TORONTO — Duane Forde is interested in the CFL commissioner’s job.
The veteran TSN football commentator said Tuesday during a conference call that he’d be open to discussing the position after the CFL draft Sunday. Last month, commissioner Jeffrey Orridge announced that he and the league had agreed to part ways effective June 30.
Orridge, the former executive director of CBC Sports, became the CFL’s 13th commissioner in March 2015. Shortly after the announcement, Forde’s name was mentioned as a potential successor.
“To be honest it’s something I would be interested in,” Forde said during the CFL draft conference call. “I’m not going to spend much time on this call certainly talking about it.
“But maybe once we survive draft week that, yeah, it’s something that I would be interested in discussing.”
Orridge succeeded Mark Cohon, who’d served eight years as commissioner. When he took the job, Orridge became the first black commissioner of a significant North American professional sports league.
In February, the former USA Basketball and Right to Play executive received the African Canadian Achievement Award of Excellence for his accomplishments.
Forde, 47, has been with TSN since 2008, often serving as a commentator on football broadcasts with play-by-play announcer Rod Black. Forde is also a highly regarded Canadian college draft expert and since 2010 has run a national combine.
In 2012, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers courted Forde about becoming their assistant general manager. The job went to Kyle Walters, who’s now the CFL club’s full-time GM.
Forde was a fullback in the CFL for 12 seasons, playing for the Calgary Stampeders (1991-92, 1996-2000), Bombers (1993), Toronto Argonauts (1994-95), and Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2001-02). He appeared in five Grey Cup games, winning twice with the Stamps (1992, ‘98).
Forde also served as a Stampeders team captain for four years and appeared in 150 straight games — regular season and playoffs — over an eight-year span of his career.
Forde played football collegiately at Western Ontario (1987-90), winning a Vanier Cup in 1989 when he was a team co-captain. Forde was named the Mustangs’ most valuable player on two occasions.