Drs. McCormack and Naidu recognized for leadership in establishing and maintaining CFL health and safety protocols

HAMILTON – The Canadian Football League (CFL)’s Chief Medical Officers, Drs. Bob McCormack and Dhiren Naidu, have been honoured with the Hugh Campbell Distinguished Leadership Award, in recognition of their exemplary service in establishing and maintaining the league’s health and safety protocols during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have seen an incredible amount of leadership this past year,” said CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie. “From our governors through to our coaches and of course, our remarkable players. Their determination, dedication and perhaps most of all, discipline, have brought us through this season.

“But through it all, it was Dr. McCormack and Dr. Naidu, who allowed us to do all of this safely. They generously lent us their expertise and experience in guiding us every step of the way. Their efforts and those of the entire Medical Committee have allowed this moment and the 108th Grey Cup to be possible – and for that, our fans, our teams and the entire CFL family can never thank them enough.”

Dr. McCormack is the Medical Director of the BC Lions and has served on the CFL’s Medical Committee since 2011. He is a Professor of Medicine in the University of British Columbia’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery, and serves as the Chief Medical Officer for the British Columbia Hockey League and the Medical Director for the Canadian Premier League. This past summer, Dr. McCormack was the Medical Director for the Alberta “curling bubble” that hosted three national and two world championships. He also served as the Chief Medical Officer for the Canadian Olympic Committee from 2005 to 2019.

Dr. Naidu is the Medical Director and Head Team Physician of the Edmonton Elks, and has been a member of the CFL Medical Executive since 2012. He is a Professor of Medicine in the University of Alberta’s Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and also serves as the Medical Director and Head Team Physician for the Edmonton Oilers of the NHL, the Head Team Physician for the University of Alberta Golden Bears football team and the Chief Medical Officer for the Western Hockey League. Dr. Naidu was also the Medical Director for the NHL’s “Edmonton bubble” during the 2020 season. He has represented the CFL on the International Collision Sports Group, which has collaborated on concussion research, prevention and treatment and includes leading organizations from professional hockey, gridiron football, Aussie rules football and rugby.

Presented annually since 2006, the Hugh Campbell Distinguished Leadership Award honours its namesake’s years of service to Canadian football as a player, coach and executive. The award recognizes an individual or individuals who have demonstrated great leadership and made significant contributions to the league. Past winners include legendary player, coach and general manager Wally Buono, Calgary and Edmonton star Norman Kwong, BC Lions executive Bob Ackles and more.

The CFL Awards are the marquee event of Grey Cup Week, celebrating the season’s best performances and recognizing its leaders on and off the field. A number of fan favourite celebrations, such as the Spirit of Edmonton events and the Eastern and Western Social Halls, remain before the big game. Additional information can be found at

The 108th Grey Cup from Hamilton’s Tim Hortons Field, featuring Arkells and special guests, The Lumineers, in the Twisted Tea Grey Cup Halftime Show, will be played on Sunday, December 12 at 6 p.m. ET. The game will be broadcast live on TSN and RDS – Canada’s home of the CFL.

Lucas Barrett

Lucas Barrett

Director, Communications & Public Affairs, Canadian Football League

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