For sixteen years Jamie Taras strapped on his football helmet and did battle in the trenches.
Drafted from the University of Western Ontario by the B.C. Lions in 1987 he started as a fullback before switching to offensive line in 1991. A two-time Grey Cup champion (1994, 2000), four-time Western All-Star (1995, 1999, 2001, 2002), three-time CFLPA All-Star (1995, 1999, 2002) and two-time CFL All-Star (1995, 1999), Taras would be frequently recognized by the league for his outstanding play and community involvement, receiving the Tom Pate Community Service Award (1999).
The former team captain and member of the club’s 50th season all-time dream team would also be a multiple recipient of several Lions awards, including the Fred Dietrich Memorial Trophy (four-time winner), the Laurie Niemi Lineman of the Year Award (four-time winner), and Humanitarian of the Year Award. He is one of only eight Lions to have his number honoured.
A former vice president of the CFLPA, Taras is also an experienced professional speaker and business consultant, speaking to audiences of every age and background on topics ranging from leadership to teamwork. As a spokesperson for many youth organizations in British Columbia, Jamie has dedicated countless hours to the development of workshops and seminars catering specifically to youth.
Currently the Lions Director of Community Relations, Jamie and his wife, Jennifer, along with daughter Sydney and son William reside year-round in White Rock, BC. In addition to his work with the Lions, Jamie is on the board of directors for Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver, is a proud member of Athletes in Action, and is a speaker with the Esteem Team – an athlete role model program.
In 2006, Jamie was honoured with a Volunteer Vancouver Award for his tireless community involvement.
Inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame – Athlete category – on May 20, 2009