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Football Manitoba Hall of Fame welcomes Class of 2024

Football Manitoba’s Hall of Fame class for 2024 will include a pair of multiple-time Grey Cup-winning players, a longtime CFL official and a pioneer in women’s football in the province.

A total of nine individuals, along with members of the St. Paul’s Crusaders teams from 2011 to 2014, will be honoured at the official induction dinner and ceremony set for Aug. 21 at Princess Auto Stadium’s Pinnacle Club.

The list includes:

Player: Ted Milian was a member of the 1972 St. John’s Tigers Winnipeg High School Football League championship team who was also named an all-Canadian for two of his five seasons as an offensive lineman for the University of Manitoba Bisons. After being drafted by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1977, Milian joined Edmonton the following year — just in time to be a part of five consecutive Grey Cup championship squads with the green and gold from 1978 through 1982.

Player: Andrew Harris began playing football as a nine-year-old with the Eastman Raiders, followed by the Grant Park Pirates and Oak Park Raiders in the Winnipeg High School League. Harris’s football journey took him to Vancouver Island as a junior, and then to the Canadian Football League, where he went on to win four Grey Cups with B.C. (2011), Winnipeg (2019/21) and Toronto (2022). Harris was a four-time CFL all-star and won the CFL’s Outstanding Canadian Award in 2017, the Grey Cup Most Outstanding Canadian in 2011 and 2019, and the Grey Cup’s Most Outstanding Player in 2019.

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Referee: Al Bradbury was assigned to work six Grey Cup games over the course of his 22-year career as a Canadian Football League official. Bradbury was very involved in the Manitoba Football Officials Association as a recruiter and mentor and remains an important member of the CFL’s officiating department as manager of officials and a leader with the league’s training and development program. He also serves as the supervisor of officials for Blue Bombers home games.

Player/coach: Andrea Backlund was an all-star in the Manitoba Midget Football League before embarking on a 15-year career in women’s football that culminated with a second appearance at the world championships in 2022 as the starting centre for Team Canada. Backlund has transitioned into the coaching ranks as one of the driving forces behind the success of the St. Vital Mustangs’ First Down Program in addition to working the sidelines of Manitoba Minor Football Association, Manitoba Girls Football Association and Winnipeg High School League games.

Player/coach: Corey Hanssen was an elite-level quarterback for 30 years in touch football, leading his teams to a record five Division One titles in the Ultimate Touch Football League. Hanssen remains involved with the sport as a coach and organizer.

Coach/builder: Brian Marks played for the St. John’s Tigers 1980 championship team, and returned to his alma mater in 1992 as head coach. Marks held down that position until he retired as a teacher in 2015, but has continued his involvement with the school’s football program as an assistant coach.

Builder: Ed Pilat was renowned for his excellence in medical practice within the Manitoba football community and also served as the head doctor of the Winnipeg Rifles, U of M Bisons and Women’s Football League. He continues to serve as a mentor to athletic therapists throughout the city and province.

Coach/builder: Neville Scarlett coached Sturgeon Heights and West Kildonan at the high school level and the Winnipeg Rifles in the junior ranks, and was also involved with Manitoba’s high-performance program. He is being inducted posthumously after his death in March 2020 at the age of 50.

Coach: Rich Urbanovich began coaching community club football in the ’80s, made the jump to the Winston Churchill Bulldogs of the Winnipeg High School League and then spent 32 years on the staff of the U of M Bisons football program. Urbanovich was also named the winner of the Gino Fracas Award as U Sports Assistant Coach of the Year in 2005.

Rounding out the induction class of 2024 in the team category are the St. Paul’s Crusaders of 2011-14, who won an incredible 39 regular-season and playoff games in a row, and three consecutive titles during that four-year stretch.

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Tickets for the August 21 Dinner and Induction Ceremony can be purchased via email  finance@footballmanitoba.com

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