CFL legends Don Narcisse, James West inducted into Texas Southern Hall of Fame

Photo courtesy: John Bradley/CFLPhotoArchive.com

No love is lost between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and Winnipeg Blue Bombers on the field, but two of the greatest players in the history of the Prairie rivalry will be inducted into their collegiate Hall of Fame arm in arm.

Receiver Donald Narcisse and linebacker James West have been announced as part of Texas Southern University’s Hall Fame class of 2024. Both players are already enshrined in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and will finally be recognized by their alma mater.

Narcisse was a two-time All-SWAC honoree with the Tigers and still holds the school’s all-time single-season reception record with 88. He graduated with 203 receptions for 2,430 receiving yards and 26 career touchdowns, beginning a 13-year career with Saskatchewan in 1987. The native of Port Arthur, Tex. was a four-time CFL all-star and five-time West Division honoree, catching a pass in all 216 games of his career to finish with 919 receptions for 12,366 yards and 75 touchdowns.

West preceded Narcisse with the Tigers and jumped to the CFL in 1982 with the Calgary Stampeders. He would become an icon after moving to Winnipeg in 1985, landing himself fifth all-time on the Bomber’s tackle list with 400, while adding 55 career sacks and 21 interceptions. Nicknamed ‘Wild West,’ he was twice named a CFL all-star and was the runner-up for Most Outstanding Defensive Player in 1987. His 12-year career ended following a stint with the B.C. Lions in 1993.

Also being honoured by Texas Southern is receiver Mike Holmes, who was a first-round draft pick of the San Francisco 49ers in 1973 before eventually making his way north to Winnipeg. The Galveston native caught 244 passes for 3,752 yards and 33 touchdowns over six seasons with the Bombers, earning a CFL all-star selection in 1980.

Fellow football honourees in the class of 2024 include Pro Football Hall of Famer and television personality Michael Strahan, former head coach turned US Secretary of Education Dr. Roderick Paige, the father of the modern touchdown celebration Homer Jones, two-time Super Bowl champion Ernie Holmes, and eight-year NFL veteran Willie Ellison.

All three former CFL athletes and the 21 other inductees across all sports will be honoured during Homecoming week in October of 2024.