BC Football Hall of Fame Class of 2019

206

2019 Hall of Fame Inductees

Category: Media
Bernie Pascall:

Bernie Pascall
Bernie Pascall has an impressive association with the CFL as a television broadcaster over five decades. He joined the Football Reporters of Canada in 1965 and was a commentator
on CFL telecasts on CTV from 1969 to 1980. He was also a long-time member of the Football Reporters of Canada and was on the selection committee for the prestigious CFL
Schenley Awards for many years. Pascall was a host on CTV CFL Telecasts in Winnipeg and
also served as the public address announcer for the Toronto Argos at CNE Stadium along with his daily reporting coverage of the CFL for CJAY-TV, & CFTO TV.

He joined CHAN TV/BCTV in Vancouver in 1969 and covered the BC Lions and the
CFL on a daily basis as Sports Director for 30 years. He joined the CTV Western
Television crew in 1969 and hosted telecasts across the CFL for some 12 years.
Upon retirement as an on-air broadcaster, he continues to support the BC Lions and the
CFL. He is a Trustee of the BC Football Hall of Fame and Chairman of the media
selection committee. Bernie has also MC’d the annual BC Football Hall of Fame
Induction since its inception.
Besides televising CFL games on CTV, he has called the play-by-play of the NHL’s

Vancouver Canucks for seven years, attended eight Olympic Games, called the play-
by-play of 12 World Hockey Championships including the first-ever Canada Cup of

Hockey. Among his many broadcasting accomplishments Bernie has been involved with
12 Memorial Cups, figure ckating, golf, gymnastics, biathlon and cross-country skiing.
He also hosted and televised 20 BC Summer and Winter Games.
Bernie has been inducted into the Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame
(2004), BC Hockey Hall of Fame (2006), BC Sports Hall of Fame (2008) and received
the Vancouver Canucks 7th Man Award as well as the Milford Plaque and four ACTRA
Foster Hewitt Awards for excellence in sports broadcasting.

Paul Giroday:

Paul Giroday
An outstanding two-way player at Vancouver College from 1967 to 1968,Giroday attended the University of California at Berkeley where he was a two-sport athlete in football and boxing. In fact, he was an NCAA boxing champion. Later, he went on to play for the B.C. Lions as a linebacker and a special teams player from 1975 to 1978.

Brad Yamaoka:

Brad Yamaoka
Brad was outstanding high school player at Kamloops Secondary and the MVP of the team’s 1990 championship team (a 36-7 victory over Centennial). He went on to play
at UBC following his secondary school career and was named a 1992 CIS Western Conference All-Star. At UBC, Yamaoka led the Thunderbirds in rushing in three
of his five seasons there and, as of 2019, holds the UBC records for rushing attempts in a season (set in 1992) and career rushing attempts.

He went on to play in the CFL for the BC Lions and Winnipeg Blue Bombers from 1997
to 2003. More recently, he coached the Kamloops Broncos of the British Columbia
Football Conference until retiring in 2018. As of 2019, he remains in the sports industry
as an interior sales representative for Big Kahuna Sports.

Walter Passaglia:

Walter Passaglia
Another remarkable high school player for the Notre Dame
Jugglers, Walter earned MVP honours in 1974 as part of the
school’s provincial championship victory over Vancouver College
(36-0) Walter went on to play at Simon Fraser University from
1975 to 1978 spending three years as the Clan’s kicker and
starting defensive back.
Passaglia was later drafted by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and
was their nominee for Most Outstanding Rookie in 1979 as a
receiver.

Category: Pro Athletes

Jamie Taras

Jamie Taras
A lifelong member of the BC Lions, Jamie Taras spent his entire 16-year playing career in orange with the Leos as a fullback and offensive lineman, playing on two Grey Cup championship teams (1994, 2000). With the Lions, Taras – who played his college football at the University of Western Ontario – was a three-time CFL Western
All-Star (1999, 2001, 2002) and a two-time CFL All-Star (1995,1999). He was also the 1999 recipient of the Tom Pate Memorial Award, given to a player with outstanding
sportsmanship and someone who has made a significant contribution to his team, his community and Association.

