CFL legend Michael Clemons was born in Dunedin Florida in 1965, but as he has made clear he is “American by birth but Canadian by choice”.
At 5’ 6” and 170 lbs, you would not think that football would be the most natural choice of sport for young Mike. Through hard work, determination and his love of the game, Clemons established himself as a gifted running back and kick return specialist. A
fter a successful college career at William & Mary, Clemons was drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1987. Clemons appeared in eight NFL games during the 1987 season, but in 1989 he was drawn to the CFL and the Toronto Argonauts.
Over a 12 year playing career with the Argos, Pinball won three Grey Cups, set numerous league and team records and quickly became one of Toronto’s most beloved athletes.
Pinball’s career highlights and achievements include:
- Three time Grey Cup Champion as a player (1991, 1996 & 1997)
- First black head coach to win a Grey Cup (2004)
- CFL record for Career most all-purpose yards … 25,396.
- Several Argo team records including for career pass receptions (682), punt return yards (6,025), punt returns (610), punt return touchdowns (8), kickoff return yards (6,349), and kickoff returns (300)
- Two-time CFL All-Star (1990, 1997)
- Inducted to the CFL Hall of Fame in 2008
What’s Michael doing now?
After hanging up his double-blue jersey in 2000, Pinball took on the interim head coaching job with the Argos and the following year was offered the position of President of the Organization. He returned to the bench as Head Coach in 2002 and during the next five years guided the team to a number of successes.
In 2007 he returned to the Club’s front office as President and the following year stepped down from day-to-day duties with the team and has since held the position of Vice Chairman of the Argos. Always stepping in when the Argos need him, Michael has resumed a more active role as GM since 2019.
Clemons has also been a passionate supporter of disadvantaged youth in our community, establishing the "Michael 'Pinball' Clemons Foundation" to focus on this cause. He is a motivational speaker and continues to be a big contributor to the success of the Argos and the Toronto community at large.
Michael and his family live in Oakville, a suburb of Toronto.
Headline Photo Credit: CFL.ca