Doug Mitchell, former CFL commissioner and Calgary legal professional, has died at 83

Doug Mitchell, former CFL commissioner and Calgary legal professional, has died at 83

Douglas Mitchell, a former Canadian Soccer League participant who went on to grow to be commissioner of the league in addition to a outstanding Calgary legal professional and neighborhood chief, died on Wednesday on the age of 83. 

Mitchell performed in brief within the CFL with the B.C. Lions and Hamilton Tiger-Cats and later went directly to function league commissioner for 5 years within the Nineteen Eighties. He additionally frolicked at the league’s board of governors, as a consultant of the Calgary Stampeders, in addition to many different accomplishments in sports activities and the broader neighborhood.

Amongst his family members, he leaves in the back of his spouse, former Alberta lieutenant-governor Lois Mitchell.

His circle of relatives stated in an e mail shared on Thursday that Mitchell died peacefully and all of sudden at house.

“Everyone knows Doug was once an inspiration to all who knew him and we will be able to proceed to percentage his legacy every and each day,” stated Lois Mitchell in an e mail.

“Doug lived a surprisingly glad, completed and fulfilled existence in his 83 years. Doug made an affect on every people and we discover solace in understanding his existence was once stuffed with pleasure. We all know he would need us all to survive with energy, goal and laughter.”

Amongst his many accolades, he was once appointed to the Order of Canada in 2004, inducted to the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2007, inducted into Canada’s Sports activities Corridor of Status in 2019 and maximum lately inducted into the Canadian Soccer Corridor of Status in June. 

Doug Mitchell stands at a clear podium to speak as he's inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in Toronto on Oct. 23, 2019. He wears a red scarf that reads Order of Sport, as he and the other 2019 inductees were the first to be presented with an Order of Sport Award.
Mitchell speaks in Toronto on Oct. 23, 2019, as he is inducted into Canada’s Sports activities Corridor of Status. Amongst his many different accolades, Mitchell was once appointed to the Order of Canada in 2004, inducted to the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2007 and inducted into the Canadian Soccer Corridor of Status in June.  (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)

He represented the Calgary Flames because the governor of the Nationwide Hockey League, sat as chair of the Canadian Athletic Basis and the Southern Alberta Institute of Era’s Board of Governors.

Mitchell was once the nationwide co-chair of the legislation company Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG) and an avid sports activities fanatic.

From 1984 to 1988, he took a depart of absence from the company to function the CFL commissioner. 

Mitchell was once additionally a part of an possession staff that purchased the Calgary Stampeders in 2005. In 2012, the Calgary Flames changed into majority house owners of the Stamps.

In a tweet on Thursday, the Calgary Stampeders introduced their condolences, announcing, “Doug’s determination to our recreation [and] our neighborhood was once unwavering, his achievements known through an appointment to the Order of Canada [and] Alberta Order of [Excellence]. Relaxation in peace.”

Mitchell was once a skilled athlete himself. He attended Colorado School on a hockey scholarship the place he gained a bachelor of arts level in trade management.

He then attended legislation faculty on the College of British Columbia, the place he additionally performed soccer as a center linebacker for the UBC Thunderbirds. 

In 2009, the sports activities centre on the UBC Vancouver campus was once renamed in Mitchell’s honour because the Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports activities Centre.

In a tweet on Thursday, UBC president Santa Ono stated he was once “deeply saddened to be informed that UBC Thunderbird and neighborhood recreation chief” Mitchell died. 

“He was once an inspiration to many and he’ll be very much neglected at his alma mater,” wrote Ono. 

After enjoying for the Thunderbirds, Mitchell went directly to play within the CFL for the B.C. Lions and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Then lieutenant-governor Lois Mitchell sits in a wooden chair in the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton as she delivers the throne speech from a black binder on March 8, 2018.
Amongst his family members, Doug Mitchell leaves in the back of his spouse, former Alberta lieutenant-governor Lois Mitchell. Right here, Lois Mitchell delivers the throne speech within the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton on March 8, 2018. She was once the province’s 18th lieutenant-governor from June 12, 2015, to Aug. 26, 2020. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press)

Whilst in legislation faculty, Mitchell married Lois they usually ultimately moved again to Calgary, the place they’d 4 youngsters and he began a protracted criminal profession.

“Doug was once instrumental within the basis of [Borden Ladner Gervais] and a pace-setter within the merger which shaped the company in 2000,” stated John Murphy, nationwide managing spouse and CEO at BLG, in a observation.

“Doug was once a very popular champion of recreation in Canada and of female and male college athletes,” added Alan Ross, regional managing spouse of BLG Calgary. “His legacy is huge, and recreation figures prominently in it.” 

Mitchell sat on a large number of forums and remained concerned with sports activities for his whole existence.

He made a number of important contributions to athletics, together with the advent of the U Sports activities athlete of the 12 months awards honouring the highest Canadian collegiate performers.

The honor — previously referred to as the Howard Mackie, BLG and Lieutenant Governor Athletic Awards —  had been lately renamed The Honourable Lois Mitchell and Doug Mitchell U Sports activities athlete of the 12 months awards.

U Sports activities named one in all its nationwide semifinal soccer video games the Mitchell Bowl in his honour.

“My condolences to the Mitchell circle of relatives at the passing in their patriarch Doug on the age of 83,” tweeted Jim Mullin, president of Soccer Canada.

“Few have contributed extra to the sport of soccer in Canada, each on the professional and newbie ranges.

“It is a profound loss for our recreation. His center of attention and fervour made him a pleasure to paintings with.”

‘At all times gracious, attractive’

Deborah Yedlin, a pal and president of the Calgary Chamber of Trade, spoke to Mitchell for approximately part an hour remaining week all the way through a Stampede reception downtown on the Fairmont Palliser Lodge.

They mentioned soccer ahead of entering a dialog about Calgary’s long term, she stated.

“He mentioned how constructive he was once concerning the town,” Yedlin stated. “He was once in reality, in reality desirous about what he was once seeing and feeling concerning the town.”

She stated Mitchell was once at all times gracious, attractive and cared deeply about other folks. 

“He in reality sought after us to upward push to the instance, and he was once at all times encouraging other folks to try this,” stated Yedlin. “And it was once all about lifting everyone.”

She stated she’ll keep in mind his smile, the “twinkle in his eye” and his optimism.

I believe we’ve an excellent chance to honour his reminiscence in Calgary,” Yedlin stated. 

“Let’s construct a brand new soccer stadium and let’s name it the Doug Mitchell soccer stadium.”