There are some athletes in sports that are just special. Monday, the BC Lions announced the retirement of one of those athletes, as Barron Miles announced his retirement from the Canadian Football League after 12 seasons, defining himself as one of the greatest defensive backs to play the game while at the same time being a great member of the community.
Miles spent 5 of his 12 seasons in the CFL, joining the Lions after 7 years with the Montreal Alouettes. In the 189 games Miles played in the league (88 as a Lion) he recorded 505 tackles, 66 interceptions. He holds the CFL record for blocked kicks, and was a divisional all-star nine times, and a CFL all-star 6 times, including his final season. Just to go out in style Miles also led the league in interceptions last year, the third time he can stake claim to that title.
So why hang them up? Miles is 38 and at this point in his career wants to take advantage of a chance to learn a new craft in the game. With his smarts and experience he has the makings of a great coach, and it’s great to see the Lions accommodating him in that regard. Miles will join former teammate Mark Washington as defensive backs coach and will also do scouting for the team.
“I am very pleased to have Barron join the Lions coaching staff for the 2010 season as well as adding his talents to our scouting department,” said Lions GM and head coach Wally Buono. “As one of the finest defensive backs to ever play in this league, Barron’s career speaks for itself and I look forward to adding his leadership to our staff in 2010”
Like his performance on the field, Miles presence in the community is also of all-star quality. He’s been a recipient of the CFL’s Tom Pate award, given to the player who displays qualities that distinguish him from his peers. The recipient embodies the qualities of Pate, including outstanding sportsmanship, as well as charity work. Having attended training camps and practices, as well as some football camps, watching Miles work with kids shows you quality of the man.
There is no doubt that in time Barron Miles will be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and hopefully he’ll be honoured by the Lions in some capacity as well.