Edmonton Elks

The Edmonton Elks are a professional Canadian football team based in Edmonton, Alberta. The club competes in the Canadian Football League (CFL) as a member of the league's West Division and plays their home games at the Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium. The Elks were founded in 1949 as the Edmonton Eskimos and have won the Grey Cup championship fourteen times (including a three-peat between 1954 and 1956 and an unmatched five consecutive wins between 1978 and 1982), most recently in 2015. The team has a rivalry with the Calgary Stampeders and is one of the three community-owned teams in the CFL.

Edmonton Elks
Founded1949
Based inEdmonton, Alberta, Canada
Home fieldThe Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium
Head coachJaime Elizondo
General managerBrock Sunderland
Owner(s)EE Football Team, Inc.
("Community" (shareholder) owned)
LeagueCanadian Football League
DivisionWest Division
ColoursGreen, gold, white[1][2]
     
Nickname(s)The Double-E
The Herd (2021–present)
Esks, Eskies (1949–2020)
The Evil Empire (1970s–1990s)
Mascot(s)Nanook and Punter
Grey Cup wins14 (1954, 1955, 1956, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1993, 2003, 2005, 2015)
  • Edmonton Eskimos (1949–2020)
  • Edmonton Football Team (2020–2021)
Division titles23 (1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1996, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2015)
Websitegoelks.com
Current uniform

On June 1, 2021, the new team name, Edmonton Elks, was formally announced.[3][4]

Ownership

The Edmonton Elks are one of three "community owned" teams in the CFL (owned by local shareholders).

Edmonton Elks Football Team, Inc., is governed by a ten-member board of directors.[5] The board consists of a chairman, treasurer, secretary, and seven directors. As of 2017, the board of directors included chairman Brad Sparrow, treasurer Janice Agrios, secretary Murray Scambler, directors Douglas Cox, Rob Heron, Ian Murray, Harold Roozen, Marshall Sadd, Lindsay Dodd and Tom Richards. The club's president and CEO is Chris Presson.[6]

History

Football in Edmonton 1895–1939

The Edmonton Rugby Foot-ball Club, unaffiliated with the current team, was an early Canadian football-rugby union team based in Edmonton. The team played its first organized games with the formation of the Alberta Rugby Football League in 1895. In 1908 the name Esquimaux was adopted.[7] In 1910 the club was officially named the Edmonton Eskimos and was briefly called the Edmonton Elks during 1922. (The city was represented by the Edmonton Civics in 1914 and the Edmonton Canucks in 1919.) After appearing in and losing the 9th Grey Cup and 10th Grey Cup games (being the first western teams to play for the Cup) the team folded in 1925, but returned for two seasons beginning 1928, and then folded again. It was succeeded by the Edmonton Boosters, who played for three more seasons, and the Edmonton Hi-Grads in 1936 (a team of high school graduate all stars.) Elite-level football returned to Edmonton in 1938 with a team once again called the Eskimos, this time in the Western Interprovincial Football Union (WIFU). This team ceased operating after only two seasons because of the Second World War.

Team history

The current incarnation of the team began in the 1949 WIFU season as the Edmonton Eskimos under head coach Annis Stukus, for whom the CFL's annual coach of the year award is named. The team played home games at Clarke Stadium and quickly saw success under quarterback Jackie Parker and running back Johnny Bright, winning the Grey Cup three years in a row from 1954 to 1956. The team did not win the Grey Cup again until 1975, the longest drought in team history. The team moved to Commonwealth Stadium in 1978.

The team won five consecutive Grey Cup wins (1978–82), led by superstar quarterbacks Warren Moon and Tom Wilkinson and head coach Hugh Campbell. After a brief absence, Campbell returned to the team in 1986 and worked for Edmonton in an administrative capacity until his retirement in 2006. This five-year dynasty, followed by the dominance of the city's NHL team the Edmonton Oilers, led the city to be nicknamed the "City of Champions" in the 1980s. Edmonton made it to nine Grey Cups in a ten-year span from 1973 to 1982.

In the 1980s and 90s the team's marquee player was Gizmo Williams who still holds many CFL records in punt and kickoff returns and was a key part in Grey Cup victories in 1987 and 1993 under head coach Ron Lancaster. During this period the team was also known for its stellar defensive line, with future Canadian Football Hall of Famers like Danny Kepley and Danny Bass winning Defensive Player of the Year Awards and Willie Pless winning the trophy a record five times.

After winning the Grey Cup in both 2003 and 2005, under quarterback Ricky Ray, who is Edmonton's all-time leader in passing yards, the team missed the playoffs the following year, for the first time in 34 years, a North American professional sport record. This led to a ten year Grey Cup drought. After a gap of ten years, Edmonton won the Grey Cup again in 2015, under the leadership of quarterback Mike Reilly, their most recent championship.

