Calgary Stampeders launch college scholarship in honour of former CFL commissioner Doug Mitchell

Photo courtesy: RFB Sport Photography/CFLAA

The Calgary Stampeders have created an athletic scholarship in honour of late CFL commissioner Doug Mitchell

The Doug Mitchell Football Awards, presented by the Stampeders Foundation along with the Honourable Lois Mitchell, former lieutenant governor of Alberta, will direct $5,000 annually to deserving members of the University of Calgary and the University of British Columbia football programs based on athletics, academics and community involvement.

“Doug was a very important figure in the Canadian Football League and he was a passionate supporter of university sports,” Stampeders president John Hufnagel said in a statement. “These awards are a fitting legacy for everything he accomplished during his lifetime.”

Mitchell passed away in July of 2022 at the age of 83. The native of Calgary played collegiately at Colorado College and the UBC before a brief professional stint with the B.C. Lions. A graduate of UBC Law, he is best known as the CFL’s sixth Commissioner, serving in that capacity from 1984 to 1988.

After stepping down as commissioner, Mitchell became a part owner of the Stampeders and sat on the CFL’s board of governors. An avid supporter of Canadian university football, the athletic facilities at UBC bear his name as does the Mitchell Bowl, one of U Sports’ national semi-final games. The U Sports Athlete of the Year Awards were recently renamed in honour of him and his wife.

“My family and I extend our heartfelt gratitude to the Stampeders Foundation for this meaningful tribute to Doug,” said the Honourable Lois Mitchell, Doug’s widow. “He was a passionate advocate for young athletes and was extremely proud of the U Sports Athlete of the Year Awards he started for Canadian student-athletes over 30 years ago. These scholarships represent his enduring commitment to nurturing the talents and dreams of our future sports stars. Through this initiative, we hope to empower and uplift the next generation of athletes, just as Doug did.”

A member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, Mitchell’s contributions to his community and his country have earned him inclusion in the Alberta Order of Excellence, and the Order of Canada. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2021.

Mitchell’s CFL legacy is carried on by his son Scott, who currently serves as president and CEO of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.