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Blue Bombers Bighill named 2021 Ed Kotowich award

WINNIPEG, MB.,- When you think of the name Adam Bighill, the first thing that comes to people’s minds is Blue Bombers Linebacker, CFL All-star, most outstanding defensive player, and back-to-back Grey Cup Champion. Now you can add Ed kotowich award recipient to the extensive list of accomplishments for Bighill.

The Ed Kotowich award ‘Good Guy Award’ was named after Ed Kotowich who played for the Blue Bombers from 1955-61 and is a part of the Winnipeg Football Club Hall of Fame. The award acknowledges the player who has ‘excellent football ability, is a leader in the locker room and shows outstanding effort in the community.’

Kotowich joined the Blue Bombers in 1955 as an offensive lineman and played seven seasons with Winnipeg until 1961. His best year came in 1959 when he was lauded Division All-Star, the Tommy Lumsden Award as the Most Valuable Canadian Player. That was also the second consecutive year he and his team won Winnipeg’s first Grey Cups since 1941. After dropping to the Hamilton Tiger Cats in 1957, the Bombers gained Grey Cups in 1958, 1959, and 1961 before Kotowich retired.

After football, Kotowich served as an Alderman for the City of St. Boniface from 1968-77, coached at his alma mater Rods and local young people sports. He also was a color commentator for Bomber announces in the 70s.

Ed Kotowich suffered a stroke in 1986 and died on the age of 52.

“It’s extremely important to give back. Any city I’ve been in I’ve tried to volunteer as much time as I can to help others,” said the veteran middle linebacker. “Since being in Winnipeg we’ve been able to find some excellent causes and this is just a way for me to give back. I really do enjoy it.

“As athletes we’ve got a little bit bigger platform and people do take notice. It helps bring awareness and try to make impactful changes.”

A year-round Winnipeg resident, Bighill and his wife Kristina are the parents of three children – Leah, A.J. and Beau – and he still finds time to volunteer while also training and working as an investment advisor at Wellington-Altus.

Bighill is involved in several local and national charities, including The Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, Operation Smile Canada, Special Olympics Manitoba, and the Manitoba Ride For Dad. In addition, Bighill volunteers to coach youth football with the Recruit Ready program and has represented the Blue Bombers in community initiatives including ‘I love to read.’

Among the long list of previous winners of the Good Guy Award are Trevor Kennerd, Rod Hill, Matt Dunigan, Wade Miller, Milt Stegall, Troy Westwood, Doug Brown, Buck Pierce, Obby Khan, and Matthias Goossen, with Thomas Miles named the recipient in 2019.

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