In the 2010s and 2020s, North American sports teams began to view the use of Indigenous names and imagery in team names as culturally insensitive. The term Eskimo is considered an offensive term placed on Inuit people.[8] On June 1, 2021, it was formally announced that the new Edmonton team name would be the Edmonton Elks, a name used by the Edmonton football club of 1922.[3]

2012–2015 uniform combinations as the Edmonton Eskimos

The team colours, green and gold, have remained essentially the same over the years with only minor modifications to the uniform or logo until 2021, when the EE logo was changed to a stylized image of an elk and the Elks helmet logo was changed to antlers.

Team records and achievements

The Elks have won the Grey Cup more than any other team except the Toronto Argonauts, including more championships than any other since the CFL was formed in the 1950s. This places the Elks second overall to the Toronto Argonauts, who have won 17 Grey Cups (seven since the CFL was formed in 1954). The team also made playoffs for 37 consecutive years from 1927 to 2005, a North American professional sport record. Since Edmonton re-entered the CFL in 1949, Edmonton is the only team to have two dynasties of three or more successive Grey Cups: 1954–56 and 1978-1982.

The Elks has also led the CFL in attendance for many years. As of August 2016, Edmonton had the highest average attendance in the league 27 times since moving to Commonwealth Stadium in 1978.[9]

Team alumni have figured prominently in Alberta political life: past players include two former provincial premiers (Peter Lougheed and Donald Getty), a former mayor of Edmonton (Bill Smith), and a lieutenant-governor (Norman Kwong).

Wall of Honour

The Edmonton Elks have a policy of honouring the players who have best represented the team on the field. The player's name, number and seasons played with the Edmonton Elks are displayed on the edge of the concrete separating the field level from the lower bowl of The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium. The Elks keep the number in circulation rather than retire them from use.

Numbers so honoured as of 2019:

  • 1 Warren Moon (2001)
  • 2 Henry "Gizmo" Williams (2002)
  • 11 Sean Fleming (2011)
  • 12 Tom Wilkinson (1982)
  • 13 Larry Highbaugh (1996)
  • 14 Oscar Kruger (1992)
  • 15 Ricky Ray (2019)
  • 22 Tom Scott (1993)
  • 24 Johnny Bright (1983)
  • 26 Dave Cutler (1986)
  • 27 Don Getty (1992)
  • 30 Danny Bass (1992)
  • 39 Willie Pless (2004)
  • 42 Danny Kepley (1987)
  • 47 Larry Wruck (2011)
  • 51 Frank "Guts" Anderson † (1985)
  • 53 Frank Morris (1984)
  • 55 Ron Estay (2010)
  • 60 Chris Morris (2008)
  • 62 Bill Stevenson † (2014)
  • 63 Hector Pothier (2014)
  • 65 Dave Fennell (1984)
  • 66 Roger Nelson (1987)
  • 66 John LaGrone (1988)
  • 67 Rod Connop (2005)
  • 70 Brian Kelly (1989)
  • 76 George McGowan (1985)
  • 77 Tommy Joe Coffey (1988)
  • 91 Jackie Parker (1983)
  • 94 Rollie Miles (1983)
  • 95 Norman Kwong (1984)

† Honoured posthumously

Current roster

Edmonton Elks roster
Quarterbacks
  • 15 Taylor Cornelius
  •  7 Trevor Harris
  • -- Dakota Prukop
  • 10 Troy Williams

Running backs

  • 25 Walter Fletcher
  • 27 Tanner Green FB
  • 49 James Tuck FB
  • 32 James Wilder
  •  5 Terry Williams

Receivers

  • 80 Armanti Edwards
  • 82 Greg Ellingson
  • 12 Mike Jones
  • 86 Hunter Karl
  • 11 Shai Ross
  •  4 Tevaun Smith
  • 83 Daniel Vandervoort
  • 87 Derel Walker
Offensive linemen
  • 57 David Beard
  • 68 D'Antne Demery
  • 60 Tomas Jack-Kurdyla
  • 61 Steven Nielsen
  • 66 Matt O'Donnell
  • 58 Justin Renfrow
  • 55 SirVincent Rogers
  • 52 Jacob Ruby
  • 56 Kyle Saxelid
  • 65 De'Ondre Wesley

Defensive linemen

  •  9 Mathieu Betts
  • 93 Kwaku Boateng DE
  • 94 Jake Ceresna
  • 54 Tibo Debaillie
  • 96 Mike Moore
  • 91 Cole Nelson
  • 99 Christian Rector
Linebackers
  • 44 Keishawn Bierria
  • 42 Malik Clements
  • 33 Grant McDonald
  • 45 Nyles Morgan
  • 31 Malik Tyne

