Tuesday, April 11, 2017
LEO EZERINS GOING INTO GRIDIRION GREATS H.O.F.
Known for his on-field determination and leadership, Leo Ezerins spent 10 seasons in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Leo was a CFL all-star and a key member of the Tiger-Cats 1986 Grey Cup Championship team. He is also sixth on the all-time list for interceptions by a CFL linebacker.
A graduate of Whitworth College in Spokane, Washington, Ezerins was a perennial Conference All Star and named NAIA All American in his senior year. Ezerins also played for Gridiron Great Inductee and CFL icon Hugh Campbell and Mike Riley, the current head coach at Nebraska.
His biggest impact after retiring from the game came in 2008 when he founded the CFL Alumni Association, where he currently serves as the executive director. Under his leadership, the CFLAA board created the CFL Alumni Support Fund. This fund was created to help former players experiencing financial limitations due to medical and life challenges. The fund was modelled after Mike Ditka’s Gridiron Greats Assistance Fund.
One of his biggest accomplishments was being asked to take an active role on the advisory board of the Canadian Concussion Centre and the clinical research team for the Canadian Sports Concussion Research Project. The study focuses on the long-term impact of repeated concussions of professional athletes and looks to build a brain bank for post-mortem autopsy evaluation.
His off-field compassion and dedication to his fellow alumni is what makes Ezerins a very worthy selection for the 2017 Gridiron Greats Hall of Fame Class. He now joins an elite group of past CFL inductees including: Angelo Mosca, Hugh Campbell, George Reed, Matt Dunigan, Ray Elgaard, and Danny McManus.
Gridiron Greats was formed to provide hands on assistance to retired NFL players and their families in dire need. Gridiron Greats assists with medical, housing, financial and social services support. To date they have assisted over 2,500 players and their families.