Former CFL GM Marcel Desjardins to be inducted into Burlington Sports Hall of Fame

Photo Scott Grant /
Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/

Former CFL general manager Marcel Desjardins is being inducted into the Burlington Sports Hall of Fame on May 31.

The 55-year-old worked in a number of CFL personnel roles over 22 years (1999-2021) with the Montreal Alouettes, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and Ottawa Redblacks. His two most notable stints came as the general manager of the Ticats (2006-2007) and Redblacks (2013-2021) during which his teams qualified for three Grey Cups and won one.

Desjardins helped the Als reach three Grey Cups in four-and-a-half years during his first stint as their assistant general manager (2002-2006), winning one. He became the general manager of the Ticats midway through the 2006 season but was fired in November 2007 with the club posting a 5-20 record under his watch.

The Burlington native returned to Montreal in 2008 and helped the team win back-to-back Grey Cups in 2009 and 2010 before being hired as the first general manager of the expansion Ottawa Redblacks in January 2013. The club went 2-16 during its inaugural season in 2014 but improved dramatically the following year, making it all the way to the Grey Cup with a 12-6 record.

The Redblacks upset the heavily-favoured Calgary Stampeders in 2016 to capture the 104th Grey Cup, Ottawa’s first championship since 1976. The team returned to the Grey Cup in 2018 but lost to the Stamps by a score of 27-16.

Ottawa’s string of success came to an end in 2019 when the team finished the regular season with a 3-15 record. Desjardins was kept on through the COVID-19 pandemic but was fired late in 2021 after the club started the season with a 2-9 record.

Other individuals being inducted on May 31 include Burlington Sports Hall of Fame co-founder Bryce Leggatt, curler Wendy Morgan, hockey player Cathy Phillips, and radio broadcaster Eric Smith.

Burlington, Ont. is located 60 kilometres southwest of Toronto along the shore of Lake Ontario between Hamilton and Oakville.