Born and raised in Florida, this William and Mary economics graduate began his career in the Canadian Football League in 1989 after a brief stint in the National Football League. Renowned as one of pro football’s most electrifying players, Clemons compiled a brilliant career, including a pro-football record for most career combined yards with 25,438. He retired with 12 all-time team records to his credit and became Head Coach for the Toronto Argonauts. In this capacity he became the 1st and only black Head Coach to win the Grey Cup (Canada’s Super Bowl) in 96 years. In 2008 he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame with his friend and former teammate Doug Flutie.
Michael “Pinball” Clemons is an icon of sporting excellence, community leadership, personal character and integrity. He’s an author, philanthropist, entrepreneur and currently the vice – chair of the Toronto Argonauts.
A dynamic on-stage personality with quiet dignity, but also boundless energy, he engages audience members and delivers an unforgettable, often emotional speech that touches on the potential in all of us to achieve anything to which we set our minds. Organizations respond to his presentations with rave reviews and overwhelming enthusiasm.
Keynotes and Speaking Topics
- All Heart Mike Clemons’ football career was characterized by incredible perseverence and great skill. At only 5’6″ 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 favourite he is throughout Canada.
- 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.
- Hall of Fame Inductee
- Pro-football record for most career combined yards with 25,438
- Grey Cup Champion
- ‘We have had several speakers over the past two years, but you are the best! Your passion, energy, humility and great sense of humour really resonated with the group’I know they left the room pumped!’ – CIBC
- ‘Thanks for the opportunity to have Mike Clemons come and speak to our team. He was simply amazing! I knew he would be a very inspirational speaker to have join us for this meeting and I am so pleased he was able to help us out.’ – Hoffmann – La Roche Ltd.
- ‘I have received many messages of thanks from our Principals stating just how much they appreciated Michael’s presentation. His message touched the hearts and minds of our group. His personal and professional insights had a profound impact. His stories brought a sense of hope and inspiration to the entire group. These stories helped us to laugh and brought us to tears. He touched the audience deeply with his thoughtful and upbeat themes. Michael is truly a gifted speaker. ‘ – Avon Maitland District School Board