Edmonton Elks

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Edmonton Elks
Team logo
Based inEdmonton, Alberta, Canada
Home fieldThe Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium
Head coachVacant
General managerVacant
Owner(s)EE Football Team, Inc.[1]
("Community" (shareholder) owned)
LeagueCanadian Football League
DivisionWest Division
ColoursGreen, gold, white[2][3]
Nickname(s)The Double-E
The Herd (2021–present)
Esks, Eskies (1949–2020)
The Evil Empire (1970s–1990s)
Mascot(s)Punter and Spike
Grey Cup wins14 (1954, 1955, 1956, 1975, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1987, 1993, 2003, 2005, 2015)
  • Edmonton Eskimos (1949–2020)
  • Edmonton Football Team (2020–2021)
Division titles23 (1952, 1954, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1973, 1974, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1987, 1990, 1993, 1996, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2015)
Websitegoelks.com Edit this at Wikidata
Current uniform
CFL EDM Jersey.png
Current sports event2021 Edmonton Elks season

The Edmonton Elks are a professional Canadian football team based in Edmonton, Alberta. The club competes in the Canadian Football League (CFL) as a member of the league's West Division and plays their home games at the Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium. The Elks were founded in 1949 as the Edmonton Eskimos and have won the Grey Cup championship fourteen times (including a three-peat between 1954 and 1956 and an unmatched five consecutive wins between 1978 and 1982), most recently in 2015. The team has a rivalry with the Calgary Stampeders and is one of the three community-owned teams in the CFL. The team name change from "Eskimos" to "Elks" was formally announced on June 1, 2021.[4][5]


The Edmonton Elks are one of three "community owned" teams in the CFL (owned by local shareholders).

Edmonton Elks Football Team, Inc., is governed by a ten-member board of directors.[6] The board consists of a chairman, treasurer, secretary, and seven directors. As of 2017, the board of directors included chairman Brad Sparrow, treasurer Janice Agrios, secretary Murray Scambler, directors Douglas Cox, Rob Heron, Ian Murray, Harold Roozen, Marshall Sadd, Lindsay Dodd and Tom Richards. The club's president and CEO was Chris Presson until he was fired on November 22, 2021.[7][8]


Football in Edmonton 1895–1939[edit]

The Edmonton Rugby Foot-ball Club, unaffiliated with the current team, was an early Canadian football-rugby union team based in Edmonton. The team played its first organized games with the formation of the Alberta Rugby Football League in 1895. In 1908 the name Esquimaux was adopted.[9] In 1910 the club was officially named the Edmonton Eskimos and was briefly called the Edmonton Elks during 1922. (The city was represented by the Edmonton Civics in 1914 and the Edmonton Canucks in 1919.) After appearing in and losing the 9th Grey Cup and 10th Grey Cup games (being the first western teams to play for the Cup) the team folded in 1925, but returned for two seasons beginning 1928, and then folded again. It was succeeded by the Edmonton Boosters, who played for three more seasons, and the Edmonton Hi-Grads in 1936 (a team of high school graduate all stars.) Elite-level football returned to Edmonton in 1938 with a team once again called the Eskimos, this time in the Western Interprovincial Football Union (WIFU). This team ceased operating after only two seasons because of the Second World War.

Team history[edit]

The current incarnation of the team began in the 1949 WIFU season as the Edmonton Eskimos under head coach Annis Stukus, for whom the CFL's annual coach of the year award is named. The team played home games at Clarke Stadium and quickly saw success under quarterback Jackie Parker and running back Johnny Bright, winning the Grey Cup three years in a row from 1954 to 1956. The team did not win the Grey Cup again until 1975, the longest drought in team history. The team moved to Commonwealth Stadium in 1978.

The team won five consecutive Grey Cups (1978–82), led by superstar quarterbacks Warren Moon and Tom Wilkinson and head coach Hugh Campbell. After a brief absence, Campbell returned to the team in 1986 and worked for Edmonton in an administrative capacity until his retirement in 2006. This five-year dynasty, followed by the dominance of the city's NHL team the Edmonton Oilers, led the city to be nicknamed the "City of Champions" in the 1980s. Edmonton made it to nine Grey Cups in a ten-year span from 1973 to 1982.

In the 1980s and 90s the team's marquee player was Gizmo Williams who still holds many CFL records in punt and kickoff returns and was a key part in Grey Cup victories in 1987 and 1993 under head coach Ron Lancaster. During this period the team was also known for its stellar defensive line, with future Canadian Football Hall of Famers like Danny Kepley and Danny Bass winning Defensive Player of the Year Awards and Willie Pless winning the trophy a record five times.

After winning the Grey Cup in both 2003 and 2005, under quarterback Ricky Ray, who is Edmonton's all-time leader in passing yards, the team missed the playoffs the following year, for the first time in 34 years, a North American professional sport record. This led to a ten year Grey Cup drought. After a gap of ten years, Edmonton won the Grey Cup again in 2015, under the leadership of quarterback Mike Reilly, their most recent championship.

