Bob Ackles - Mr. B.C. Lion
British Columbia Sports Hall of Fame
Ackles devoted more than 50 years to football in British Columbia. From
his earliest days as the BC Lions waterboy in their inaugural season in
1954, Bobís star rose quickly, and by 1966 he was named the clubís
director of football development. He was promoted again in 1971 to
assistant general manager. Four years later, he was promoted to general
manager, holding that title until 1986.
Under Bobís leadership, the Lions captured
the 1985 Grey Cupótheir first CFL title in 21 seasons. This was to be a
triumphant but temporary end to Bobís Lions career, as he joined the NFLís
Dallas Cowboys after 34 years with the Leos. Bob spent six seasons in
Dallas: three as vice president of pro personnel, and three as vice
president of player personnel. He also played a key role in guiding the
Cowboys back to the playoffs in 1991. Bob left Dallas following that
season, but the team he helped assemble went on to win Super Bowls in
1993, 1994 and 1996.
Bob joined the Phoenix Cardinals in 1992 as
director of college scouting before receiving a promotion to assistant
general manager in 1994.
In 1995, he was named the Philadelphia Eaglesí director of football
administration. A year later, Bob reunited with former Dallas Cowboys head
coach Jimmy Johnson in Miami as the clubís director of football
operations, a position he held for five years.
In 2000, Bob was named vice president and
general manager of the Las Vegas Outlaws, putting him in the history books
as the only man to hold senior executive positions in the CFL, NFL and XFL.
In 2002, Bobís triumphant return to the Lions was capped off with his
induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame as a Builder. In an
effort to return the club to its proper place in the community and the CFL,
he recruited one of the leagueís most successful coaches of all time,
Wally Buono, and named him head coach and general manager in 2003.
In 2004, Ackles was inducted into the BC Sports Hall of Fame. Accolades
for Ackles work continued in 2005 when Bob was honoured with the Jack
Diamond Award by the Jewish Community Centre as Sportsman of the Year. Bob
is also a Schenley Award of Excellence winner. In 2006, the Lions captured
their fifth Grey Cup championshipótheir first since Bobís return to
In September 2007, Bobís highly anticipated memoir The Water Boy, a
candid, personal account of his life and his more than 50 years in
professional football, was launched and received rave reviews across North
Bob and his wife Kay had two sons. Steve and wife Sherri have three
children, Robert, Ashley and Kyle. Scott, who is currently president of
the Calgary Stampeders, and wife Theresa have two children, Kasey and
On July 6, 2008 Bob Ackles passed away, but his work continues. At the
time of his death, one of Bobís goals was to create a BC Football Hall of
Fame. Kay and Scott serve on the Hallís Board of Directors, and the Board
is devoted to carrying out Bobís vision.