With the help of former Stingers head football coach and CFL player Gerry McGrath, Dales was named All-Canadian Punter in 2002.
“Burke had an amazing energy and positive attitude,” said Paul Chesser, BA 94, GrDip 97, vice-president of Advancement at Concordia, who coached Dales in his Stingers days. “I enjoyed his enthusiasm for sports and his competitive approach. He was committed to be the best at everything he did.
“He is mourned by all his friends and teammates and will be missed by all."
Pittsburgh’s loss was Calgary’s gain
Dales also earned an opportunity to try out with the Pittsburgh Steelers of the National Football League (NFL), but the team passed on adding him to its roster.
He rebounded from the NFL disappointment and tried out for the Stampeders’ punting duties in 2005. He earned the job and quickly broke the mould of the typical tackle-averse punter.
Former Stampeders quarterback Henry Burris once called Dales “the most aggressive punter in kicking history” for the way he courted contact on the field.
Dales suited up seven years for the Stampeders. In addition to playing a key role on the organization’s 2008 Grey Cup championship-winning team, he was a fixture on league all-star lists.
He ended his Calgary tenure as a four-time CFL West Division all-star (2006, 2009, 2010, 2011), a two-time CFL all-star (2010 and 2011), and the Stampeders’ most outstanding special teams player in 2010.
He played briefly with the then-Edmonton Eskimos and the Montreal Alouettes before retiring from the game in 2013.
After hanging up his cleats, Dales made his home in Calgary where he pursued business ventures in the oil and gas industry.
A football player through and through, he devoted much of his time in recent years to building the Stampeders football community in his adopted city.
A service celebrating Dales’ impact on others was held on January 12 in Airdrie, Alta.