Football Canada hires former CFL executive Kevin McDonald as interim managing director

Photo courtesy: Football Canada

Football Canada has brought in Kevin McDonald to help calm the organization’s turbulence, hiring him as their interim managing director.

The Ontario native and Wilfrid Laurier alumnus spent nearly 20 years working for the Canadian Football League, finishing his tenure as the vice president of football operations. He has since worked for Ontario Basketball.

“I am looking forward to reconnecting with football and the passionate people who devote their time and energy to making the game better,” McDonald said in a statement.

“As the organization transitions to a new leadership model, it’s important that there be support for the board, staff, membership, and participants in delivering the day-to-day operations as we head into a busy summer season.”

McDonald has been hired on a six-month term while Football Canada conducts an independent search for an executive director and business operations director this summer.

“We could not have found a better person for this role than Kevin McDonald,” said Football Canada president Jim Mullin. “Kevin brings an unparalleled wealth of experience to the executive leadership position of Football Canada as we continue our executive transition.”

“It was imperative that we create winning conditions for our sport and athletes to stabilize our operations with a knowledgeable, objective, steady hand.”

The job search will be headed by Kelvin Shaw of KS Consulting and Low Murchison Radnoff LLP, Football Canada’s legal counsel. Shaw will begin connecting with stakeholders regarding leadership feedback this week.

“I specialize in performance-based recruitment,” said Shaw. “This means that I just don’t fill roles, but I find the right people for the right roles.”

Nine provincial bodies recently called for Mullin’s resignation after learning that the organization would be undergoing a transformation for the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, which will feature flag football for the first time. The change would see the role of president, which is a volunteer position, be split into two paid positions: executive director and business operations manager.

Mullin indicated to 3DownNation that he would not be immediately resigning as president, a role he’s held since 2019, though he still plans to step away after the transition is completed. He also previously told the Football Canada board that he will not pursue either of the organization’s new executive positions.

“I’ve had individuals from inside and outside our association inquire about paid executive leadership positions at Football Canada. The way we are proceeding ensures a hiring process free of personal relationships, conflict of interest, or outside influence,” said Mullin.

“It may seem elementary, but I firmly believe that our football community expects the highest standard of ethical conduct throughout the hiring process. This path ensures that the best possible candidates lead the organization without undue influence or bias.”

Football Canada’s upcoming events include the IFAF World Junior Championships in Edmonton, a full slate of tackle and flag competition, and the IFAF World Flag Championships in Lahti, Finland.

John Hodge is a Canadian football reporter based in Winnipeg.