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INDUCTEE 2014 - ATHLETE - Don Siler


 

 

Football
High School, Junior & University Levels
Canada West University Champion
Atlantic Bowl Champion
Vanier Cup Runner-Up
1967-1976

Don Siler moved to Wetaskiwin with his family when he was twelve years old.  With an athletic older brother involved in sports it was only natural that Don do the same.  As a youngster he was involved in hockey, fastball and track and field.  It wasn’t until high school that he participated in football.   After graduating from the Wetaskwin High School Sabre football program, Don continued his football career and played Junior Football with the Calgary Mohawks and then University Football with the Calgary Dinos.   As the Dinos quarterback, Don led his team to their first ever Canada West Championship, their first Atlantic Bowl Championship and first Vanier Cup Final. 

 When Don started playing football in grade ten, because of his small stature, he played receiver on a limited basis and was content to assist as an equipment manager.  It wasn’t until he was in grade eleven that he experienced growth and was able to move up to  play  quarterback and place kicker. Because of his athletic ability, in grade twelve  Don was awarded the Wetaskiwin Composite High School Male Athlete of the Year (1969).

 In 1970, Don had the opportunity to play junior football with the Red Deer Packers but because his older brother Richard was playing with the Calgary Junior Mohawks, Don chose to play for the Mohawks and room with Richard.  The first year he played linebacker and the next two years he played quarterback and place-kicker.  As a quarterback, he displayed excellent passing and running abilities and was very dependable with play calling.  In 1971, Don was chosen “Second Team All-Star” and in 1972, his last season with the Mohawks, he was awarded the Mohawks MVP trophy and chosen to the AJFL First All-Star Team.

Led Dinos to Their First Ever
Canada West Championship

 In 1973, Don enrolled in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary and started playing football with the Dinos under head coach Mike Laschuk.  During Don’s four year tenure with the team he was the starting quarterback and team co-captain.  He was also place-kicker for the first three years.  In 1975, with Don as quarterback, the Dinos won the Canada West Championship for the first time and were awarded the Hardy Trophy.  As Western Conference Champions they continued on to the interuniversity playoffs where they won the Atlantic Bowl defeating the Acadia Axemen 38-16 in Huskies Stadium in Halifax.  They then advanced to the 11th Vanier Cup to decide the Canadian University Athletic Union football Champions. 

 The 1975 Vanier Cup was played at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto in front of  17,841 fans.   Opponents of the U of C Dinos were the Ottawa Gee-Gees.  It was  a defensive battle with no points until the fourth quarter when each team scored.  The Dinos were leading 9-7 when,  with two minutes to go in the game and after a controversial play and call in the Gee Gee’s favor, the Gee-Gees scored the winning touchdown and won 14-9. 

  In June of 1976, before his final season with the Dinos,  Don was invited to the BC Lions Rookie Camp.  He took part in drills for quarterbacks, receivers, linebackers, safeties and place-kickers.  His participation was narrowed to place-kicking where he ended up competing against Lui Passaglia from Simon Fraser University who went on to play for the Lions from 1976 - 2000 and had a Hall of Fame career.  Don was not extended an invitation to the Lions’ Main Camp.  After the 1976 season with the Dinos Don retired from football.

Sports Colour Commentator for the Calgary Stampeders
First Individual Hired by the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics

 Upon graduating from University,  Don worked for a couple of years at the U of C as Athletic Business Manager in the Physical Education Department.  In 1979 and for the next 19 years Don became the Sports Colour Commentator for the Calgary Stampeders Football Broadcasts.   When Calgary was awarded the 1988 Winter Olympics Don was the first individual hired by the Calgary 1988 Winter Olympics Committee and serving as Vice-President, Don made a significant contribution to the successful Games. The leadership skills Don gained playing football certainly contributed to his success in his chosen athletic-related professions.

 Don is being inducted into the Wetaskiwin and County Sports Hall of Fame because of his outstanding football career at the Junior and University levels.  His achievements provide a good example for young Wetaskiwin athletes of what can be attained with hard work and dedication.   Congratulations Don!
 


Information about an inductee is collected from published sources, sports archives, scrapbooks, anecdotal information from family, friends and fans, and the athlete.

However, sometimes the best stories and personal insights are gleaned at the induction dinner from the introductory comments or acceptance speech of the inductee or their representative.

Where possible we have included this type of information for your enjoyment.

Read the introductory comments made by Kristi Paulstat when introducing Don Siler.

Read Don's acceptance speech.

 

 



 

 

 

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