SACKVILLE, NB - Former Football Mountie Éric Lapointe continues to make his mark on Canadian football, 12 years after finishing his outstanding career as an unstoppable, all-star running back at Mount Allison University
It was announced today, that Lapointe is going to be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame as a 2012 honoree in the players' category. Lapointe will be joined by former university coach Peter Connellan from Calgary, and past CFL players, Jack Abendschan, Damon Allen, Tyrone Jones (posthumously), and Milt Stegall, as well as Senator David Braley, who will enter the Hall in the builders' category. The actual 2012 induction ceremonies will take place in September.
"We are very proud to have Eric recognized with this tremendous honour," said Pierre Arsenault, director of athletics and recreation at Mount Allison. "The fact that he follows only Chris Flynn as a CIS player being inducted speaks volumes of the significance of his career here at Mount Allison. He is one of the iconic faces of our program and he represents the Mountie spirit in every way imaginable. It's wonderful to know that the accomplishments of Éric and his teammates will now live on forever through his induction."
Back in the late 90's, Lapointe, a three-time All-Canadian, was fondly and fittingly named around the Maritimes as "The Running Man" and "Sir Éric." His rushing stats told the story. An electrifying runner from Brossard, Quebec, Lapointe joined the Mount Allison team in 1995 and from his first season he made a huge impact in Canadian university football winning national rookie of the year honours, leading the conference in rushing yards (1,062), and finishing second in national rushing yardage.
In second year he captured his first of two Hec Crighton awards as the most outstanding player in Canadian university football. He tore up the gridiron once more, setting a CIS record and rushing for 1,619 yards, in only eight games.
Lapointe claimed his second Hec Crighton award in 1998 after tallying up 1,515 yards in his final season.
Despite an injury-ridden 1997 season, and opting to play only four university years out of a possible five, Lapointe still managed to rush for a career total of 4,666 yards, just 29 yards short of the then CIAU all-time career rushing record. Mountie Football fans can only imagine the records that might have fallen had a healthy Lapointe completed a fifth and final year of eligibility.
According to the Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) communications office, "years after his final university outing, Lapointe, who scored 29 rushing touchdowns and 31 all-purpose majors in 28 conference games during his CIS career, still holds numerous AUS records including most rushing yards in a game (311), season (1,619) and career (4,666). One of only two CIS players to reach the 1,000-yard plateau three times, he recorded five of the 10 best single-game rushing performances in AUS history. One of five multiple Hec Crighton trophy winners, his 1996 and 1998 rushing totals still rank second and third best on the single-season CIS list, while his 4,666 career yards are good for third place overall and rank first among running backs who played only four university campaigns. His lifetime average of 167 rushing yards per contest still stands as the CIS standard.
In 1997, Lapointe led the Mounties to the then AUAA championship, marking the last time Mount A won the conference championship Jewett Trophy. A member of the Mount Allison Sports Hall of Fame, he went on to a successful eight-year career in the CFL that included a 1999 Grey Cup championship with Hamilton. In 2005, a nationwide fan poll selected him as the best Canadian university football player of all time. Now 37, the three-time CIS all-Canadian works as a financial analyst in Montreal."
Last season's AUS Coach of the Year and current Mount Allison football coach Kelly Jeffrey while not coaching at Mount Allison during the "Running Man's era," knows all about him, and says, "Éric Lapointe was one of the most dominating players in CIS history. He had the rare combination of speed and strength that allowed him to dismantle defenses designed to stop him. Éric single handedly elevated Mount Allison University onto the national stage."