John Corbett

John Corbett’s involvement in the sports life of Cambridge extended over several decades, as a teacher, coach, and executive member.

November 16, 1937 –

When John Corbett took a job with the Galt Board of Education in 1965, he had little idea of the impact he would have on students and athletes in the decades to follow.

Corbett began at St.. Andrew’s Senior Public School, where he coached hockey, softball, track and field, and flag football. He was also responsible for initiating a cross-country program in the South Area, and instituting a school sportsmanship award to be presented at Grade 8 graduation.

Through the years he moved up through the ranks as a teacher, leaving St.Andrew’s to become principal at Roseville and Wrigley’s Corners Public Schools. Predictably, he was involved as a coach in his new assignment, and no matter where he went in the ensuing years, he was always a big part of the sporting life at his schools.

Corbett became involved in community sports in 1970 when he joined a community committee intent on developing a plan for community sports and activities.

A year later, in the second year of the Can-Amera Games, he assisted in organizing the original track and field events for the annual goodwill games between Cambridge and Saginaw Townships.

In 1974 he teamed up with Preston’s Bill Struck and Norm Gamble to form the Cambridge Minor Football league, and served as president.

It was in 1980 that Corbett began his long association with baseball, first with the Galt Minor Baseball Association, where he coached T-ball, and then as a founding member of the Cambridge Minor Baseball Association.

It was the beginning of a decade’s long association with local baseball., where he has served as a coach to hundreds of local children, from T-ball to Junior.

By 1982 he was coaching house league teams in Cambridge Girls Softball, and from 1984 to 1988 managed the Atom and Peewee Cambridge Travel hockey teams and served on the hockey executive.

Although his involvement spans many sports in a variety of roles, he is best known for his involvement in baseball. There were Intercounty championships in 1984 (Tyke B), and 1986, as well as in Peewee (1987, 1988). The latter team won the OBA title that year — the first Cambridge team to do so. There were a few more Intercounty titles in Midget (1991), and with the Minor and Major Bantams and Minor Midgets between 1993-2004.

Corbett was one of the original six founding members of the Cambridge Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 and for 10 years (1994-2004) served as chairman of the Cambridge Sports Awards banquet committee.

Coaches Corbett and Rob Hedges (left) with the Peewee OBA championship team from 1988, the first-ever OBA championship team for Cambridge. Among the players on the team was Corbett’s son, John (front row, beside his father).