Michael Clemons

 About

  • Talks about how, as a 5'6" football player, he went on to become one of the CFL's most recognized and beloved players, and eventually Head Coach of the Toronto Argonauts by playing with heart and passion.
  • Audiences are inspired by his inspiring story of overcoming the odds of his stature and background to rise to the highest levels of football in Canada.
  • Michael "Pinball" Clemons won the Grey Cup in 1991, 1996, and 1997 with the Argonauts, and was honored with the CFL’s “most outstanding player” award in 1990, before becoming Head Coach of the Toronto Argonauts.
  • Founder of the Pinball Clemons Foundation, a non-profit organization responsible for the construction of a hospital in Uganda, over 200 schools in developing countries, two orphanages in Haiti, and locally awarded more than 200 scholarships.

About Michael Clemons - Canadian Football Icon and Inspiring Speaker:

Michael "Pinball" Clemons is the former Head Coach of the Toronto Argonauts Football Club. "Pinball" has received numerous awards including the CFL Man-of-the-Year award, the John Candy Memorial Trophy, an Honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D) degree from York University, Doctor of Humane Letters from the College of William and Mary, the prestigious Order of Ontario in recognition of his dedication and work with charities throughout Ontario and across Canada and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He is also a member of the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame and the CFL Hall of Fame

He was raised in Dunedin, Florida by a single Mom and attended the College of William & Mary where he graduated with a degree in economics. Michael's true claim to fame however is being Diane's husband and Rachel, Raven and Rylie’s Dad.

Clemons joined the National Football League in 1987, and CFL’s Toronto Argonauts in 1989. He was nicknamed “Pinball” because of his running style — his diminutive size and extraordinary balance allowed him to “bounce” between defensive players, drawing comparisons to a pinball machine. Clemons won the Grey Cup in 1991, 1996, and 1997 with the Argonauts, and was honored with the CFL’s “most outstanding player” award in 1990, after setting the single season record for all-purpose yards. He played his last game as an Argonaut in 2000, before becoming head coach of the team in the same year. He led the football club to six consecutive East Division Finals, including the 2004 championship, concluding his coaching tenure with 68 wins — the second highest in the team history.

In 2007, Clemons stepped down as head coach to become the chief executive officer, and in 2009, he was appointed as the vice-chair of the team. In 2019, Clemons was named the 20th general manager of the Toronto Argonauts.

Clemons is also the founder of the Pinball Clemons Foundation, a non-profit organization that empowers youth through education. Since it’s founding in 2007, it’s been responsible for the construction of a hospital in Uganda, over 200 schools in developing countries, two orphanages in Haiti, and locally awarded more than 200 scholarships.

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 Topics

What Michael Clemons Talks About:

All Heart
Mike Clemons’ football career was characterized by incredible perseverance and great skill. At only 5 feet 6 inches and 170 pounds, he won against all odds. He succeeded while others predicted failure, gave more when less would have been satisfactory. All Heart is the story of a young man guided by fierce determination.

Michael is an athlete with true character, an incredibly generous spirit and a quiet dignity that shines on and off the field. Michael tells how his upbringing has shaped him, how his steadfast faith has always guided him, and how his commitment to his team and his community is much more than just a professional veneer, but a deeply held feeling of true spirit and belonging.

The Importance of Teamwork
Toronto Argonauts former coach and player Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons is a man of unquestionable character and spirit. Not only is he renowned for his achievements on the football field, Pinball’s aptitude for motivational speaking is undeniable. His presentations are at once captivating and empowering. He exemplifies the capabilities of teamwork and leadership while demonstrating what it means to beat the odds.

Michael’s tireless community involvement and participation in countless charitable causes exemplify the qualities he possesses, which are so rarely found in today’s professional athletes. His presentations are at once captivating and empowering, and clearly demonstrate the capabilities of teamwork.

Clemons will share his past experiences to illustrate how people can overcome obstacles and achieve success. Being just 5 feet, 6 inches tall and becoming a football superstar is quite exceptional. In his deeply moving and inspirational talk, he will speak about personal perseverance and the importance of teamwork, which is relevant to any industry.

Winning Against the Odds
Renowned as one of pro football’s most electrifying players, Toronto Argonauts running back Michael “Pinball” Clemons is the CFL’s all time, all purpose yardage leader. However, it is his exceptional character, in addition to his outstanding athletic ability, which has made him the remarkable fan favorite he is throughout Canada.

Michael’s tireless community involvement and participation in countless charitable causes exemplify the qualities he possesses, which are so rarely found in today’s professional athletes. His presentations are at once captivating and empowering, and clearly demonstrate the capabilities of teamwork.

At only 5 feet 6 inches and 170 pounds, he also inspires his audiences by illustrating what is possible and what it means to beat the odds. Pinball communicates his heartfelt stories with a passionate spirit and his patented, contagious smile. Organizations respond to his presentations with rave reviews and overwhelming enthusiasm.

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 Recent Publications

In brief, Pinball was terrific. The presentation was high-energy entertainment for all participants, including those who are not sports or football fans.

Allstate Insurance Corp.

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