The Manitoba Football Hall of Fame officially introduced its 12 newest individual members, as well as the 1984 St. Vital Junior Mustangs at a news conference on Thursday at the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame.
In addition to the Mustangs in the team category, the Manitoba class of ’23 also includes Paul Bennett (Player/Coach), Steve Dolyniuk (Official), Leo Ezerins (Player), Bob Irving (Media), Brent Irwin (Coach/Builder), Brownie Krochak (Player), George Kunyckyj (Player/Coach/Builder), Lorne Lagimodiere (Player/Coach), Stu Nixon (Coach), Dennis Radlinsky (Coach), Jennifer Romanoff (Coach/Builder), and Glen Scrivener (Player/Coach).
The 1984 Mustangs captured the Manitoba Junior Football League title before losing 33-32 to the Ottawa Sooners in the Eastern Canadian Championship game. That 1984 Mustangs team set the foundation for future St. Vital teams that won provincial titles in 1987, ’88 and ’89.
Bennett was named the CFL’s Outstanding Canadian player in 1983 (Winnipeg) and ’85 (Hamilton) and the talented defensive back was also part of a Grey Cup championship squad with the Tiger Cats in 1986. Following an 11-year professional playing career, the three-time Canadian Football League all-star began coaching with the Winnipeg Hawkeyes and then the Oak Park Raiders in the Winnipeg High School League.
Dolyniuk enjoyed an outstanding 20-year career as an official in the CFL and earned the privilege of being assigned to work five Grey Cup Games during that timeframe. He remained very active in the Manitoba Football Officials Association and presented numerous clinics to to amateur officials. Dolyniuk has been named the supervisor of officials for Winnipeg home games during the upcoming 2023 CFL season.
Ezerins was a member of the 1972 Juvenile Canadian Championship team and also won several awards during his collegiate career with Whitworth University in Spokane. Leo split his 10-year CFL career right down the middle by playing with his hometown Winnipeg Blue Bombers from 1978-82 and then finishing with Hamilton from 1983-87, highlighted by winning a Grey Cup championship in 1986 with the Tiger Cats.
Irving was the radio voice of the Blue Bombers on CJOB from 1973-2021 and is regarded as one of the finest broadcasters in the history of the Canadian Football League. Bob’s outstanding work, professionalism, and passion for the CFL earned him multiple honors — including induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1997, the Order of Manitoba in 2014, and a cherished position on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Ring of Honour prior to his final broadcast in 2021.
Irwin was a driving force in the development of the Portage Pitbulls and the Portage Collegiate Institute Trojans, serving as head coach of both Football programs for the first 15 years of their existence.
Krochak played on both sides of the ball for the St. John’s Tech School City Championship Team in 1938. The following season Brownie carried the ball for 90 per cent of Tech’s offensive plays. From 1941-44 he played for the RCAF Bombers in the Western Service League before finishing his career with the Blue Bombers in 1945.
Kunyckyj played high school football in St. Thomas, Ont., before moving west to Brandon where he quarterbacked the Krogers to the 1965 Country Football League Championship. George went on to play for the Brandon University Bobcats from 1966-70 and then coached Elmwood in the Winnipeg High School League following his graduation. He transferred to Daniel MacIntyre in 1980 and was head coach until 1996, winning the WHSFL City Title in 1986.
Lagimodiere is regarded as one of the finest running backs in the history of Brandon University Football during a standout career from 1968-72. Lorne made the move into the coaching ranks with the Neepawa Tigers and led that program for nearly two decades, winning seven league titles along the way. He was named RMFL Coach of the Year in 2003.
Nixon dipped his toe into the high school football coaching ranks with St. John’s in 1987 before transferring to Silverlight School. He led Grant Park to an undefeated regular season in 1999, and in 2002 would join Oak Park as an assistant coach. Stu took over as head coach the following season, winning multiple championships for the next 20 years while he was at the helm of the Raiders Football program.
Radlinsky has spent the better part of his nearly 20 years in the coaching ranks with the North Winnipeg Nomads organization, compiling 116 wins along the way. Beginning in 2005, Dennis guided the Nomads bantam team to 12 consecutive playoff berths and four championship game appearances, including back to back Manitoba Major Football League titles in 2008 and ’09.
Romanoff has been involved in a Vanier Cup, the CFL Eastern Final, the Football Canada Cup and WHSFL Championship games as an athletic therapist. Jennifer also played a leading role in Manitoba’s Flag Football in 2006 and ’07 and was a linebacker with the Maple Marauders and Manitoba Fearless Women’s team.
Scrivener began playing six-player football in 1973 with the River Heights Community Club and advanced through the various age categories with the Fort Garry Lions program before heading south to play at Moorhead State University, Eastern Washington, and then William Jewel College in Montana. Glen was the third overall pick of the 1990 CFL Draft by Saskatchewan and also played for B.C., Edmonton, Winnipeg, and Toronto during his 12-year career.
Scrivener took up coaching in 1993 with the Surrey Rams of the BC Football League before returning home to Winnipeg to coach with the Junior Rifles in 2010. For the past five seasons he has also served as D Line voach at Dakota Collegiate.
The Manitoba Football Hall of Fame official induction ceremony and dinner for 2023 is set for Wednesday, Sept. 27.
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