In 2003, Taras was voted a member of the BC Lions All-Time Dream Team as part of
the club’s 50th anniversary celebration. In 2018, Taras was inducted to the B.C. Lions
Wall of Fame. Taras’ #60 is retired by the BC Lions. As of 2019, he is working with the
club’s front office as Director of Community Partnerships.

Jerome Pathon:

Jerome Pathon
A standout high school player at North Vancouver’s Carson Graham Secondary and later collegiately at Acadia University and the University of Washington,
Jerome was drafted in the second round (32nd overall) in the 1998 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He was also selected in the second round (11th overall) by the Montreal Alouettes in the 1997 CFL Draft but it would be the NFL where he ultimately mae his mark.
Pathon would appear in 99 career NFL games, including 46 with the Indianapolis Colts,
45 with the New Orleans Saints, before rounding out his career in 2005 with the Atlanta
Falcons. He finished with 260 career receptions for 3,350 yards and 15 touchdowns, as
well as 36 kickoff returns for 773 yards.

Lawrence “Sonny” Homer:

Lawrence “Sonny” Homer
A native of Trail, B.C., Lawrence “Sonny” Homer was a true hometown hero playing 11 seasons for the hometown BC Lions. He was part of their first-ever Grey Cup championship in 1964 where he had his finest season catching 50 passes for 776 yards,
averaging 15.5 yards per catch. Lauded for his speed when signed by the Lions, “Sonny”
managed to overcome having his kidney removed in college to become one of the Lions’ most prolific receivers in team history. He would finish his career with 217 catches for 3,765 yards,averaging 17.4 yards per catch for his career. In 2003, he was inducted into the B.C. Lions Wall of Fame.

Homer, who passed away in 2006, also made a mark in amateur football in the
province. After moving to North Vancouver with his family when he was five, he went on
to attend North Vancouver High School where he would lead the “Green & White” team
in grade 10 and 11 before transferring over to Vancouver College for his final high
school year. His performance with Vancouver College would lead to a scholarship at
Grey’s Harbour Junior College in Washington State.

Category: Builders

Al Blesch:

Al Blesch
Al was instrumental in the formation of the BC Secondary Schools Football Association in 1964 and served as its second President in 1965.He became head coach of Notre Dame Regional Secondary in 1961and turned the football program into a
dynasty. In 1968, he won his first provincial championship as part of a run that saw his team appear in the finals in eight of nine years winning six titles. Blesch laid the groundwork, along with George Oswald and Bill Cole, for the school’s run of 14 provincial championships over a 25-year period, an unprecedented feat in BC High School Football history.

 

Ron Turner:

Ron Turner
Ron started his football career at John Oliver Secondary in Vancouver as a linebacker and offensive lineman,captaining the team in 1967 in his senior year. He received a scholarship to play for Simon Fraser University in 1968, and went on to play for the Meralomas
junior team from 1970 to 1973 where he was a two-time provincial all-star.

His playing ability would attract the attention of his hometown BC Lions who drafted him in 1972, but injuries would prevent him from being able to compete professionally, so Turner turned to coaching beginning at John Oliver in 1973 while on staff as a student-teacher.
Turner became head coach at John Oliver in 1975 and served two stints as head coach
from 1973-1983 and 1990-2002 winning the BC High School Championship in 1992.
During his coaching career, he would guide many young players to collegiate and CFL
careers including the likes of John Pankratz, Dom Busto, Karl Jovanovic, Tony
Antunovic and William Loftus.

Turner coached with Team BC as a Defensive Coordinator in the 1990s and, since
2002, has also coached at UBC and SFU. A board member for Football BC and an Honourary Life Member of the BC Secondary Schools Football Association he currently serves as defensive coordinator at Vancouver College.

