Bill McKerlich

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full nameWilliam Alister M. "Bill"•McKerlich
Used nameBill•McKerlich
Born2 December 1936 in Vancouver, British Columbia (CAN)
Measurements193 cm / 89 kg
AffiliationsUBC Thunderbirds, Vancouver (CAN)
NOC Canada
Medals OG
Gold 0
Silver 2
Bronze 0
Total 2


As a student at the University of British Columbia, Bill McKerlich took part in three major international tournaments with the school’s coxed eights rowing team and won medals in all of them. At the 1956 Summer Olympics he took silver alongside David Helliwell, Philip Kueber, Richard McClure, Douglas McDonald, Carlton Ogawa, Donald Pretty, Lawrence West, and Robert Wilson and repeated this feat in 1960, this time with David Anderson, Donald Arnold, Sohen Biln, Walter D’Hondt, Nelson Kuhn, John Lecky, Archie MacKinnon, and Glen Mervyn. He also won gold at the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games, with Biln as the coxswain. He retired from active competition after the Games and took up teaching in his native Vancouver, eventually settling into administrative roles with the British Columbia Ministry of Education. In 2002 he published Twelve Steps to Reform Canadian Public Education, containing his vision of how to reform the nation’s public schools. He has been inducted twice into the British Columbia and University of British Columbia Sports Halls of Fame, with each of his silver medal-winning crews, as well as the Canadian Olympic Hall of Fame. His son Ian competed in the coxed pairs at the 1988 Summer Olympics.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
1956 Summer Olympics Rowing CAN Bill McKerlich
Eights, Men (Olympic) Canada 2 Silver
1960 Summer Olympics Rowing CAN Bill McKerlich
Eights, Men (Olympic) Canada 2 Silver

Olympic family relations

Special Notes