Specialist Camp BIO: Hank Illesic

During his rookie season in 1977 while still attending High School in Edmonton at the tender age of seventeen, Hank became the youngest player in the history of professional football. Hank’s specialty on the field was punting for the CFL Edmonton Eskimos during the Glory years of ‘78 thru ‘82 winning five Grey Cup Championships.

Traded to Toronto in ‘83, Hank contributed yet to another Grey Cup for the Argonauts and he became the only player to win six consecutive Championships. In ‘89 Hank played for the NFL San Diego Chargers, and in ‘90 the Los Angeles Rams before returning to the Toronto Argonauts in ‘91 to win a 7th Grey Cup.

Hank retired after the ‘93 season, after taking a year off of football, he played for the Hamilton Tiger-cats in ‘95. Enjoying retirement for 2 seasons, in ’98 the B.C. Lions lured Hank out of retirement and he played the remaining 4 games of the regular season and the Western Final.

In 2001, after being inactive from football for 3 seasons, the Edmonton Eskimos came knocking on the door. Nicknamed, “Thunderfoot”, he played the remaining 3 regular season games and the Western Final.

Hank joins legendary Lui Passaglia as the only 2 players in the history of professional football that spans a playing career in 4 consecutive decades.

Hank has been selected on the CFL All Canadian All Star Team 8 times, ’78, ’79, ’80, ’81, ’86, ’87, ’91, ’92.

In 2018, Hank was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

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