Year Born: 1914
Year Died: 2006
Year of Induction: 1992
Pioneer – Member of CAB Hall of Fame
Stukus, Annis “Stuke” (1914-2006)
“You gotta believe” – ‘Stuke’ was a football player’s football player. He was also a football coach – a hockey coach – sports writer – radio sportscaster – TV sports commentator.
At 15, he started his newspaper career. At 21, he donned the uniform of the Toronto Argos Football Club (whom he helped to two Grey Cup victories), and wore it until 1942 when he joined the Oakwood Indians. In 1943, he played for Balmy Beach; 1944 – Toronto Navy; 1945-46 – Toronto Indians. In 1949, he organized the Edmonton Eskimos and coached the team for 3 seasons. In 1953, he organized the BC Lions and was coach until 1956.
1967 found him as General Manager of the Vancouver Canucks – and 1971, the General Manager of the Winnipeg Jets
His role as a TV football colour commentator kicked off at CFTO-TV in Toronto. It was there that Stuke launched the style of news packages on one set – anchor, weather person and sports host – a concept that was adopted universally.
Annis’ newspaper career was a wraparound of his involvement in sport and he never abandoned his typewriter. In Toronto, he wrote at different times for the Star and the Telegram. He is credited with coining the phrase “The Greatest Money Team in Football”.
Returning to the Canadian west coast, Stuke joined Vancouver’s C-FUN-Radio as a sports announcer/commentator, and where, in the latter stage, he became a “Goodwill Ambassador” for the station.
Annis was made a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the Canadian Football (Sports Reporting) Hall of Fame. In his honour, a trophy is awarded annually to the CFL Coach of the Year.
“You gotta believe” – in 1992, Annis Stukus was inducted into the CAB Broadcast Hall of Fame.
On Saturday May 20th, 2006, the Edmonton Eskimos announced that Annis Stukus had died at his home in Canmore. Alberta. He was 91.
Written by J. Lyman Potts – April, 1997