REGINA – One of the Canadian Football League’s highest honours has been bestowed on the head coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Mike O’Shea will be part of the 2017 class of inductees into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
“It’s certainly a moment of pride, a chance to reflect on all the teammates, coaches, family members and friends that have supported me along the way,” O’Shea said after the announcement in Regina. “I’m a proud Canadian. I love our game, I love our country. I enjoyed going to work every day, it didn’t seem like a job.”
O’Shea played 16 seasons in the CFL with Hamilton and Toronto, winning the Grey Cup in 1996, 1997 and 2004.
“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 in a statement. “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.”
His 271 games played are more than any other linebacker in CFL history, and perhaps more impressively O’Shea missed just one game between 1997 and 2008.
“Even to get to the point of being in the CFL, at every crossroads there was someone there to tell me which way to go, point me in the right direction, giving me encouragement,” O’Shea added. “If I were to think back about a theme, that would be it. There was always someone there to give me great advice. I was a bit of a sponge that way.”
O’Shea ranks second all-time in defensive tackles and seventh all-time in special team tackles. He also racked up 22 interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries and 30 sacks over his career.
The rest of the 2017 class includes quarterback Anthony Calvillo, running back Kelvin Anderson, receiver Geroy Simon, longtime University of Saskatchewan coach Brian Towriss and Calgary football builder Stan Schwartz.