Sport was always part of Alex Hoffman’s life. As both an athlete and coach, his career included basketball, football, and track and field at Lowe Tech in Windsor, Ont., basketball and football at University of Detroit, as well as several Windsor-based baseball and basketball leagues.
He was one of the founders of the OCAA (Ontario Colleges Athletic Association), serving as its basketball convenor (1967-69) and president (1969 -71). He was an administrator at St Clair College in Windsor for 28 years (1967-95) serving as the first men’s basketball coach from 1967 to 1980 and twice being named the OCAA Coach of the Year. Additional titles he held at St Clair included director of student services and director of student life, athletics and facilities. During his tenure he expanded St Clair’s varsity program from six to 14 sports, and developed the first athletic scholarship plan in the Ontario college system.
Hoffman became synonymous with the CCAA throughout its formative years. He represented the OCAA in initial discussions in 1972 and went on to serve as the CCAA’s inaugural basketball convenor from 1973 to 1978, founding secretary in 1974 and its second president from 1978 to 1982. Under his leadership the CCAA shaped its constitution, expanded from two to six national championships, conducted a 1978 study examining the participation of women in college sport, and hired its first executive director in 1979. These and other initiatives were made possible by his tireless funding efforts with Sport Canada.
"Dad often spoke fondly of his tenure with CCAA and took great pride in being one of the pioneers who helped build the organization,” says daughter Margaret Hoffman. “He loved to collaborate with his peers across Canada and bring back ideas to improve the programs at St. Clair College. Coach Hoff was a big believer in ‘co-curricular’ activities, a phrase he may have coined himself (you never dared call them ‘extra-curricular’), and considered athletics an integral part of a well-rounded education. We know he would be well pleased with this special honour, and our family thanks the CCAA for recognizing his contribution."
Over the years Hoffman received many accolades, including awards from the Windsor and District Basketball Referees’ Association for outstanding service, a Sport Recognition Award from the Ontario Premier's office, and induction into the St. Clair College Sports Hall of Fame (2005), OCAA Hall of Fame (2005), and the Windsor/Essex County Sports Hall of Fame (2008).
The CCAA established the Al Hoffman Memorial Scholarship in 2011, presented annually to one full-time CCAA varsity student-athlete attending St Clair College.