill Redmen in semi-final 2 games to 0
  • 2008-2009 Did Not Qualify for Playoffs
  • 2009-2010 Lost to Carleton in OUA First Round 2 games to 1
  • 2010-2011 Lost to Nipissing in OUA First Round 2 games to 0





The women's soccer team captured gold at the CIS national championship in 2010. They beat rival Wilfrid Laurier 1-0 in the CIS final revenging its loss in the OUA final one-week earlier. Striker Jacqueline Tessier led the CIS in scoring during the regular season, tallying 18 goals in 16 games.

In 2006, earned silver medals in the CIS national championships, thanks largely to star striker Eilish McConville. [9] McConville led all CIS players with 22 goals during the regular season, and was named the CIS Player of the year as a result. [12]

Track and Field

Track and field is reported as the first sport at Queen's University. It began in 1873, as competitions held annually to celebrate the Universities inauguration on October 16 and included traditional Scottish competitions such as the caber toss. [13] These competitions remained major university events into the early 20th century. [13]

When the CIAU (now U Sports) began, the Queen’s University Track and Field team was one of the only teams to participate in all three athletics sports – indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and cross-country.

In 1963 Rolf Lund was named head coach of the team, marking a turning point in the team’s history. Through the late 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, the Queen’s track and field team saw many successful athletes. Some notable athletes include Olympian Sheridon Baptiste; Olympian Anne Marie Malone; [14] Olympian Victor Gooding, current school 1500m record holder Bob McCormack; and past head coach and multiple CIS champion Melody Torcalacci. The current coach is Steve Boyd.


Queen Sailing is the current Canadian Collegiate title holder in Team Racing. Queen's is a member of the Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) in the Middle Atlantic district (MAISA), as well as a part of CICSailing, Canada's inter-university sailing association. In 2011 Queen's Sailing won all the CICSailing title regattas it entered. The Varsity Sailing Team practices out of the Kingston Yacht Club.

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