Throughout his life and a successful career as an athlete, administrator, entrepreneur, and community volunteer, Neil Lumsden has focused on building and working with teams to set objectives and get results.
Neil attended the University of Ottawa and was an outstanding athlete with the Gee-Gees, helping the team to an undefeated season and the Vanier Cup in 1975. He extended his championship pedigree over 10 years in the Canadian Football League, winning three Grey Cups with the Edmonton Eskimos as a fullback/running back and, moving to management, a fourth as the General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1999, the last time the team won the cup.
Neil’s individual awards include the Frank M. Gibson Trophy as the top rookie in the CFL east in 1976 and the Dick Suderman Trophy as the Grey Cup’s Most Valuable Canadian in 1981.
In 2000 Neil was named U of Ottawa’s Meritas Tabaret Award winner for Alumni Achievement as the university’s Athlete of the Half Century. Neil is a member of the U of Ottawa, Ontario University Athletics, and City of Ottawa Sports Halls of fame, and in 2014 he was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in Hamilton.
Since his tenure as GM of the Tiger-Cats, Neil has been a principal in a number of successful business and community ventures. He was the General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of the 2003 Road World Cycling Championships, hosted by Hamilton and recognized as a huge success by the Switzerland-based Union Cycliste Internationale, the world governing body for sports cycling. In this role, Neil was responsible for relationships with a number of Hamilton business sponsors and supporting associations, as well as for assembling and leading a team of some 3,500 volunteers. Neil worked under a board of directors comprised of representatives from the Municipal, Provincial, and Federal Governments and the Canadian Cycling Association.
For a number of years following the cycling championships Neil owned and was CEO of Drive Marketing, a sports and marketing agency in Hamilton and Burlington. Most recently Neil was the Director of Sport, Sports Medicine, and Performance at Brock University in St. Catharines, leading many Brock Badgers programs to significant historical milestones.
For more than 40 years, Neil has volunteered in support of his commitment to youth development through sports and other community projects. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of Ronald McDonald House in Hamilton and has volunteered his time and fund-raising expertise to the Association for Community Living in the city. Over the same period, Neil has served as a coach in both youth hockey and football and is currently part of the coaching staff of the Steel City Patriots playing in the Northern Football Conference out of Stoney Creek, Hamilton.
Neil and his wife Donna live in Hamilton and have two grown children, their son Jesse and daughter Kristin.