Fernandez and Smith to be Inducted Into Canadian Football Hall of FameJuly 1, 2019
For Immediate Release April 25, 2019
VANCOUVER (Thursday, April 25th, 2019) – Mervyn Fernandez and Frank Smith, both Honoured Members of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, will be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame Friday, August 9th, in Hamilton. They will also be celebrated as part of the CFL’s Hall of Fame game Saturday, August 10th, in a showdown between the BC Lions and Hamilton Tiger-Cats at Tim Hortons Field.
The confirmation of Fernandez in the athlete category and Smith in the builder category came yesterday on the eve of tonight’s Orange Helmet Awards, the BC Lions’ cornerstone annual fund-raiser and tribute to the amateur football community in British Columbia; one that is supported by the BC Sports Hall of Fame.
“On behalf of the Board of Trustees, management team and staff of the BC Sports Hall of Fame, we’re so pleased to see Mervyn Fernandez and Frank Smith honoured for their outstanding achievement in Canadian football,” said Tom Mayenknecht, Chair of the Board of Trustees of the BC Sports Hall of Fame. “It’s always gratifying to see our own Honoured Members enshrined by others and to see how much of a national impact these British Columbians have had on the game of football in Canada.”
Mayenknecht also joined Canadian Football Hall of Fame Executive Director Mark DeNobile in congratulating the other inductees in the CFHOF Class of 2019: Jon Cornish, Terry Greer, David Williams and the late Ernie Pitts in the Player category, and former Saskatchewan Roughriders club president Jim Hopson in the Builder category.
Best-known as “Swervin’ Mervyn”, Fernandez was a member of the 1985 BC Lions squad that was part of the BC Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class of 2000. Fernandez spent his entire six-year CFL career with the Lions 1982-86 and 1994, winning Grey Cups in 1985 and 1994. He made an immediate impact as 1982 Western Rookie of the Year. In 1985, Fernandez won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player Award, becoming the first BC Lion to do so on the strength of 15 touchdowns, 95 catches and 1,727 yards gained. A CFL All-Star in 1984 and 1985, Western All-Star from 1982 to 1985, he averaged 16.8 yards per catch and 58 touchdowns in a CFL career that included regular season totals of 399 receptions and 6,690 receiving yards.
BC Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017 member Smith is a legend at the University of British Columbia, where he guided 47 Thunderbirds on their way to careers in the CFL. He spent 21 seasons as head coach from 1974 to 1994. He won 126 games and two Vanier Cups in 1982 and 1986, along with two other berths in the Vanier Cup in 1978 and 1987 and five Hardy Cup Canada West conference titles in 1976, 1978, 1982, 1986 and 1987. Smith won the Frank Tindall Award as Canadian Inter-university Athletic Union Football Coach of the Year in 1978 and 1987 and holds a myriad of UBC football coaching records, including most-ever seasons coached (21), victories (126), consecutive victories (22), and points in one season (466). A total of 47 players from Smith’s time as coach of the Thunderbirds went on to play in the Canadian Football League. His spectacular resume also includes six seasons in the 1990s serving as an assistant coach with Saskatchewan and BC in the CFL.
Fernandez and Smith, who are two of 406 Honoured Members and 63 teams inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame, will now be two of 303 with their busts proudly on display in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame’s Zone of Champions.
The BC Sports Hall of Fame is holding its own Class of 2019 Induction Gala presented by Victory Square Thursday, May 23rd, at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
About the BC Sports Hall of Fame
Honouring the Past. Inspiring the Future. Located at Gate “A” of BC Place with inspiring exhibits, the BC Sports Hall of Fame is the ‘go to’ organization for BC sport heritage. For 53 years, we have honoured BC’s teams, builders, athletes, pioneers, and media through our annual Induction Gala. The collection at the BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum includes over 27,000 artifacts and 100,000 archival documents representing 150-years of sporting accomplishments in British Columbia. In everything it does, the BC Sports Hall of Fame honours, educates, and inspires through the Hero In You Youth Education Programs.
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Kelly Gleeson LBMG