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  • Writer's pictureCanada West

Glenn Steele (FB | Student-athlete)

NAME: Glenn Steele


CATEGORY: Student-Athlete

SPORT: Football

YEARS ACTIVE: 1981-1984


  • 1981 CIAU Rookie of the Year

  • 1981 WIFL Most Outstanding Player

  • 1982 national champion and Vanier Cup Most Outstanding Player

  • Three-time All-Canadian (1981, 1982, 1984)

  • Four-time WIFL All-Star (1981-1984)


Leading up to the 2017 Canada West football season, UBC counted down its all-time top 100 football players, ending with Glenn Steele at No. 1.

A five-foot-eight running back from Vancouver, Steele was a three-time All-Canadian, led the Western Intercollegiate Football League (WIFL) in rushing three years in a row, was named a WIFL All-Star in all four of his seasons, established numerous records, and carried the T-Birds to the 1982 Vanier Cup.

Steele came to UBC in 1981 from Vancouver's Notre Dame High School, where he was one of the finest high school football players ever to play in British Columbia. In his first season, UBC went 7-1, as Steele rushed for a CIAU-leading 951 yards. Thanks to his big rookie numbers, Steele was named a WIFL All-Star, WIFL most outstanding player, an All-Canadian, and the Peter Gorman Trophy winner as the top rookie in CIAU football.

Steele propelled UBC to an undefeated year in 1982, highlighted by an MVP performance in a 39-14 victory over Western Ontario to capture the first Vanier Cup in school history. He once again led the nation in rushing, and was named league MVP while being selected as an All-Canadian for a second consecutive year. Steele and the Thunderbirds put a cap on 1982 with a 19-8 victory in the Shrum Bowl over cross-town rival Simon Fraser University.

In 1983, Steele was yet again the top rusher in the country again, before culminating his university career in 1984 as his final season as an All-Canadian and co-winner of the Bobby Gaul Award, which recognizes UBC's top male athlete for 1984-85.

Graduating with a B.P.E. in 1985, Steele was drafted in the fifth round, 45th overall, of the CFL Draft by Winnipeg. He spent a year with the Blue Bombers before joining Ottawa in 1986. After two seasons of pro football, he retired from active play and became sports information director and assistant football coach at UBC for the year 1987.

Steele ranks as UBC football’s career leader for rushing yards (4,335) and touchdowns (36), and likewise holds the school’s single-season records for rushing yards (1,603) and touchdowns (16).

He was inducted into the UBC Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, and the B.C. Football Hall of Fame in 2012.

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