Michael Soles Football Award

A great big THANK YOU to everyone who contributed!

Our campaign may be closed, but if you still would like to contribute, you may make a gift over the phone by calling 514-398-5000 or you can mail a cheque, payable to "McGill University," and in the memo write: ‘Michael Soles Football Award’ to this address:

Donation and Record Services
McGill University
1555 Peel Street, 9th Floor
Montreal, Quebec H3A 3L8

Thanks again!



As many of you now know, former McGill Redmen Football great Michael Soles is suffering from ALS.  Often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease", ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, for which there is no known cure.

Although Mike has been suffering from ALS for over nine years, he has been strong and active throughout his battle and remains completely committed to his love of football, McGill and the Redmen. He graduated from McGill in 1989 with a BA in history and economics. A three-time all-star and two-time All-Canadian, he was one of the most prolific running backs ever to wear the Red and White.  Over the course of a remarkable three year playing career, Mike won 48 awards, including 13 as a freshman in 1986 when he captured the Peter Gorman trophy as CIAU rookie of the year.

To honour his career and commendable dedication to McGill, we would like to collectively establish an endowment fund in his name.  The Michael Soles Football Award will be given to deserving players on an annual basis as a lasting tribute to a great and cherished member of the McGill Redmen family. The award is a fitting way to honor Mike, both for his on-field accomplishments and for his passion and commitment to the Redmen program in the years since he graduated.

Our goal is to raise $80,000 to establish the endowment. This can be accomplished if each one of us considers making the most generous gift possible. Donations can be spread out in pledges over three to five years. Moreover, to encourage our efforts, the Martlet Foundation has agreed to match our gifts and pledges on a $1 to $2 basis. Meaning that if we obtain our goal of $80,000, the Marlet Foundation match will bring the endowment to $120,000.

We ask that you please give generously to the Michael Soles Football Award endowment fund. We cannot do it without you. Thank you in advance for enabling this tribute to a dedicated, courageous champion and beloved teammate, Michael Soles (a.k.a. “Number 22”).



The Man

Michael Soles is quite simply one of the best players in the long and storied history of McGill Athletics. A quiet, determined leader who let his talent, strength, work ethic and fierce competitive drive speak for itself, he raised the game of those around him to championship heights. Today, he lives in Beaconsfield and is flanked by the best teammates anyone could ask for, his family: together with his wife Catherine, Michael is a proud parent to Justine, Matthew and Anthony. Here are just some of his career highlights:

  • In 1987, Mike led the Redmen to a stunning 47-11 Vanier Cup win over the heavily-favored UBC Thunderbirds.  Despite icy conditions, Mike racked up a Vanier Cup record 203 rushing yards and captured the Ted Morris trophy as game MVP in McGill’s only Vanier Cup national championship.
  • He was the first CIAU player selected in the 1989 CFL Draft and went on to play 11 seasons for Edmonton and Montreal. He was a three-time CFL all-star and won the Grey Cup with the Eskimos in 1993.
  • In October 2000, Michael Soles was inducted into the McGill Sports Hall of Fame.

The Award

The Michael Soles Football Award will promote the McGill Redmen Intercollegiate Football program by providing direct funding in the form of an annual award to eligible student athletes in good academic standing. The recipients will be selected by the McGill Athletics Awards Committee.

While the Redmen remain strongly committed to reviving a winning tradition on the field, the competitive environment in our league is fierce.  Programs at other Quebec schools are well-funded through private and corporate donations and recruitment is the key to success in Intercollegiate Football. Every Student Athletics Award dedicated to football gives the coaches and our volunteer Redmen across the country some leverage to encourage the best student athletes to consider McGill. The award is a fitting way to honor Mike, both for his on-field accomplishments and for his passion and commitment to the Redmen program in the days since he graduated.

There are three ways to make a gift:

1. Click the red 'FUND IT NOW' button at the top of the page

2. Make a cheque payable to McGill University – Michael Soles Football Athletic Award
    Mail it to:
    Donation and Record Services
    McGill University
    1555 Peel Street, 9th Floor
    Montreal, Quebec H3A 3L8

3. If you are interested in pledging your gift over a number of years, please contact:
    Samantha Rogers at 514.398.7000 ext.00339 or Samantha.rogers [at] mcgill.ca

All Seeds of Change donors who give $5 or more will receive a tax receipt from McGill University. This includes alumni living in the United States as well. Alumni residing in the United Kingdom have the distinct opportunity of benefitting from GiftAid, a program offered by the UK Government that matches 25% of the value of a donation made to an eligible charity. If you’re living in the UK and want to make a donation, we encourage you to visit https://aoc.mcgill.ca/give/giving-uk/making-your-gift to learn how to give directly to McGill while taking full advantage of the GiftAid program.

Meet the Project Team: 
Bruno Pietrobon

Slotback (SB), B.Eng ’88

Joff Elkas

Quarterback (QB), BA ’89

Wayne McRae

Linebacker (LB), BCom ‘88

Hagen Mehnert

Linebacker (LB), BA ‘89

Vincent Gagné

Defensive Back (DB), BA ‘88