Defensive backs

  • 38 Dotun Aketepe
  • 19 Eric Blake
  • 23 Jermaine Gabriel
  • 36 Aaron Grymes
  • 28 Jordan Hoover S
  • 20 Scott Hutter
  •  2 Jonathon Mincy
  •  0 Jonathan Rose
  •  3 Brian Walker
  •  8 Trumaine Washington
  • 29 Darius Williams

Special teams

  • 70 Hugh O'Neill K
  • 46 Chad Rempel LS
  •  6 Sean Whyte K

1-Game Injured List

6-Game Injured List

  • -- Nate Anderson DL
  • 67 Colin Kelly OL

Practice roster

  • 90 Misiona Aiolupotea-pei DL
  • 79 Andrew Ankrah DL
  • 30 Dante Brown K
  • 95 Thomas Costigan DL
  • 81 Earnest Edwards WR
  • 18 Tarean Folston RB
  • 69 Chris Gangarossa OL
  • 64 Tyler Higby OL
  • 92 Reggie Howard DL
  • 22 Afolabi Laguda DB
  • 24 Nafees Lyon DB
  • 97 Alain Pae DL
  • 47 Brandon Pittman LB
  • 35 Maxime Rouyer LB
  • 17 Albert Smalls DB
  • 88 Jalen Tolliver WR
  • 89 Diego Viamontes WR

Suspended

  • -- Curtis Akins LB
  • -- Darrell Brown OL
  • -- J.J. Jones WR
  • -- Peter Kourtis OL
  • -- David Perkins DL
  • -- Debione Renfro DB

Italics indicate international player
Bold indicates global player
Roster updated 2021-05-25
Depth chartTransactions
110 roster

→ More rosters

Current coaching staff

Edmonton Elks staff
Front Office
  • President and CEO – Chris Presson
  • Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager – Brock Sunderland
  • Assistant General Manager – Bobby Merritt
  • Director of Football Operations – Kris Hagerman
  • Assistant Director of Football Operations/Player Personnel Assistant – Nick Pelletier
  • Head Video Coordinator – Mike Woytowich

Head Coach

  • Head Coach – Jaime Elizondo

Offensive coaches

  • Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks – Jaime Elizondo
  • Offensive Line – John McDonell
  • Running Backs – James Vollono
  • Receivers and Pass Game Coordinator – Winston October
  • Offensive Assistant – Vincent Campbell
 

Defensive coaches

  • Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Backs – Noel Thorpe
  • Linebackers – Cam Robinson
  • Defensive Line – Demetrious Maxie
  • Defensive Assistant – Derek Oswalt

Special teams coaches

  • Special Teams Coordinator – Chris Rippon
  • Special Teams Assistant – Derek Oswalt

Coaching staff
→ More CFL staffs

Head coaches

  • Annis Stukus (1949–1952)
  • Frank Filchock (1952)
  • Darrell Royal (1953)
  • Pop Ivy (1954–1957)
  • Sam Lyle (1958)
  • Eagle Keys (1959–1963)
  • Neill Armstrong (1964–1969)
  • Ray Jauch (1970–1977)
  • Hugh Campbell (1977–1982)
  • Pete Kettela (1983)
  • Jackie Parker (1983–1987)
  • Joe Faragalli (1987–1990)
  • Ron Lancaster (1991–1997)
  • Kay Stephenson (1998)
  • Don Matthews (1999–2000)
  • Tom Higgins (2001–2004)
  • Danny Maciocia (2005–2008)
  • Richie Hall (2009–2010)
  • Kavis Reed (2011–2013)
  • Chris Jones (2014–2015)
  • Jason Maas (2016–2019)
  • Scott Milanovich (2020)
  • Jaime Elizondo (2021–present)

General managers

  • Al Anderson (1949–1956)
  • Keith Rolfe (1957–1960)
  • Joe Ryan (1960–1965)
  • Vic Schwenk (1966)
  • Norm Kimball (1966–1985)
  • Hugh Campbell (1986–1996)
  • Tom Higgins (1997–2004)
  • Paul Jones (2005–2007)
  • Danny Maciocia (2008–2010)
  • Eric Tillman (2010–2012)
  • Ed Hervey (2013–2016)
  • Brock Sunderland (2017–present)

CFL awards and trophies

Grey Cup

  • 1954, 1955, 1956, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1993, 2003, 2005, 2015

