COLORADO SPINGS, Colo. â€” Calgary lawyer Doug Mitchell, a former CFL player, commissioner and member of the NHL board of governors, will be inducted into the Colorado College Athletic Hall of Fame next month.
While Mitchell arrived at the school on a hockey scholarship, he is being honoured for his prowess on the football field.
Known as somebody who doesn’t take “no” for an answer, Mitchell tried out for the football team despite not having permission from his hockey coach.
“He couldn’t prevent me from being a walk-on,” Mitchell told The Canadian Press in 2013 interview. “So I took that as an invitation and I walked on and I eventually became a starter on the football team.”
The 79-year-old Mitchell, who was a centre and linebacker for the Tigers, graduated in 1959 and went on to study law at the University of British Columbia, where he also played football.
After a pro stint in the CFL, Mitchell went on to a successful career as a lawyer and in the sports world, serving as the CFL’s commissioner from 1984 to ’89 and as a member of the NHL board of governors in the early ’80s.
Mitchell is also the founder of the BLG Awards, which honour the top athletes in Canadian university sport and are sponsored by his law firm.
“The 2017 Hall of Fame induction class will be remembered as one of the strongest in the college’s history,” CC director of athletics Ken Ralph said in a statement. “We are celebrating not only students who had great achievements while at Colorado College, but also alumni who had remarkable careers after leaving campus. All of them are great Tigers.”
Mitchell is also a member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2004.
Some 47 years after he graduated from UBC law’s school, the university renamed its Thunderbird Winter Sports Centre the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre in his honour. The Mitchell Bowl, one of the two CIS football semifinals, is also named after him.
The induction ceremony, which will also honour former NHLer Greg Smith, Slovak hockey forward Peter Sejna, lacrosse player Cassie Abel and the 1989 women’s soccer team, is set for May 13 in Colorado Springs.
The Canadian Press