Posted 8.21.14 @ 8:55
Many of you would recognize Ron MacLean as the co-host from CBC’s program, Hockey Night in Canada; but do you know that this Canadian sportscaster is also one of the prominent residents of Oakville?
Born on April 12, 1960 in Germany to Scottish-Canadian parents, Ronald Joseph Corbett MacLean’s rise to hockey fame is a story of fate and circumstance. His broadcasting career started as a matter of chance when he was still in high school. MacLean was called to fill-in for a sick friend and got a part-time position at CKRD-FM in 1978. From there, he took on a position at CKRD-AM and later on, became the weather-presenter at CKRD-TV.
Rise to Hockey Sportscasting Fame
Starting on Hockey Night Canada around 1986-87, MacLean’s rise to sportscasting fame started with him being the anchor at telecasts airing from western Canada. From there, he was moved to the Toronto games near the end of the season when the previous anchor, Dave Hodge, was fired for protesting against a programming decision by CBC. By the next spring, MacLean hosted his first Stanley Cup with such a great performance that ever since that year, he has always been Stanley Cup’s primary host up to this day. His most well-known segment is the one called Coach’s Corner which he hosts with Don Cherry.
It was not all a bed of roses for Ron MacLean. In the 2001-2002 NHL Season, his contract negotiations with the president of English television and CBC Sports Executive Nancy Lee hit a standstill. That year, MacLean almost left CBC upon the advice of his agent Don Meehan. It is only due to the public outcry which that event caused that prompted the CBS to immediately give in to his demands.
Career Highlights and Awards
MacLean has been a part of every Olympic coverage by the CBC since 1988. When Brian Williams left the network, MacLean took over the position of chief anchor, a role which further solidified his career. He was also the main host and sportscaster for the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics but had to turn over his role to Scott Russel when his mother passed away. Aside from hosting several Olympic games and events, MacLean also hosted the CBC coverage of the Queen’s Plate as well as served as an ice-level reporter of the NHL All-Star Game in Montreal for NBC Sports.
In his career with CBC, MacLean bagged no less than 8 Gemini Awards: Best Sports Broadcaster in 1992, 1994, 1997, 1998 and 2001; and Best Interviewer or Host in a Sportscast or Sports Program in 2004 and 2006.
Not Just a Sports Legend but also a Real Life Hero
Aside from being an award-winning sportscaster, MacLean is also a former Level 5 referee with Hockey Canada and has refereed in university, senior, minor pro and junior leagues all over Canada. To top the cake, he was also named as Honorary Colonel of the Air Movements Squadron at the Winnipeg Wing of the Canadian Forces Air Command and saved a man’s life in 2010 when he jumped into Philadelphia’s Delaware River to rescue a man who has attempted suicide.
Currently, Ron MacLean lives in Oakville, Ontario with his wife Cari and their schnauzer.
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