And the bevy of accolades hes amassed over the years prove he played it with the best of em.
Jim Corrigall, a three-time All-American defensive tackle at Kent State from 1967-69, became one of just seven players named to the Canadian Football League member Toronto Argonauts All-Time Argos team in a ceremony held at Skydome in Toronto.
This is very special to me, said Corrigall, the Kent State football teams current mentor, whose No. 79 will forever hang from the Skydome rafters. The Argos have a very rich tradition ... theyve been in existence for (about 125 years). So its a thrill for me. It took me completely by surprise.
After his stellar career at Kent State, Corrigall became the highest Canadian draft choice in history when he was chosen in the second round by the NFLs St. Louis Cardinals in 1970. But the Ontario native decided to shun the NFL when Toronto owner John Bassett presented a superior offer.
And the move paid off.
Corrigall wound up spending his entire 12-year professional career with the Argonauts, earning All-Pro honors four times. Noted for his intimidating presence and superior strength and agility, Corrigall won the CFL Outstanding Defensive Player award in 1975 and was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 1990.
Corrigall still looks back fondly on his pro playing days.
When we played at home, we always had a full house 45 to 50,000, said Corrigall. The league was very entertaining and the fans could identify with the players on the team. There was no swinging door policy like there is in professional sports now.
Corrigall was a fan-favorite, earning the nickname Cartwheel Corrigall for the cartwheels he used to do after making big plays.
I have a fond memory of my (Argo) teammates and some of the coaches and owners I was associated with, said Corrigall, but most of all its of the Toronto fans and media, who treated me great.
Corrigall served as a player/coach his final two years at Toronto and continued to explore the coaching field after hanging up his cleats following the 1981 season. He served as an assistant coach at Miami of Ohio, North Carolina State and Akron before returning to his alma mater in 1990 as Kent States assistant athletic director for facilities and operations. He then took over the Flashes football program in 1993 and is currently in his fourth season as head coach.
Corrigall was the first Kent State player to have his number retired and is a charter member of the Kent Varsity K Hall of Fame. He has also been inducted into the Summit County Hall of Fame and Barrie, Ontario Hall of Fame.
Corrigall resides in Rootstown with his wife, Marybeth.