No coaching ambitions for Pless

Gerry Moddejonge, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:29 PM ET

Just don’t expect to see Willie Pless with a headset along the sidelines at Commonwealth Stadium.

After being named the Edmonton Eskimos new community ambassador on Friday, the alumni member said he has no intentions of one day joining the coaching ranks.

“Absolutely not,” Pless said. “I think there’s a very clear understanding that it’s just not in my blood to coach and that’s why I appreciate this opportunity even more so, because it gives me a chance to get back into the Edmonton Eskimos family.”

While he might take the opportunity to enjoy running down the tunnel with the team on game day again, Pless said his role will take place behind the scenes.

“I’m going to do whatever I can do to help be a positive role model to these younger guys,” Pless said. “I’m going to do things I have been doing anyways, out in the community, charities and helping the young players.”

Young players who will be learning from the best.

“It’s not only me, you’re going to have a group of alumni players stepping up,” said Pless. “This has been passed on from way before my time and way before some of the other guys’ time, where you spend a lot of time with the older guys.

“Those are the guys who show you how to act in the community, what to expect from the fans and what the fans expect from you.”

It’s an attitude that extends onto the field.

“When you’re on that field and you put this jersey on, you’re out there for one reason and that’s to win some ball games,” Pless said. “You do whatever it takes, not only yourself but also to help your teammates to do a better job. Those are some things that I can pass on.

“The old saying is: ‘Once an Eskimo, always an Eskimo.’ ”

‘The Terminator’ by the numbers

14-year CFL career

11-time CFL all-star

5-time CFL defensive player of the year

1986 most outstanding rookie

2004 Eskimos Wall of Honour

2005 Canadian Football Hall of Fame

Records

CFL defensive tackles, career – 1,241

Eskimos defensive tackles, career – 813

Eskimos defensive tackles, season – 117

Eskimos fumble returns, career – 26

Eskimos fumble returns, season – 8

Eskimos fumble returns, game – 3

Eskimos tackles for loss, career – 41

Teams

Toronto Argonauts (1986-89)

B.C. Lions (1990)

Edmonton Eskimos (1991-98)

Saskatchewan Roughriders (1999)

gerry.moddejonge@sunmedia.ca


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