March 23, 2017

Mike O’Shea to be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame

Wednesday, March 22, 2017. (Photo: Johany Jutras)

WINNIPEG, MB., March 22, 2017 – The Canadian Football Hall of Fame has announced tonight that current Winnipeg Blue Bombers Head Coach, Mike O’Shea, is to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. O’Shea played 16 CFL seasons, 271 CFL games, and was a three-time Grey Cup Champion as a player.

O’Shea began his CFL career with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1993 after initially being chosen by Edmonton in the 1993 Canadian Football League Draft. O’Shea played for the Tiger-Cats for three seasons (1993-1995) before joining the Toronto Argonauts, where he played from 1996 to 1999. He spent the 2000 season with Hamilton before returning to Toronto to play the final eight seasons of his CFL career – a total of 271 regular season games. Through 2016, his 271 games are more than any other linebacker in CFL history and rank 18th among all players.

“On behalf of our entire organization, I would like to congratulate Mike on an honour that was both expected and extremely well deserved,” said Blue Bombers President & CEO, Wade Miller. “Mike has carried himself like a hall of famer from the moment he entered this league, and continues to do so now as the Head Coach of the Blue Bombers. He is the true definition of what all professional athletes should aspire to be, and his accomplishments simply speak for themselves.”

During his 16 CFL seasons, O’Shea saw action in 16 playoff games as well as making three appearances in the Grey Cup championship, winning all three times (1996, 1997 and 2004). O’Shea was awarded the CFL’s Most Outstanding Rookie honours with Hamilton in his very first season in the league in 1993, and went on to earn recognition as a five-time Division All-Star. He was the North All-Star in 1995, and was an Eastern All-Star on four different occasions (1994, 1997, 1999, and 2000). In 1999, he also became a CFL All-Star for the first time.

That same year, O’Shea received an impressive collection of team and league nominations and awards. He was selected as Toronto’s Most Outstanding Player overall as well as their Top Defensive Player and Most Outstanding Canadian Player; he was Hamilton’s team nominee for top Canadian Player three times (1993, 1994 and 1995) and for Toronto three times (1997, 1999 and 2003), going on to win the East Division Award and the top Canadian in 1999.

During his 271-game CFL career, O’Shea compiled an impressive list of statistics. Most notable are his 1,151 defensive tackles – ranking him #2 all-time. Through 2016, he still ranked #7 all-time with 169 special team tackles. O’Shea is second on the All-Time Toronto Argonauts’ Most Games Played list with a total of 205 games played. From 1997 to 2008, O’Shea missed only one game, playing a full 18-game season 11 times in that 12-year span. Overall, O’Shea made 1,320 tackles – an average of almost five defensive stops per game. To those numbers, O’Shea added 22 career interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries and 30 QB Sacks.

O’Shea became the club’s 30th Head Coach December 4, 2013, and will enter his fourth season in that role with the team in 2017.