Michael "Pinball" Clemons
Few people exemplify the qualities of personal excellence, teamwork, community leadership, and overcoming the odds better than CFL legend Michael “Pinball” Clemons. In 1990, Pinball was honoured with the CFL’s “Most Outstanding Player” award, and he played his last game as an Argonaut in 2000, before becoming head coach of the team. He was inducted to both the Canadian Football Hall and the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame; and is a member of The Order of Ontario and a Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal recipient.
Pinball joined the National Football League in 1987, and CFL’s Toronto Argonauts in 1989. He was nicknamed “Pinball” because of his running style — his diminutive size and extraordinary balance allowed him to “bounce” between defensive players, drawing comparisons to a pinball machine.
Pinball won the Grey Cup in 1991, 1996, and 1997 with the Argonauts. As a coach, he led the football club to six consecutive East Division Finals, including the 2004 championship, concluding his coaching tenure with 68 wins — the second highest in the team history.
In 2007, he stepped down as head coach to become the chief executive officer, and in 2009, he was appointed as the vice-chair of the team. In 2019, Clemons was named the 20th general manager of the Toronto Argonauts.
Pinball is also the founder of the Pinball Clemons Foundation, a non-profit organization that empowers youth through education. Since it’s founding in 2007, it’s been responsible for the construction of a hospital in Uganda, over 200 schools in developing countries, two orphanages in Haiti, and locally awarded more than 200 scholarships.