U SPORTS football legends Larry Uteck, Greg Vavra and Doug Mitchell were among 15 players, builders and media members inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame at Tim Horton’s Field on the eve of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats’ 2022 home opener on Friday. The induction ceremony included both the 2020 class and 2021 classes.
Uteck, who played defensive back for the Laurier Golden Hawks and coached for the Saint Mary’s Huskies was named in the builder category while former Calgary Dinos quarterback Vavra was in the player category for the 2020 class. Former offensive linemen of the UBC Thunderbirds Mitchell received honours in the builder category for the 2021 contingent.
LARRY UTECK : BUILDER (POSTHUMOUS)
Uteck served as an Assistant Coach at Saint Mary’s University in 1982, before being named Head Coach the following year – a position he held until 1997. He was a five-time Atlantic University Athletic Association (AUAA) Coach of the Year and a two-time Canadian Interuniversity Athletic Union (CIAU) Coach of the Year. During his tenure, the team captured seven AUAA titles, three Atlantic Bowls (1988, 1990 and 1992) and appeared in three Vanier Cups.
As Athletic Director from 1995-2002, Uteck’s Huskies claimed two Vanier Cups (2001 and 2002) and won four (1999 to 2004) of an eventual six consecutive Atlantic University Sport conference championships. Uteck passed away in 2002. The Atlantic Bowl was renamed the Uteck Bowl in 2003.
GREG VAVRA : PLAYER
Vavra played five seasons at quarterback with the University of Calgary Dinos (1979 to 1983), winning the Vanier Cup in his final year. In 1983, the All-Canadian also became the first Dino to win the Hec Crighton Trophy as the top player in Canadian University football. He still holds the U SPORTS single-game record for passing yards (627).
He was named Canada West Player of the year in 1982 and 1983. In his university career, he totaled 8,401 passing yards, 63 touchdown passes and a 50.9 completion rate. Vavra was drafted by Calgary and went on to play 55 regular-season games with three teams.
DOUG MITCHELL : BUILDER
Doug Mitchell’s unbridled passion for football has made the game stronger at the amateur and professional level.
Mitchell starred for the UBC Thunderbirds and played for the BC Lions, but that was just the start of his many football accomplishments and contributions. His contributions to sport, and in particular his dedication to football, have been defining features of his life, along with his successful law career and the remarkable family he has built with his wife Lois.
Perhaps best known as the CFL’s sixth Commissioner, serving in that capacity from 1984 to 1988, Mitchell has also served on the CFL’s Board of Governors, as a representative of the Calgary Stampeders. His many contributions to Canadian university football include the creation of the U SPORTS Athlete of the Year Awards honouring Canadian university student-athletes. The honour – formerly known as the Howard Mackie, BLG and Lieutenant Governor Athletic Awards – was recently renamed The Lois and Doug Mitchell U SPORTS Athlete of the Year Awards Presented by Makadiff Sports. U SPORTS has named one of its national semi-final football games the Mitchell Bowl in his honour.
A member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, Mitchell’s contributions to his community and his country have earned him inclusion in the Alberta Order of Excellence, and the Order of Canada.
- Clyde Brock | Player
- Henry Burris | Player
- Freddie Childress | Player
- John Hufnagel | Builder
- Larry Uteck | Builder (to be inducted posthumously)
- Greg Vavra | Player
- Will Johnson | Player
- Marv Levy | Builder
- Nik Lewis | Player
- Doug Mitchell | Builder
- Orlondo Steinauer | Player
- Mike Walker | Player
- Don Wilson | Player
- Bob Hooper | Media (to be inducted posthumously)
- Bernie Pascall | Media