CFLAA Legends of the Game Profile – Hank Ilesic
Known as one of the all-time great punters in league history, Hank Ilesic used his booming kicks to carve out a very successful 19 year CFL career. What makes this story unique is that the 6 foot 1 inch IIesic, joined his hometown Eskimos right after graduating from St. Joseph’s High School in Edmonton at the age of 17
IIesic went on to be a two time CFL all-star punter and collect seven Grey Cup Championships with Edmonton and Toronto. His kicking was an essential part of the Edmonton Eskimos’ record-setting dynasty that won five consecutive Grey Cups.
In addition to seeing action with the Eskimos and Argos, IIesic played with Hamilton and B.C. He also spent the 1989 season kicking for the NFL’s San Diego Chargers.
Ilesic finished his CFL career playing in 259 regular season games amassing 91,753 punting yards, including an impressive 8,004 yards in 1986. He added 185 single points, many coming on his exceptionally long kick-offs. IIesic will be remembered as an old-school straight-ahead kicker instead of today’s soccer-style kicker.
A throwback to the strong-legged kickers of football’s early days, Illesic not only punted, but kicked field goals and performed kick-offs, all at an all-star level.
Today Hank IIesic is giving back to the community by sharing his professional knowledge to mentor and train young high performance athletes.
Written by Tony Playter
Photo by: F. Scott Grant