Michael Lysko

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Michael Lysko is the former commissioner of the Canadian Football League. Hailing from Aylmer, Ontario and a graduate from the University of Waterloo,[1] Lysko served as vice president of The Gem Group for three years until November 1, 2000,[2] in which he signed a three-year contract worth $750,000,[3] replacing Jeff Giles. Among the goals Lysko had was to bring an expansion team to Ottawa, which hadn't seen a CFL franchise since the Ottawa Rough Riders folded in 1996. On October 21, 2001, the Ottawa Renegades was formed, but instability in the franchise led to its folding in 2006.[2] However, on March 20, 2002, Lysko was fired as commissioner after he made comments towards the Toronto Argonauts regarding their hiring of Garth Drabinsky as a consultant; the deal with Drabinsky, who had been under investigation for alleged fraud, was regarded by Lysko as a "deal with the devil." Argonauts owner Sherwood Schwarz called for Lysko's firing,[4] and he was unanimously voted to be fired by the board of governors. Lysko had spent only 15 months as commissioner, and is the only commissioner in league history to be fired by the board.[5]

After his firing, Lysko became the director of athletics at the University of Western Ontario, which included the renovations of TD Waterhouse Stadium, Alumni Hall and Thames Hall. However, Lysko left the position on July 20, 2007, citing his intentions to move close to his wife Kathryn's parents as among the reasons for his departure.[6]


  1. ^ Maki, Allan; Mick, Hayley (June 17, 2010). "Ex-CFL commissioner Lysko critical of Waterloo administration". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  2. ^ a b "A timeline of the various troubles for Ottawa's CFL teams since '69". Postmedia News. March 28, 2008. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  3. ^ "'Bulldog' marketer tabbed to take over as CFL commissioner". Highbeam Research. October 28, 2000. Archived from the original on October 15, 2013. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  4. ^ "Lysko fired as CFL commissioner". CBC News. November 8, 2002. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  5. ^ Associated Press (March 20, 2002). "Lysko fired as CFL commissioner". ESPN. Retrieved October 14, 2013.
  6. ^ Dalla Costa, Morris (July 21, 2007). "Lysko leaves Western". The London Free Press. Archived from the original on October 15, 2013. Retrieved October 14, 2013.