Bombers coach Mike O'Shea gets call to CFL Hall of Fame

Winnipeg Blue Bombers head coach Mike O'Shea earned many accolades over a 16-year CFL playing career — top rookie, three Grey Cups, five-time all-star, top Canadian — and is now about to get one of the league's highest honours.

The 46-year-old native of North Bay, Ont., is being inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

"On behalf of our entire organization, I would like to congratulate Mike on an honour that was both expected and extremely well-deserved," said Blue Bombers president Wade Miller.

"Mike has carried himself like a hall of famer from the moment he entered this league, and continues to do so now as the head coach of the Blue Bombers. He is the true definition of what all professional athletes should aspire to be, and his accomplishments simply speak for themselves."

Also named to the 2017 Hall of Fame class are former players Anthony Calvillo (quarterback), Geroy Simon (receiver), and Kelvin Anderson (running back), while Stan Schwartz and Brian Towriss were selected as builders.

They will all be formally inducted in Hamilton in mid-September.

O'Shea played 271 CFL games as a linebacker with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts — more than any other linebacker in league history and 18th among all players.

He was the league's top rookie in 1993 with the Tiger-Cats and went on to win three Grey Cups with the Argos (1996, 1997 and 2004).

O'Shea was named the CFL's most outstanding rookie with Hamilton in 1993 and went on to earn recognition as a five-time division all-star.

He was the CFL north division all-star in 1995 (when the CFL had its short-lived experiment with teams in the U.S.) and was an eastern all-star on four occasions (1994, 1997, 1999 and 2000). In 1999, he also became a CFL all-star for the first time.

That same year, O'Shea received an impressive collection of team and league nominations and awards. He was selected as Toronto's most outstanding player overall as well as their top defensive player and most outstanding Canadian player.

He was Hamilton's team nominee for top Canadian player three times (1993, 1994 and 1995) and for Toronto three times (1997, 1999 and 2003), going on to win the East Division Award and become a league finalist as top Canadian in 1999.

O'Shea's impressive list of statistics includes 1,151 defensive tackles (second all-time in the CFL) and 169 special team tackles (seventh all-time).

To those numbers, he added 22 career interceptions, 11 fumble recoveries and 30 quarterback sacks.

He is second on the Argonauts' most games played list with 205 games. From 1997 to 2008, he missed just a single game, playing a full 18-game season 11 times in that 12-year span.

O'Shea, who is entering his fourth season as the Bombers' head coach, was hired by Winnipeg in December 2013.