Mike Ross:

A graduate of Dan Doyle’s famed Centennial Secondary football teams, Mike Ross returned to the Coquitlam School District to teach and coach high school football. He began at Montgomery Jr. High before moving over to PoCo High School, which later became Terry Fox Secondary. He would win a provincial championship in 1992.

Ross served as president of the BC Secondary Schools Football Association in 1973
and had a second stint in 1992-92. He has coached many players that went on to play
collegiately and in the CFL.

Allan Sinclair:
Alan Sinclair attended North Vancouver High School from 1947 to 1949 playing for both the school’s junior and senior teams. In 1950, he joined their coaching staff and won the B.C. junior championship. But it was in 1960 that Alan found his greatest calling in football as he embarked on a 59-year career as an official. He started with the Gordon Sturtridge Football League (8-man football in North Vancouver), followed by the Big 4 Jr.
League officiating in venues from Swangard Stadium to UBC Thunderbird Stadium to
the old Empire Stadium and many other open fields.

In his early days, Sinclair held many positions including umpire, head linesman, field
judge and game timer. In 1970, he worked CFL games as part of the stick crew. In
1974, he joined the B.C. American Referee Association working most game positions.
In 1990, Sinclair decided to only work games at stadiums that featured electronic
clocks, including the likes of games at SFU, UBC, BC Place, Swangard, and Burnaby
Lakes.
Sinclair received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the BC High School Football
Officials Association in 2018.

Category: Team

1986-91 Mardi Gras Women’s Touch
Football Club:
Since their inception, the Mardi Gras Women’s Touch Football club has been a
consistently dominant force in touch football in the province of BC.
Established in 1979, the club grew into a dynasty under the direction of head coach
Larry Doan. The first female team to win a national championship, they went on to capture six-consecutive titles from 1986 to1991.
The trail blazed by teams such as the Mardi Gras has led to the incredible growth of
female participation in football at all levels including touch, flag and even tackle.

BC Football Hall of Fame Special Award:
1941 Vancouver Grizzlies:
The Vancouver Grizzlies were British Columbia’s first professional team and a member of the Western Inter-Provincial Football Union. Though they lasted just one year in 1941, they played 10 games – two exhibition and eight league games. They won just one league game, defeating Regina 7-6 under coach Greg Kabat. The team was disbanded after only a single season due to the Second World War. Made up of 31 players, the Grizzlies’ lone
touchdown that season was scored by Jack Horn.

CFL Bob Ackles Award:

Tom Malone:
A lifelong fan and supporter of football at all levels – in particular the CFL, Tom carried his passion for the game over into the working world through setting up sponsorships and other programs designed to support the game.
In particular, his work with the BC Lions through both good times and challenging years, through sponsorships was a rewarding experience exposed him to other levels of football in the province. One of these was his association with high school football through
the Footballs For High Schools Program in partnership with the BC
Lions Football Club. Tom worked closely with management and staff at the Lions over
the years in numerous sponsorship activities which translated into involvement with other CFL teams across Canada resulting in multi-year sponsorships for the majority of CFL teams. During this time,he was also instrumental in introducing the CFL to his employer which resulted in a league-wide major sponsorship which lasted a number of years.
Along with five other community business leaders, he was also a founding member of the
Waterboys – a business/community support group for the BC Lions. This organization grew to over 500 local community leaders and was adopted by other CFL clubs resulting in the
Founders” being awarded the CFL Commissioners Award in 2005.

Tom was one of the Vice Chairs of the 2005 Grey Cup and in 2009, after the untimely passing of Bob Ackles, was asked by the Board of Directors of the BC Football Hall of Fame to take over the CEO’s role. 2019 marks the 10th year of the BC Football Hall of Fame with nine classes of inductees totaling more than 100 individuals and 10 teams being recognized for their contribution to football in the province of British Columbia.