Cohon will not seek third term as Commissioner

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Among the league’s accomplishments while Cohon has been Commissioner:


  • The debut of the Ottawa REDBLACKS as the CFL returned to the national capital under strong local ownership.
  • Exploring opportunities in Atlantic Canada through three successful Touchdown Atlantic games in Moncton, New Brunswick.


  • A vastly improved national broadcast deal with TSN and RDS which runs until 2018.
  • A new U.S. broadcast deal with ESPN which runs until 2018.

Player Agreements:

  • Successful negotiation of two Collective Bargaining Agreements that enhanced the fundamental business model of the CFL while bringing labour peace through 2018.

Football Operations:

  • Introduction, in partnership with the CFLPA, of a ground breaking new drug policy, which saw the CFL become the first major professional sports league in North America to test for HGH.
  • Establishment of a centralized command centre for more effective video review of coaches’ challenges during games.
  • Enhanced health and safety through the introduction of concussion protocols, rule changes, enhanced discipline and grass roots programs to make our game safer for players and kids alike.

Stadium Renaissance:

  • Construction of new or refurbished stadiums in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Ottawa, and Hamilton, with another new stadium planned for Regina in 2017, and stadium improvement projects in Calgary, Edmonton and Montreal.

Grey Cups:

  • The national celebration of the 100th Grey Cup in 2012 marked by a national tour for the historic trophy and capped by the wildly successful championship game and festival in Toronto.
  • Improved profile and coverage of our national championship with sold out Grey Cup games and successful festivals in Montreal, Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Regina as well as Toronto.

CFL Brand:

  • Reinvigoration of the CFL brand and pride in our league through the landmark “This is Our League? marketing campaign.
  • New and innovative fan friendly events and programs:
  • Annual State of the League briefing hosted by Commissioner for CFL fans.
  • Grey Cup Fan March which sees fans carry the Grey Cup to the stadium.
  • A modernized rules committee process which invited fans to initiate rules changes.

Cohon indicated a willingness to stay on as Commissioner until his current contract expires in April 2015.

The Board of Governors will discuss next steps soon, Lawson said.

“Mark has done a wonderful job for our league,? Lawson said. “The CFL will continue to grow and succeed in the future under a new Commissioner, building on the strong foundation Mark has worked to build.?

Why do the initials MLSE spring to mind?

I nominate myself

well that sucks.

I remember the first time I met him, was at a tailgate and he came by...I think his first week as commish. He walked up and started asking about our "CFL fans fight cancer booth". Just a regular guy...and I asked him...Are you "Mark Cohon"? He stayed, had a cold drink with us and chatted...took a couple of pictures. Very personable. Always approachable and friendly. I think he has done a good job and I wish him all the best. :thup:

Congratulations to the best Commissioner since Gaudaur. I know the league will have an excellent future based on your work. :rockin:

too bad mark did great things for the league.

wish he could've stayed on board for another term to see the argos move into a new stadium and get that elusive 10th maritime team. those 2 objectives will have to be number 1 and 1A to the new commish

Sad to hear about the planned departure of the CFL's best ever Commissioner. What a class act. Thanks Mark and best wishes for your future.
Copied here, for anyone not on the CFL email list, is his message sent today to fans of the league:

Dear CFL Fans

Today I informed our Board of Governors that I will not seek a third term as Commissioner of the Canadian Football League.

This is a very personal decision. I knew in my gut when I came here that the CFL was the right place for me and I have never regretted that decision. Today, those same instincts are telling me it is time to move on to tackle new challenges and opportunities.

I won't be going anywhere for a while. I have indicated my willingness to complete my current term as Commissioner. It doesn't expire until April 2015 but I wanted to give our Governors ample time to find the right person for this important position. Their search will begin immediately. And I will continue to work as Commissioner for the rest of this season and for months to come.

Still, I can't help but reflect. It's incredible how quickly time flies. This is my eighth season as Commissioner, and I have loved every minute of working on behalf of our iconic franchises, with our elite and unselfish athletes, and for you, our wonderful fans.

Thank you so much.

Our league has come a long way over these years. You have made every advance possible.

When we debuted the REDBLACKS this season, you packed the place.
When we celebrated the 100th Grey Cup, you came to every event, and when we took our historic trophy from coast to coast to coast by plane, train and automobile, you were on board, often literally.
When we visited Atlantic Canada, you came with us, or were already there for us.
When we declared This is Our League, you cheered.
When we sat down to negotiate a transformative deal with TSN and RDS, you armed us with great ratings.
When we said we needed new stadiums, you showed your support to help make them happen.
When we launched the Fan State of the League, you filled the room with energy, emotion and tough questions.
When we launched the SunLife Grey Cup Fan March, you filled the streets with fun and emotion and, as I knew would happen, not one of you dropped the Grey Cup, and all of you cherished the moment.
When I asked for your rule changes, you had the most innovative ones.
When I asked for your input, you took the time to write or call or email or tweet, and each and every time, your passion for our league shone through.
And when I wandered into the stands, into a Sea of Green or Box J or any one of the special places that has made this league what it is, you welcomed me and my family with open arms, good humour, and the occasional priceless one-liner.
Commissioners come and go. So do coaches and quarterbacks. Our league and game are much bigger than any one person. The CFL will continue to grow and succeed in the future because of you, our fans.

Still, I hope the CFL is better for the time I have spent here. I know I am and always will be.

Thank you for everything.


8) YES !!! I second your nomination, and you have my vote, Banshee !!! :D

Fred Eisenberger has already been appointed. The upper West stands of THF will be transported to the West Harbour immediately, followed by the rest of the stadium after the Labour Day Classic is played.

Give it a rest.

I agree fully.

Cohon going to be on PTS in 2 minutes.

Cohon's record speaks for itself. He's affable, personable and most of all he seems passionate about the league that he champions. He has been great for this league and produced tremendous growth, including pulling it back more or less from the brink of collapse. He will be a very tough act to follow.

I would thank him for his work so far and what's to come until next April.

Has any commissioner in any sport ever had virtually 100% of his league's fans be disappointed when it's announced he's leaving?

Big shoes to fill.

What a loss.

Above all, what a class act. No, in answer to the question posed previously, I can't see NHL fans mourn the loss of Gary What'shisname.

I hope the league honours him properly with a trophy in his name. I'm not sure what it would be awarded for, but I believe the honour is definitely due.


That's a very interesting & tremendous proposal. I for one, have always wanted a Canadian Rookie Of The Year Award. Eliminate the NFL experience that disqualify some imports from earning RotY awards and make that category wide open - rookies to the CFL. And make a new award for 1st year non-imports, nationals, Canadians ... Whatever you want to call it ... But give them the Mark Cohon Trophy.

I nominate our Bob the Caretaker..

Our me. And my first order of business would be to add 'suck' to any words starting with Toronto and/or Argos.

Predictions time:

As far as where Cohon is going ... I say 70/30 Politics/MLSE. As far as his replacement ... I say 99.9% current President & COO Michael Copeland will move up one rung and assume the job. (and y'all thought I was gonna say position!)

The Big Cohon-eh? award for most daring 3rd down gamble of the year.