Jon Cornish headlines 2023 inductees for BC Football Hall of Fame

Photo: Arthur Ward/3DownNation. All rights reserved.

The BC Football Hall of Fame has unveiled its class of inductees for 2023.

Those who will be inducted include professional athletes Jon Cornish and Bryan Chiu, amateur athletes Will Loftus and Mark McDonald, sportswriter Howard Tsumura, builders Larry Donohoe and Terry Kehoe, and the 1996-1998 Richmond Colts. Kay Ackles and Dennis Skulsky will also receive special awards.

“Our class of 2023 include some of the most recognizable names in football who have contributed tremendously to the growth of the game in our province and beyond,” said BC Football Hall of Fame CEO Tom Malone in a statement.

“We are looking forward to welcoming our newest class in our ceremony prior to the Lions game on September 16 and we are extremely grateful to the B.C. Lions Football Club, team owner Amar Doman, and president Duane Vienneau, for once again being a tremendous partner for us and for hosting our induction ceremony.”

Cornish was born in Burnaby, B.C. and spent nine seasons with the Calgary Stampeders after being selected in the second round of the 2006 CFL Draft out of the University of Kansas.

The six-foot, 217-pound ball-carrier finished his career as the fourth-leading rusher in Stampeders history with 1,026 carries for 6,844 yards and 44 touchdowns. He also recorded 1,666 receiving yards and nine touchdowns through the air.

Cornish was recognized as the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player in 2013 and won three consecutive Most Outstanding Canadian Awards from 2012 to 2014. He was selected as a CFL all-star three times and led the league in rushing in each of those seasons.

The 38-year-old received the Lou Marsh Award in 2013 as Canada’s Male Athlete of the Year and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2019. He also won two Grey Cups.

Chiu spent 13 seasons with the Montreal Alouettes after being selected in the second round of the 1996 CFL Draft. He won two Grey Cups with the team and was named a CFL all-star seven times at centre. The 49-year-old is now the head coach at Vancouver College, his alma mater.

Loftus was a star at John Oliver Secondary in Vancouver and started on offence and defence in the school’s 1992 provincial championship victory over Carson Graham. He played collegiately at the University of Manitoba before spending a 10-year CFL career with the Montreal Alouettes (1998-04) and Edmonton Football Team (2005-07).

McDonald won three BC Juvenile Championships with the Meralomas juvenile team before winning three BC Junior Championships as a member of the Meralomas junior team. He played collegiately at Wenatchee Valley Junior College and Washington State University before a nine-year CFL career with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Calgary Stampeders, B.C. Lions, Toronto Argonauts, and Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Tsumura has covered high school and university athletics for four decades as a reporter for The Province and Varsity Letters. Donohoe has helped lead the Carson Graham Secondary School football program for almost five decades, while Kehoe coached and helped administrate amateur football in Richmond and the Vancouver Mainland.

Kay Ackles, the widow of former B.C. Lions’ president and general manager Bob Ackles, will receive the Hall’s Special Award, while Dennis Skulsky, a former president of the Lions, will be awarded the CFL Bob Ackles Award.

The BC Football Hall of Fame was established in 2011 and its induction ceremony will take place during the Lions’ game against the Ottawa Redblacks on Saturday, Sept. 16.