The BC Lions are proud to announce that franchise icons Larry Crawford and Solomon Elimimian plus current defensive line coach John Bowman will be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in September.
Crawford, the Lions’ all-time leader in interceptions (51) and punt return yards (4,058), joined the club as a free agent in 1981 and quickly established himself as one of the best defensive backs of his era, recording eight interceptions as a rookie while notching a career-best 12 takeaways in 1983.
“I am greatly honoured to join some of the best players and other great Lions in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame,” Crawford said.
“This is what you for, to earn the highest honour. I am thankful to all of my great teammates and coaches for making this day possible.”
Suiting up in 130 regular season contests in orange over nine seasons, the Miami native is a four-time CFL All-Star, five-time West Division All-Star, Grey Cup champion in 1985 and is one of only 11 players in franchise history to suit up in three Grey Cup games (1983, 1985, 1988).
His special teams credentials also 1,890 yards on kickoff returns making him third on the club’s all-time list with 6,029 total return yards, trailing only Chris Rainey and Tim Brown.
Crawford was named to the Lions’ 50th Anniversary Dream Team in June 2003 and inducted to the club’s Wall of Fame in 2005.
The club’s all-time tackles leader (745 defence, 36 special teams), Elimimian gets the call on his first year of eligibility. The linebacker was originally signed following a California free agent camp and made an immediate impact by winning 2010 CFL Most Outstanding Rookie after racking up 77 defensive tackles, five sacks and an interception in his first season with the Lions. The following season, he helped elevate the defence to championship form as the Lions went from 0-5 to Grey Cup champions.
“To have my name etched in history of CFL Lore alongside the CFL greats is a crowning achievement,” Elimimian said.
“I was blessed to play with great teammates on very special teams and learned from some of the finest coaches in the game. With the support of my family, I was able to make a dream come true.”
In 2014, Elimimian made league history by becoming the first purely defensive player to win CFL Most Outstanding Player. He also earned CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player in both 2014 and 2016.
In addition to being named a CFL All-Star on four occasions and a West Division All-Star five times, Elimimian holds the CFL record for defensive tackles in one season (144 set in 2017), having broken in his mark from the 2014 campaign.
Elimimian was also named to the CFL’s All-Decade Team in November 2020.
Heading into his second season as Lions defensive line coach, Bowman suited up in 234 contests with the Montreal Alouettes from 2006-19. A two-time CFL All-Star and nine-time East Division All-Star selection, Bowman’s 134 sacks are number one on the Alouettes’ all-time list and sixth on the CFL all-time list. His illustrious playing career also included back-to-back Grey Cup wins in 2009 and 2010.
The 2023 Hall of Fame Class will be inducted during the Hall of Fame Game on September 16 at Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field.