BRITISH COLUMBIA FOOTBALL HALL OF FAME 2016 INDUCTEES

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PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES

Damon Allen

DAMON ALLEN, Quarterback

Damon began his playing days California State-Fullerton where he led the Titans

to two Pacific Coast Athletic Association Championships before signing with the Edmonton Eskimos in 1985.

He earned his first Grey Cup title in 1986, coming off the bench in relief of an

injured Matt Dunigan and leading the Green and Gold to a thrilling 38-36 win over Toronto.

After stops in Ottawa, Hamilton, Memphis as well as a return to Edmonton,Damon signed with the Lions in 1996.

His arrival began a rebuilding process which has led to 19 consecutive playoff appearances through 2015, the

first six of which featured Damon as the club’s starting quarterback.

From 1996 through the 2002 season, Damon set a team-record with 121 starts for the Lions including a run of

109-consecutive, before departing after seven productive seasons. Setting a team mark with 27,621 passing

yards, Damon also led the Leos to a Grey Cup win in 2000 and was named the game’s most valuable player.

Damon retired in 2007 as the CFL’s all-time leading passer with 72,381 total yards. During his CFL career he

won four Grey Cups with three different franchises and was selected as the game’s MVP three times. In 2012,

Damon he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

HARALD HASSELBACH

HARALD HASSELBACH, Defensive End

Born in the Netherlands but growing up on the West Coast, Harold attended

South Delta High School in Tsawwassen before enjoying a productive career at

the University of Washington.

Selected in the fifth round of the 1989 CFL Draft, he played four seasons with

the Calgary Stampeders from 1990 to 1993, appearing in 50 regular season

games and winning the Grey Cup in 1992. The talented defensive end capped

his career with a CFL All-Star selection in 1993.

Harold was a key free agent signing of the Denver Broncos in 1994 and

enjoyed 112 regular season appearances over seven standout seasons, not missing a single game in his NFL

career. He finished his playing days as a two-time Super Bowl champion, winning back-to-back titles in 1998 and 1999.

ROD PANTAGES, Halfback-Punter

ROD PANTAGES, Halfback-Punter

Born in Vancouver in 1929, Rod’s early football days started at King Edward High

School from 1944 to 1947, where he won the Vancouver and District High School

Championship in 1947. During these years, Rod played for Skymaster (Jr “A”), a

league sponsored by the Junior Board of Trade, comprised 22 teams, at two levels.

He also played for the Senior “VAC” of the Big 4 Football League in the days of

amateur football being a year-round sport in Vancouver with high school in the

fall and community leagues running in the spring.

The highlight of his early years was in 1947, when he was a part of the

Vancouver Blue Bombers, a renown local junior team which defeated the

Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a two game total point series, to win the Canadian Championship. Rod received a

scholarship to Oregon University, but was unable to attend due to a broken ankle.

In 1948, he joined the Calgary Stampeders and won a Grey Cup title as part of an undefeated squad before

moving on to Montreal in 1950 where he enjoyed a second Grey Cup win and an All-Canadian selection at

linebacker. From there, he went on to play with the Edmonton Eskimos from 1952 to 1954, enjoying yet

another Grey Cup victory and finally to Saskatchewan from 1955 to 1956.

AMATEUR ATHLETES

BRUCE BARNETT

BRUCE BARNETT, Defensive Back

Bruce played football at Handsworth Secondary School in North Vancouver and then

went on to UBC, where he played four years from 1981 to 1984. He was selected to the

WIFU All-Star team in 1983 and 1984.

Bruce was drafted by the BC Lions 14th overall in the CFL Canadian Draft and played 26

games for the Lions as a defensive back and safety in 1985 and 1986. His pro career was

cut short due to an unfortunate hip injury.

Bruce turned to teaching at Dr. Charles Best Secondary School in Coquitlam, where he

also began his coaching career. He later returned to his alma mater, Handsworth

Secondary, to coach his son, Mitch, and assist long time friend, head coach Jay Prepchuk.

In 2015, Bruce enjoyed seeing his son Mitch earn a Vanier Cup title with the UBC Thunderbirds and celebrate a CFL Draft selection by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

STEVE COTTER

STEVE COTTER, Guard

Arguably on of British Columbia’s most talented young football players of the 1950’s,

Steve Cotter was a reluctant star in his early days on the gridiron.

The Vancouver native was not drawn to the game early on, but adopted the sport

primarily because his friends encouraged him to join them on the King Edward High

School squad. Under the tutelage of legendary coach Lorne Cullen, Steve quickly

developed into “one of best linemen I ever coached.”

Steve excelled at the guard position but may have been even better suited to play the

tight-end spot, a position his coach later admitted he could have played professionally.

He was part of two championship teams at King Edward in 1956 and 1957 before moving on to join the

Vancouver Blue Bombers in 1958 where he was part of another BC championship team.

Steve received a scholarship in 1959 and played for Wenatchee Junior College before returning to Vancouver in

1960 to join the BC Lions where he spent six year including the organization’s first Grey Cup championship

season in 1964. He finished his playing days in Edmonton playing the 1966 and 1967 seasons as well as the 1969 campaign with the Eskimos.

ERIC GUTHRIE

ERIC GUTHRIE, Quarterback / Punter / Placekicker

A Vancouver native, Eric was born in 1947 and played his high school football at Kitsilano.

Recruited by Boise State, he’s still considered one of the school’s all-time outstanding

quarterbacks. As a senior in 1971, he was named a team captain and led the Broncos a

number of firsts that year.

Beginning with an emotional first-ever Boise State win over state rival Idaho by a 42-14

margin, the “Canadian Rifle” would also help earn the school’s first postseason win in

the nationally-televised Camellia Bowl over Chico State. Guthrie was named MVP of

the bowl game and was a First-Team All-Big Sky selection that year as well as an honorable mention AP All-
American. Eric also served as the team’s kicker during his time at Boise State and is tied atop the Bronco record

books for most punts and most field goals in a game.

In 1972, Eric was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers, but was released after training camp. Making his way to

his hometown Lions later that year, he dressed for 32 regular season games for the Leos during the 1972 and

1973 seasons before opting to sign with the Detroit Wheels of the upstart World Football League.

He returned to the Lions in 1975 for two more seasons before wrapping his playing days with the

Saskatchewan Roughriders in 1977. Over four years and 54 games as a Lion, he threw for 2,232 yards and 11

touchdowns on 329 completions and also saw significant action as the team’s punter before the club signed a local talent by the name of Lui Passaglia.

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