The BC Lions Football Club is pleased to announce that former defensive greats Nick Hebeler and Rick Klassen will be added to the BC Lions Wall of Fame during a halftime ceremony on Friday, July 6th when the club hosts the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
“We are proud and excited to welcome two of our most popular and accomplished alumni to the Wall of Fame,” said Lions president and CEO Dennis Skulsky. “As BC’s most successful professional sports franchise we owe a tremendous amount to the efforts of these men and this is a very worthy honour.”
Nick Hebeler – Defensive End – 1979-1985
One of the most colourful players in BC Lions history, known for his ferocious style and flashy orange high-tops, Hebeler joined the Lions in 1979 as a territorial exemption following his career at Simon Fraser University. Nick played 86 games in Orange and Black with the 1982 campaign among his finest for the club. Earning both a West Division and CFL All-Star selection at defensive end, he posted a career-high 14 sacks that season among a team total of 46.5 by a dominant Lions defence. A virtual turnover machine, he recovered eight fumbles, blocked three kicks and added an interception for a TD during his illustrious Lions career. Nick was a key member of the 1985 Grey Cup championship team before heading east after the season. He went on to play a total of 113 CFL regular season games notching 56.5 career sacks before retiring in 1987 after two seasons in Saskatchewan.
Rick Klassen – Defensive Tackle – 1981-87, 1989-90
Rick Klassen ranks among the BC Lions’ all-time greatest defensive linemen logging 142 games for the club through nine seasons. Like fellow inductee Nick Hebeler, Rick came to the Lions as a territorial exemption in 1981 following his career at Simon Fraser University. The Grey Cup season of 1985 was one of his finest as he was named to the West Division All-Star squad after recording eight sacks and a fumble recovery. Following the 1987 season, he was traded to the Saskatchewan Roughriders, but returned to the club after a brief retirement to log two more seasons with the Lions before retiring for good in 1990. The hallmark of Rick’s career as a Lion was one of consistency at a position often dominated by imports. Over a span of 160 CFL games, he recorded 66 sacks and added another 4.5 in two Grey Cup appearances. In the 1983 Grey Cup game played at BC Place, he was named the Most Valuable Canadian.