N. J. Taylor Trophy[a]

  • 1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1996, 2002, 2003

Grey Cup MVP

  • Dave Fennell (DT): 1978, 1982
  • Tom Wilkinson (QB): 1978
  • Warren Moon (QB): 1980, 1982
  • Dale Potter (LB): 1980
  • Damon Allen (QB): 1987, 1993
  • Stewart Hill (DE): 1987
  • Jason Tucker (WR): 2003
  • Ricky Ray (QB): 2005
  • Mike Reilly (QB): 2015

Dick Suderman Trophy

  • Garry Lefebvre (DB): 1973
  • Dave Cutler (K): 1975
  • Angelo Santucci (RB): 1978
  • Dale Potter (LB): 1980
  • Neil Lumsden (RB): 1981
  • Dave Fennell (DT): 1982
  • Milson Jones (RB): 1987
  • Sean Fleming (P/K): 1993
  • Mike Maurer (FB): 2005
  • Shamawd Chambers (WR): 2015

Most Outstanding Player Award

  • Billy Vessels (RB): 1953
  • Jackie Parker (QB/RB): 1957, 1958, 1960
  • Johnny Bright (RB): 1959
  • George McGowan (WR): 1973
  • Tom Wilkinson (QB): 1974
  • Warren Moon (QB): 1983
  • Tracy Ham (QB): 1989
  • Mike Reilly (QB): 2017

Most Outstanding Canadian Award

  • Norman Kwong (RB): 1955, 1956
  • Dave Fennell (DT): 1979
  • Blake Marshall (FB): 1991
  • Leroy Blugh (DE): 1996
  • Kamau Peterson (WR): 2008
  • Jerome Messam (RB): 2011

Most Outstanding Defensive Player Award

  • Danny Kepley (LB): 1977, 1980, 1981
  • Dave Fennell (DT): 1978
  • James Parker (LB): 1982
  • Danny Bass (LB): 1989
  • Willie Pless (LB): 1992, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997
  • Elfrid Payton (DE): 2002
  • J. C. Sherritt (LB): 2012

Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman Award

  • Charlie Turner (OT): 1975
  • Michael Wilson (OT): 1979, 1980
  • Rod Connop (C): 1989

Most Outstanding Lineman Award[a]

  • Roger Nelson (OT): 1959
  • John LaGrone (DT): 1969

Most Outstanding Rookie Award

  • Brian Kelly (WR): 1979
  • Shalon Baker (WR): 1995
  • Dexter McCoil (LB): 2014
  • Derel Walker (WR): 2015

Annis Stukus Trophy

  • Ray Jauch: 1970
  • Hugh Campbell: 1979
  • Ron Lancaster: 1996
  • Tom Higgins: 2003

Tom Pate Memorial Award

  • David Boone (DE): 1982
  • Hector Pothier (OT): 1988
  • Rick Walters (SB): 2001
  • Adarius Bowman (WR): 2017
  • Ryan King (LS): 2018

Rogers Fans' Choice Award[a]

  • Ricky Ray (QB): 2003

a Defunct

Mascots

Nanook (a polar bear) and Punter (an anthropomorphic football) are the mascots for the Edmonton Elks. They were introduced in 1997 and 2004, respectively.[10]

See also

  • Edmonton Elks all-time records and statistics
  • Canadian Football Hall of Fame
  • Canadian football
  • Comparison of Canadian and American football
  • List of Canadian Football League seasons
  • List of fan-owned sports teams

References

  1. "Edmonton Eskimos Club Profile & History" (PDF). 2017 CFL Guide & Record Book. CFL Enterprises LP. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  2. "About Us". GoElks.com. CFL Enterprises LP. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  3. "New name. Same game. We are the Edmonton Elks". GoElks.com. CFL Enterprises, LP. June 1, 2021. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  4. "EDMONTON OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES TEAM NAME AS ELKS". CFL.ca (Press release). CFL Enterprises, LP. June 1, 2021. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  5. "BOARD OF DIRECTORS". GoElks.com. CFL Enterprises LP. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  6. "CHRIS PRESSON NAMED ESKIMOS PRESIDENT AND CEO". GoElks.com (Press release). CFL Enterprises LP. August 7, 2019. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  7. Edmonton Journal, October 15, 2012
    The Edmonton Rugby Football Club was reorganized as the Esquimaux on Oct. 16, 1908 at a meeting in the Windsor Hotel on Jasper Avenue and 101st Street.
    The team had been nicknamed “Esquimaux” by a Calgary sportswriter as early as 1897
  8. "Expert says 'meat-eater' name Eskimo an offensive term placed on Inuit". Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  9. Jones, Terry (2016-08-24). "Eskimos are still league leaders in attendance numbers, but half the seats at Commonwealth are empty". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  10. "Mascots". GoElks.com. CFL Enterprises LP. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
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