In the 2010s and 2020s, North American sports teams began to view the use of Indigenous names and imagery in team names as culturally insensitive. The term Eskimo is considered an offensive term placed on Inuit people.[10] On June 1, 2021, it was formally announced that the new Edmonton team name would be the Edmonton Elks, a name used by the Edmonton football club of 1922.[4]

2012–2015 uniform combinations as the Edmonton Eskimos

The team colours, green and gold, have remained essentially the same over the years with only minor modifications to the uniform or logo until 2021, when the EE logo was changed to a stylized image of an elk and the Elks helmet logo was changed to antlers.

Team records and achievements[edit]

The Elks have won the Grey Cup more than any other team except the Toronto Argonauts, including more championships than any other since the CFL was formed in the 1950s. This places the Elks second overall to the Toronto Argonauts, who have won 17 Grey Cups (seven since the CFL was formed in 1954). The team also made playoffs for 37 consecutive years from 1927 to 2005, a North American professional sport record. Since re-entering the WIFU in 1949, Edmonton is the only team to have two dynasties of three or more successive Grey Cups: 1954–1956 and 1978-1982.

The Elks have also led the CFL in attendance for many years. As of August 2016, Edmonton had the highest average attendance in the league 27 times since moving to Commonwealth Stadium in 1978.[11]

Team alumni have figured prominently in Alberta political life: past players include two former provincial premiers (Peter Lougheed and Donald Getty), a former mayor of Edmonton (Bill Smith), and a lieutenant-governor (Norman Kwong).

Wall of Honour[edit]

The Edmonton Elks have a policy of honouring the players who have best represented the team on the field. The player's name, number and seasons played with the Edmonton Elks are displayed on the edge of the concrete separating the field level from the lower bowl of The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium. The Elks keep the numbers in circulation rather than retire them from use.

Numbers so honoured as of 2019:

† Honoured posthumously

Current roster[edit]


Running backs



Offensive linemen

Defensive linemen


Defensive backs

Special teams

1-Game Injured List

6-Game Injured List

Practice roster


Italics indicate American player • Bold indicates Global player • 45 Active, 9 Injured, 17 Practice, 8 Suspended
Roster updated 2021-10-18 • Depth chartTransactionsMore CFL rosters

Current coaching staff[edit]

Front Office
  • President and CEO – Vacant
  • Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager – Vacant
  • Assistant General Manager – Bobby Merritt
  • Director of Football Operations – Kris Hagerman
  • Assistant Director of Football Operations/Player Personnel Assistant – Nick Pelletier
  • Head Video Coordinator – Mike Woytowich

Head Coach

  • Head Coach – Vacant
  • Assistant Head Coach – Noel Thorpe

Offensive coaches


Defensive coaches

Special teams coaches

Coaching staff
More CFL staffs

Head coaches[edit]

General managers[edit]

CFL awards and trophies[edit]


Punter (an anthropomorphic football) and Spike (an elk) are the mascots for the Edmonton Elks. They were introduced in 2004 and 2021, respectively.[12] Nanook, a polar bear, was introduced in 1997, but was retired and replaced with Spike in 2021, coinciding with the rebranding.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Edmonton CFL franchise changes its team name to Elks". AP News. Retrieved 14 October 2021.
  2. ^ "Edmonton Eskimos Club Profile & History" (PDF). 2017 CFL Guide & Record Book. CFL Enterprises LP. Retrieved December 1, 2017.
  3. ^ "About Us". GoElks.com. CFL Enterprises LP. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "New name. Same game. We are the Edmonton Elks". GoElks.com. CFL Enterprises, LP. June 1, 2021. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  5. ^ "EDMONTON OFFICIALLY ANNOUNCES TEAM NAME AS ELKS". CFL.ca (Press release). CFL Enterprises, LP. June 1, 2021. Retrieved June 2, 2021.
  6. ^ "BOARD OF DIRECTORS". GoElks.com. CFL Enterprises LP. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  7. ^ "CHRIS PRESSON NAMED ESKIMOS PRESIDENT AND CEO". GoElks.com (Press release). CFL Enterprises LP. August 7, 2019. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  8. ^ "Elks announce sweeping organizational changes". Canadian Football League. November 22, 2021.
  9. ^ Edmonton Journal, October 15, 2012
    The Edmonton Rugby Football Club was reorganized as the Esquimaux on Oct. 16, 1908 at a meeting in the Windsor Hotel on Jasper Avenue and 101st Street.
    The team had been nicknamed “Esquimaux” by a Calgary sportswriter as early as 1897
  10. ^ "Expert says 'meat-eater' name Eskimo an offensive term placed on Inuit". Retrieved 2021-04-01.
  11. ^ Jones, Terry (2016-08-24). "Eskimos are still league leaders in attendance numbers, but half the seats at Commonwealth are empty". Edmonton Sun. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
  12. ^ "Mascots". GoElks.com. CFL Enterprises LP. Retrieved June 15, 2021.

External links[edit]