Milt Stegall

Last updated
Milt Stegall
No. 84, 85
Position: Wide receiver / Slotback
Personal information
Born: (1970-01-25) January 25, 1970 (age 51)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:184 lb (83 kg)
Career information
College: Miami (OH)
Undrafted: 1992
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Receptions:4
Receiving yards:43
Touchdowns:1
Player stats at NFL.com
Career CFL statistics
Receptions:854
Receiving yards:15,153
Touchdowns:147
Player stats at CFL.ca (archive)

Milton Eugene Stegall (born January 25, 1970) [1] is a former professional gridiron football player who played 17 years of professional football, three years in the National Football League with the Cincinnati Bengals and 14 years in the Canadian Football League with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. He is currently an analyst on the CFL on TSN studio panel.

Contents

Stegall was an All-Star receiver for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL. Spanning an illustrious 14-year career from 1995–2008, he held several major CFL records upon his retirement including most career receiving yards, and currently holds the record for career receiving touchdowns and most touchdowns scored. In 2012, he was elected into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

Early years

Stegall was born in Cincinnati, the fifth of five children of Betty Stegall (b. 1935) and Garland J. Stegall (1922–1987). He attended Roger Bacon High School, where he was an All-State football player, All-City basketball player and qualified for the state track meet his senior year. Stegall started playing football at age 4 for now defunct Parchman & Oyler Pop Warner Football. During a three-year span (ages 8–10), Stegall scored 87 touchdowns playing running back, a record still held today.[ citation needed ]

College career

Stegall attended Miami University, where he was a four-year football letterman from 1988 to 1991. Stegall finished with 106 receptions for 1,581 yards, and eight touchdowns as a wide receiver. Because of his speed (he competed on Miami's track and field team where he holds the 3rd fastest 100 meter dash, 10.44 seconds, and 5th fastest 200 meter dash, 21.24 seconds) he was also a dynamic tap dancer, and kick returner, setting a career record of 1,377 kick return yards which lasted until 2002, beaten by defensive back Milt Bowen, who like Stegall signed with the Cincinnati Bengals after college. All of these accomplishments garnered Stegall an honorable mention all-Mid-American Conference selection as a junior.

NFL career

Stegall signed as an undrafted free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals. He played 21 games over 3 seasons, where he had four receptions for 43 yards and one touchdown. He was primarily played as a kick returner though, where he totaled 446 yards off of 26 kickoffs and made five tackles on special teams. In the 1995 season, he was signed as a free agent by the Green Bay Packers, but was a late cut after a serious knee injury during the final days of training camp.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers

In 1995, Stegall decided to go north to the Canadian Football League and signed with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers where he played the final 6 games of the 1995 CFL season, with 469 receiving yards, and two punt returns, one for 80 yards. In his first full season in 1996, he gained 613 yards receiving on 34 catches for 6 touchdowns.

Stegall started out as a slotback/wide receiver, garnering him an All-Star selection in the 1997 season after having a 1616-yard season. Soon however, Stegall made the switch to slotback which let him start the play closer to the middle of the larger field. Stegall flourished as a slotback, where in the CFL a player is allowed a running start before the play to gain momentum, being able to outrun defenders with his impressive speed. Stegall would go on to get 3 more All-Star selections as a slotback, peaking in 2002 where he had one of the greatest individual seasons in CFL history. He led the CFL in receptions (106), receiving yards (1,896), yards from scrimmage (1,896), touchdowns (23), receiving touchdowns (23), 100-yard games (10), 100-yard receiving games (10), average yards per catch (17.9) and non-kicker scoring (140). He set a new league single-season record for touchdowns with 23 and a new league single-season record for receiving touchdowns, also with 23. All of these made him the obvious choice as the CFL's Most Outstanding Player.

Stegall has continued his excellence throughout the seasons with the Blue Bombers. Throughout his career, Stegall has led the CFL in receptions once, he twice led the league in receiving yards and he led the league in touchdown receptions 5 times. In 2005 at age 35, some thought Stegall's play would be on the decline, but he shrugged off critics by capping off the season with his 5th All-Star selection. Amidst endless offensive coordinator changes, as well as many head coach changes, Stegall still has remained a reliable, and at times unstoppable force for the Blue Bombers. Arguably one of the most popular Bombers of all time he was named to the All-Time 75th Anniversary Team. With the 2005 season over, there was speculation that Stegall would retire, but he soon announced that he would in fact be returning for, at least, one more year. In the 5th game of the Bombers' 2007 season, July 27, 2007, Milt Stegall became the all-time CFL touchdown leader on a 1-yard pass originally designed as a running play for the occasion, surpassing running backs Mike Pringle and George Reed, and went on to score another major before the end of the game to bring his total up to that point to 139 touchdowns. Stegall said that he was 99.9% sure that he was going to retire after then 2007 season [2] but on January 31, 2008, announced he was returning to the Bombers for another year. (He also signed for an option year in 2009) [3] [4] Stegall has attributed his long and consistent career to a strict work out.

On September 12, 2008, Stegall initially tied Allen Pitts with a 16-yard touchdown reception to become the CFL's all-time leader in career receiving yards. Shortly thereafter, Stegall surpassed Pitts with a highlight reel 92-yard touchdown catch and run, totaling 14,982 yards in his career. On June 29, 2012, he was surpassed by Geroy Simon of the BC Lions and is currently second in career receiving yards.

