CFL: Entering 42nd season
Stampeders: Entering 42nd season
Entering his 42nd season, Hopkins has worked 709 regular-season games, 37 playoff contests and eight Grey Cups with the Red and White. Last year’s Labour Day Classic on Sept. 23 was his 700th game.
George’s foremost responsibility is the safety of players by fitting each team member with a customized array of equipment designed to provide maximum protection for each athlete. He orders and issues all equipment — everything from chewing gum to shoes and cleats — and also coordinates the transport of the club’s equipment to and from each road site.
Each off-season, Hopkins and Edmonton Eskimo equipment manager Dwayne Mandrusiak have coordinated an equipment inspection program for amateur football in the province. Run under the auspices of Football Alberta, Hopkins and Mandrusiak visually inspect equipment and give recommendations on storing, cleaning, reconditioning and disposal to PeeWee, Bantam, Midget and high school teams. Hopkins also sits on the board of directors for the Calgary and Area Midget Football Association.
At the start of the 1997 season, Stamps executive vice-president/consultant to the executive committee Stan Schwartz presented Hopkins with a gold watch and a trip for two to anywhere in the world in commemoration of Hopkins’ 25th season with the Stampeders. In 1995, Hopkins was honoured at the Stamps’ annual dinner as the recipient of the Art Evans Memorial Award for perseverance, contribution and dedication to the football club.
Hopkins stays informed on the latest football equipment by attending the AFCA Convention and meeting with suppliers and distributors. A graduate of the Mount Royal College (now University) Business Administration Program, Hopkins also worked as assistant press chief at Canada Olympic Park for the 1988 Calgary Olympic Winter Games.
In 2012, Hopkins missed a two-game eastern road trip following surgery for a torn rotator cuff. Prior to last season, Hopkins had only missed one game during his 40 years with the team — when his wife Cathy delivered their first child in 1992, daughter Jorde. In 1996, Jorde welcomed the birth of a baby brother, Hunter. The family also has two dogs, Midnight and Café. Hopkins is a native Calgarian and is very active in the community.