Bob Ackles

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Robert Ackles
Born:(1938-09-16)September 16, 1938
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Died:July 6, 2008(2008-07-06) (aged 69)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Career information
General Manager
Career history
As administrator
1975–1986BC Lions
1987–1991Dallas Cowboys
1992–1994Phoenix Cardinals
1995Philadelphia Eagles
1996–2000Miami Dolphins
2001Las Vegas Outlaws
2002–2008BC Lions
Career highlights and awards
  • instrumental in the development of the short lived XFL.
  • Bob Ackles Day - Vancouver, 1986
  • Key to the City of Vancouver, 1986
  • Key to the City of Kelowna, 1986
Career stats

Robert Ackles (September 16, 1938 – July 6, 2008) was a Canadian Football League executive for the BC Lions. He also was a former American football executive in the National Football League. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

Early years[edit]

Ackles was born in Sarnia, Ontario and joined the BC Lions as a water boy in their founding year, 1954, at the age of 16.[1]

Professional career[edit]

Ackles grew professionally through the ranks of the BC Lions organization. He worked his way through his college studies as the Lions' equipment manager. He became the director of football development in 1966 and assistant general manager in 1971. He was promoted to general manager in 1975, a position he held for 11 years until 1986. He would perform virtually every administrative duty during his 32-year career with the BC Lions. Under his leadership, the BC Lions became one of the CFL's winningest teams, moved into a new stadium and built a new training facility. In 1985, the club won the Grey Cup.[2]

In July 1986, he joined the Dallas Cowboys as the franchise's first Director of Pro Personnel. In May 1989, he was named the Cowboys' Director of Player Personnel.

Ackles was instrumental in the development of the XFL.[3] The XFL disbanded after its lone season in 2001. The following year, in 2002, Ackles returned to the Lions as President and CEO, a position he held until his death of a myocardial infarction on July 6, 2008.[3]

Ackles' autobiography, The Water Boy, was published in 2007 and recounted his life and time in all three leagues and the future of the CFL. Ackles was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame as a Builder in 2002, the BC Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, and is the only non-player to ever be awarded the Schenley Award (1986).[1]


  1. ^ a b "Bob Ackles". Hall of Famers. Canadian Football Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
  2. ^ "Bob Ackles - President and CEO". Lions Staff. BC Lions Football Club. Archived from the original on August 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-06.
  3. ^ a b "CFL Hall of Famer Ackles passes away". 2008-07-06. Retrieved 2008-07-06.

Further reading[edit]

  • Ackles, Bob; Ian Mulgrew (September 2007). The Water Boy: From the Sidelines to the Owner's Box: Inside the CFL, the XFL, and the NFL. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-15345-1.

External links[edit]