Although Stegall played in the CFL for many years, has accomplished impressive numbers, and is considered by many to be one of the greatest receivers in CFL history, Stegall never won the Grey Cup - despite reaching Grey Cup game twice: the 89th Grey Cup vs. Calgary and 95th Grey Cup vs. Saskatchewan. [5]

Stegall officially retired from professional football on February 18, 2009. [6]

Media personality

Stegall is one of the most popular CFL players among the media. [7] He was voted the best looking man in the CFL. [8] He often gets praise from his teammates for his work ethic, personality, and leadership. [9]

In June 2009, it was announced that Stegall would join TSN as an analyst for their CFL broadcasts throughout the 2009 CFL season. [10] Stegall remains a prominent member of the CFL analyst panel on CFL on TSN broadcasts.

Personal life

Stegall and his wife Darlene are the parents of two sons. Stegall made it clear one of the conditions he would hold off retirement and return to playing was if his wife gave birth to their second son in Winnipeg. [11] He currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. [12]

Accomplishments

On July 20, 2006, Milt Stegall scored the winning 100-yard touchdown reception to lead the Blue Bombers to a 25–22 victory over the Edmonton Eskimos with no time left. Milt Stegall had 254 yards in the game, perhaps the best game of his career.

On December 12, 2006, Stegall signed a one-year contract extension to stay with Winnipeg for the 2007 season, but indicated that "there's basically no chance" that he will return beyond 2007. [13]

On June 28, 2007, Milt Stegall scored the game-tying touchdown versus the Edmonton Eskimos to tie the all-time touchdown record, shared with George Reed and Mike Pringle at 137 Touchdowns.

On July 27, 2007, Milt Stegall became CFL's all-time touchdown leader after scoring his 138th touchdown against the Hamilton Tiger-cats. He managed to score two touchdowns that night, and stands at 144 Touchdowns as of October 28, 2007.

On August 24, 2007, the premier of Manitoba honoured Stegall with the Order of the Buffalo Hunt.

On August 24, 2007, the mayor of Winnipeg honoured Stegall with the key to the city. He also was honoured with a street in Winnipeg adjacent to Canad Inns Stadium formerly called Arena Road (in reference to the former Winnipeg Arena) which was renamed Milt Stegall Drive.

On September 12, 2008 Milt Stegall became the leader in receiving yards, moving past Allen Pitts' previous record. The record is now held by Geroy Simon. [14]

On August 3, 2016, at halftime of the Blue Bombers home game against the Tiger-Cats, Stegall was inducted into the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Ring of Honour.

In recognition of Stegall’s contributions to the community and the province of Manitoba, the Manitoba Foundation for Sports provides scholarships to young athletes in his name through the MFFS Milt Stegall Scholarship. [15]

Statistics

Receiving Regular season Playoffs
YearTeamGamesNo.YardsAvgLongTDGamesNo.YardsAvgLongTD
1992 CIN 1633511.7131Team did not qualify
1993 CIN 4188.080Team did not qualify
1994 CIN 1000.000Team did not qualify
1995 WPG 62546918.8514157815.6280
1996 WPG 113461318.05461155.050
1997 WPG 1861161626.510514Team did not qualify
1998 WPG 73240312.6626Team did not qualify
1999 WPG 1373119316.3996Team did not qualify
2000 WPG 1678149919.286152914015.6312
2001 WPG 1681121415.079142919922.1702
2002 WPG 18105186217.78323
2003 WPG 1868114416.873151000.000
2004 WPG 1668112116.5676Team did not qualify
2005 WPG 1752118422.810117Team did not qualify
2006 WPG 1479126916.11007127638.0590
2007 WPG 1769110816.149831318113.9422
2008 WPG 122945815.8923155611.2160
NFL totals2144310.8131
CFL totals19985415,15317.7105144124473516.7706

CFL records

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References

  1. "Milt Stegall Stats". Pro-Football Reference.
  2. "Milt Stegall Putting Off CFL Retirement". cfl.ca. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
  3. "One More Year for Stegall". cfl.ca. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. "Audio and Transcript of Stegall's Teleconference". cfl.ca. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. Turner, Randy (2009-02-18). "Father Time finally tackles Stegall". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
  6. Naylor, David (2009-02-18). "Stegall officially calling it quits". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
  7. Matsumoto, Rick (2007-11-22). "If Stegall quits he will leave a gaping hole". The Star. Toronto. Retrieved 2010-05-12.
  8. "Milt Stegall". Rosters. CFL.ca. Archived from the original on 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
  9. Ralph, Dan (2009-02-06). "Stegall ready to retire". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2009-02-18.
  10. "TSN to air entire 2009 CFL Season". CFL.ca. June 10, 2009.
  11. "Stegall adds non-import to the roster". Canoe.ca. July 7, 2008.
  12. Wyman, Ted (May 15, 2020). "CFL legend Stegall cautions against trying to get back on field too soon and risking setback". Winnipeg Sun.
  13. "Blue Bombers re-sign Milt Stegall". CBC.ca. CBC Sports. December 12, 2006.
  14. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-08-26. Retrieved 2013-10-24.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. "The Manitoba Foundation for Sports (MFFS) scholarship". athleticsmanitoba.ca.