- Inducted in 2010
Samuel Dempster was born in Belfast Northern Ireland in 1947 and immigrated to Canada (Melita, Manitoba) with his family in 1948.
Sam and his wife Jacqueline first settled in Bowmanville where he started his baseball coaching career at the Peewee level. He was recruited into the Ontario Baseball Association’s Coaching program in which he spent many weekends traveling throughout the Province conducting clinics.
Sam and family moved to Whitby where he coached many teams in both Whitby and Oshawa. Sam was a teacher by profession spending some 30 years as an auto shop teacher at Eastdale CVI in Oshawa before moving on to McLaughlin CVI for 3 years before retiring.
While at Eastdale, Sam was instrumental in the creation of the highly successful LOSSA (Durham Region) High School Baseball League which grew to close to 30 teams. Sam’s teams were either LOSSA Champions (5 times) or runners-up (5 times) and advanced to the Blue Jays’ Prentice Cup play-offs at the SkyDome four times with his Eastdale Eagles winning the Championship on one occasion.
When Durham College started a new baseball program, Sam was selected as its first Head Coach, a position he has held to the present day. His Durham Lords have been a story of success either winning the League Championship or being a close second thereby earning the right to advance to the Canadian Intercollegiate Championship Tournament. Five times the Durham team has been the Canadian Intercollegiate Baseball Association East Division Champions and they have made five straight National Championship Appearances. Sam Dempster has been the only coach that the Durham College men’s baseball program has ever known. Over the last 17 seasons as Head Coach of the Lords Baseball program he has been instrumental in guiding the program to the level of excellence we see today and he has compiled an impressive overall record of 246-164 and a conference record of 160-97.
Sam applied for and was accepted as a Major League Baseball coaching envoy and has been posted to England, Netherlands, Sweden, Lithuania, Belgium, Kenya, Turkey, and Germany to assist and conduct baseball coaching clinics in these countries as they attempt to advance their baseball knowledge and skills.
In January of 2007, the veteran coach was awarded the Julio Puente Envoy International Coach Award by Major League Baseball at the American Baseball Coaches Association Conference in Orlando, Florida. The prestigious award is presented by MLB for unselfish, dedicated and passionate work in growing the game of baseball.
Sam returned to Great Britain, Holland and Ireland in 2009 but as a “Regional Lead Envoy” where he was in charge of setting up and arranging clinics and programs in these countries as well as coaching the Great Britain National Cadet (under 16 years) and Junior teams (under 19 years).
In addition to his lead role at Durham College, Coach Dempster is also an Associate Canadian Scout for Major League Baseball’s Milwaukee Brewers and previously a scout for the 26-time World Series Champion, New York Yankees and the Oakland A’s. Coach Dempster has also co-organized the Ontario Best Ever Clinic from 1985-2000 and has assisted the Team Ontario program both north and south of the border.
A retired teacher, Sam lives with Jacqueline, his wife of 40 years in Whitby. They have three children (Colin, Jennifer, Rachael) and six grandchildren. Sam is a private pilot and is involved in weight training and running.