The Calgary Stampeders congratulate the members of the 2021 class of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame including three inductees who have played key roles in the history of the Red and White.
Defensive lineman Will Johnson and receiver Nik Lewis will be enshrined in the players’ category while Doug Mitchell, a former Canadian Football League commissioner and currently a member of the Stamps’ executive committee, is being inducted as a builder.
“On behalf of the entire Calgary Stampeders organization, I congratulate Will, Nik and Doug for this very well-deserved honour,” said Stampeders president and general manager John Hufnagel. “Will was a tenacious defensive lineman with a great knack for getting to the quarterback while Nik was a tremendous all-round receiver. They are two of the greatest players in franchise history.
“Doug, for his part, has made countless valuable contributions to the Stampeders and the CFL and unquestionably is one of Canadian football’s most important builders. I’m proud of all three and congratulate them as well as the other members of the 2021 Hall of Fame class.”
With seven honourees over the past two years – Hufnagel, Henry Burris, Ray Childress and Greg Vavra were part of the class of 2020 – the Stampeders are now represented by a total of 51 individuals in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Johnson played eight seasons with the Stamps from 1989 to 1996 and is the franchise’s all-time leader with 99 sacks. The Monroe, La., product was selected as a West all-star six times and a CFL all-star five times (1991-95).
Johnson won a Grey Cup with Calgary in 1992, was named the team’s top defensive player in 1991 and 1994 and was added to the Stampeders’ Wall of Fame in 2010. He wrapped up his CFL career with Saskatchewan in 1997 but returned to Calgary following his retirement from football.
Lewis, the Canadian Football League’s all-time leader in receptions with 1,051, played 11 seasons with the Stampeders (2004-14) before concluding his career with three seasons for the Montreal Alouettes. He accumulated 13,778 receiving yards and 71 touchdowns during his 14 seasons in the CFL.
He holds the Stampeders record with 165 consecutive games played with at least one catch and surpassed the 1,000-yard mark in receiving in each of his first nine seasons. He was a CFL all-star three times as a member of the Stampeders and a West Division all-star on five occasions.
The Mineral Wells, Tex., native was a Grey Cup winner in 2008 and 2014 with Calgary.
Mitchell is a Calgary native who served as CFL commissioner from 1984-88.
Mitchell’s association with the CFL started in 1960 as a player for the BC Lions and continues to this day in his capacity as a member of the Stampeders’ executive committee.
Mitchell has also enjoyed a successful law career with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP and in 1993 created the BLG Awards to honour Canadian university athletes. The Mitchell Bowl, one of Canadian university football’s annual semifinals, is named in his honour.
An alumnus of the University of British Columbia, Mitchell is a member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and his professional and community-based achievements were recognized with an appointment to the Order of Canada in 2004 and to the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2007.
The other members of the Hall’s class of 2021 are:
- Marv Levy – who won two Grey Cups in the 1970s as head coach of the Montreal Alouettes – in the builders’ category
- Orlondo Steinauer, a five-time CFL all-star defensive back with Hamilton and Toronto
- Defensive lineman Mike Walker, who was a three-time league all-star and recorded 95.5 career sacks for Hamilton and Edmonton
- Don Wilson, a defensive back who won four Grey Cups and earned four all-star berths in a 12-year career with Edmonton, Toronto and BC