Rollie Miles

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Rollie Miles
Date of birth: (1927-02-16)February 16, 1927
Place of birth: Washington, D.C.
Date of death: August 17, 1995(1995-08-17) (aged 68)
Place of death: Edmonton, Alberta
Career information
CFL status: International
Position(s): RB/DB/LB
Height: 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight: 175 lb (79 kg)
College: St. Augustine's College
Organizations
As player:
1951-1961 Edmonton Eskimos
Career highlights and awards
CFL West All-Star: 1953-1956, 1958-1959
Honors: 1983 - Edmonton Eskimos Wall of Honour
Career stats

Elmer Roland "Rollie" Miles (February 16, 1927 - August 17, 1995) was a professional football player for the Canadian Football League Edmonton Eskimos. Miles played offence (running back), defence (linebacker, defensive back), and special teams (kickoff/punt returner, punter), during his eleven career with the Eskimos. Miles is a member of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame, and the Edmonton Eskimos Wall of Honour. In November, 2006, Miles was voted one of the CFL's Top 50 players (#48) of the league's modern era by Canadian sports network TSN.[1]

Early life and college career[edit]

Miles was born in Washington, D.C. and attended college at St. Augustine's College in Raleigh, North Carolina. At St. Augustine's, Miles excelled in baseball, football and track and field.

Miles initially left the United States for Canada to play baseball in Regina, Saskatchewan, but was convinced by the famed Annis Stukus to play football for the Edmonton Eskimos. He would continue to play semi-professional baseball in Canada during his CFL career.[2]

Professional football career[edit]

Miles was one of the most versatile players in history of the CFL during his eleven-year (1951 to 1961) career with the Edmonton Eskimos. As a defensive player (linebacker and defensive back), Miles intercepted 38 passes for 547 yards. As a special teams player, Miles returned punts (finishing with 279 punt returns for 2,085 yards) and kickoffs (88 returns for 2,131 yards), and punted on occasion. On offence, Miles was often found in a backfield with such CFL greats as Jackie Parker, Normie Kwong, Johnny Bright, Bernie Faloney and Don Getty, he could run or pass on the option with skill.

Selected as a CFL Western Conference All-Star eight times (three at running back, three at defensive back, two at linebacker) Miles was also named the Eskimos' team Most Valuable Player three times.

Miles played in five CFL Grey Cup championship games, winning three during the Eskimos' dynasty of successive Grey Cup titles in 1954, 1955, and 1956.[3] Miles played in the famous 1954 Grey Cup game with separated ribs, but still helped his underdog team win that classic game.

Miles was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 1980. The Eskimos added Miles' #18 jersey to its Wall of Honour in 1983. The City of Edmonton named the Rollie Miles Athletic Field in his honor.

Later life and death[edit]

Miles received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta in 1956, and began work in the off season with the Edmonton Catholic School Board, where he taught school and organized high school sports. Miles continued working with the Edmonton Catholic School Board upon his retirement from the CFL in 1961.

Miles and his wife, Dr. Marianne Miles, had seven children: Craig "Tony" Miles, Rolanda Miles, Michelle Miles, Monica Lipscombe, Rollie Miles, Jr. (lineman on the University of Alberta Golden Bears 1980 Vanier Cup national championship football team, and Most Valuable Player of the 1980 Churchill Bowl), Brett Miles (noted singer, songwriter and saxophonist),[4] and Mario Miles (co-founder of the Millwood Grizzlies Minor Football Association in Edmonton in 1996, and coach from 1996 to 2003). One of his grandchildren is Canadian rapper Cadence Weapon (Rollie Pemberton).Another grandchild is international high jumper Jesse MIles Lipscombe who was once ranked #6 in the world.

Miles died in 1995 in Edmonton, and is interred at Holy Cross Cemetery, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, the same cemetery as his Eskimo teammate, Johnny Bright.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "TSN Top 50 CFL Players". TSN.ca. 2006-11-28. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  2. ^ "Western Canada League Players List". Western Canada League (1948-1964). Archived from the original on 2006-11-08. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  3. ^ "CFL.ca Hall of Fame Biography - Rollie Miles". Canadian Football League (CFL.ca). Retrieved 2007-01-13. 
  4. ^ "Magilla Funk Conduit CD Release/Review". SEEMagazine.com. 2004-08-26. Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  5. ^ "Find A Grave.com Listing: Roland 'Rollie' Miles (1927-1995)". FindAGrave.com. Retrieved 2007-01-13.