Milt Stegall is a CFL legend who has watched a number of his former teammates remain in football after their playing days came to an end.
Khari Jones is the head coach with the Montreal Alouettes, Geroy Simon serves as the B.C. Lions’ director of global scouting and U.S. regional scout, and Wade Miller is the President and CEO of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
Though he has remained close to the league as a panelist on the CFL on TSN, Stegall has never considered pursuing a career in coaching.
“I could never coach because I’m not coaching all Milt Stegalls,” said Stegall on TSN 1290. “I would expect all these guys to have the same approach to the game that I had.”
The 51-year-old was arguably the most well-conditioned athlete in the CFL throughout his 14-year career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He maintained a meticulous exercise and diet regimen, earning the nickname ‘Turtle Man’ because his chiseled abdomen resembled the shell of a turtle.
“It would drive me crazy when guys would come in out of shape or they weren’t eating healthy,” Stegall said. “Or they’re not working out or they’re not studying film or they don’t know their plays. And now my livelihood depends on what these guys are doing? I already lost my hair. I can’t have a heart attack, so I could never coach.”
The Cincinnati native retired as the CFL’s all-time leader in receiving yards (15,153) and touchdowns scored (147). He was a nine-time league all-star, the league’s Most Outstanding Player in 2002, and a first ballot inductee to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2012.
Stegall’s not one to criticize other people’s lifestyles, but he’s also not willing to wager his livelihood on professional athletes who aren’t as committed to the craft as he was.
“I’m not judging anybody,” said Stegall. “This is just me.”