OTTAWA, ON., CANADA - The Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame announced it is inducting five new members into its 2015 class today. The Sport Hall’s Chair, Dave Best, and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson announced the inductees at a press conference held today at City Hall.
Ottawa Mayor, Jim Watson, announced yesterday that 1975 University of Ottawa Gee Gees will be inducted into the City of Ottawa Sports Hall of Fame on June 5, 2015. Of the 250 members of the Hall, the 1975 Gee-Gees become the first football team inducted into the City’s hall of Fame.
This comes on the heels of the University of Ottawa Football Hall of Fame's announcement that the legendary 1975 team will be inducted into the University of Ottawa’s Football Hall of Fame on May 2, 2015.
THE 1975 GEE GEES
By the time the 1975 Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) football season was over the Gee Gees had amassed a perfect 11-0 record. After a perfect regular season, they won the Yates Cup, then the Churchill Bowl and the right to play for the National Championship of Canada and the Vanier Cup. The crowning achievement came on November 21,1975. The game was played at CNE Stadium in Toronto. That night the Gee Gees became the first undefeated team in Vanier Cup history. Perhaps the most astonishing individual achievement of all is that when All-Star quarterback Jim Colton was injured during the Vanier Cup game the Gee Gees were lead to victory by back up quarterback Yves Leclerc. Besides being a gifted athlete, Yves was also a gifted student. Yves was 16 years old at the time!
Today, some 40 years later, the 75 team still holds several Canadian Interuniversity Sports (CIS) and OUAA team and individual records. Players from the 1975 team were selected to the CIS All-Canadian team 13 times during their college careers. During their CIS careers players from the 1975 team were selected as OUAA All-Stars 42 times. As of 2014, 14 Gee Gees from the 1975 team (11 players, 3 coaches) have been inducted into the University of Ottawa Football Hall of Fame.
In all, 22 players from the 1975 Vanier Cup Championship team would go on to be selected in the Canadian Football League (CFL) draft, a CIS record. This record, one that may never be broken, is even more remarkable considering that an additional 10 Americans from the 1975 team were not eligible for the CFL Draft. Those American players included Tim Leach, Pat Leach, Steve Carlo, Peter Hazzan, Ken Guarisco, Brian Keating, Jim Colton, David “DT” White, Sam Miller and Paul Britzky. All but 3 of these Gee Gees would be selected as CIS All-Canadians and OUAA All-Stars multiple times during their CIS careers.
The 1975 Gee Gees had All-Stars at every position. They had not only 1 great running back, they had 3 All-Canadian running backs including Neil Lumsden (All Canadian-1975), Billy Harrison (All-Canadian-1975) Mike Murphy (All Canadian-1976). All 3 were 1rst round picks in the CFL draft. No one in the history of the CIS has scored more career points than Lumsden (410). Since 1975 no one in CIS history has scored more points in a single season than did Neil Lumsden (148). Only 1 player has come close. That player was his running mate, Mike Murphy (144). It took 28 years for another team in the OUAA (2003 Mc Master) to score more touchdowns in an 8 game season than did the 1975 Gee Gees team scored in 7 games (43). Lumsden and Murphy both went on to be voted CFL Eastern Conference Rookie of the Year (1976-77). Lumsden was voted the Grey Cup’s Canadian MVP in 1981. Lumsden was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2014. In addition to their 3 All-Canadian running backs, the 1975 Gee Gee’s passing game was led by OUAA All-Star QB Jim Colton, a native of Buffalo, NY.
The 1975 Gee Gees wide receivers included 2 time All-Canadian Jeff Avery and Rocky Di Pietro. They too would be CFL 1rst round picks. Rocky Di Pietro retired after 14 years in the CFL with the Hamilton Tiger Cats as the league’s all-time leading pass receiver. Rocky was awarded the CFL Outstanding Canadian in 1982 and again in 1989. He was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 1997. Avery went on to play for 7 years in the CFL with the Ottawa Rough Riders and would become a 2 time CFL Eastern Division All-Star and a Grey Cup Champion in 1976.
With the exception of 2 kickers, no player in the history of the CFL has had a longer career than did Miles Gorrell. Miles played for 19 years. He was a 5 time CFL Eastern Division All-Star, 2 Time CFL Outstanding Lineman finalist. Miles was inducted into the CFL Hall of Fame in 2013.
Few players in CFL history own more Grey Cup rings (5) than does former Edmonton Eskimo captain Eric Upton. Eric played in the CFL for 10 years. In addition too Upton there would be 5 other Grey Cup Champions from that 1975 Gee Gees team. Neil Lumsden went on to be a 3 time Grey Cup Champion. Miles Gorrell, Jeff Avery, Doug Falconer, and Rocky Di Pietro would all go on to be Grey Cup Champions. Together, all of their names have been inscribed on the Grey Cup.
Collectively players from the 1975 team played in the CFL for 91 years:
Eric Upton: Guard - 10 Years CFL Edmonton Eskimos, 3 time Western All-Star, 6 Grey Cup appearances, 5 time Grey Cup Champion
Rocky DiPietro: Slotback - 14 Years CFL Hamilton Tiger Cats, CFL All-Time Pass Reception Leader, Canadian Football Hall of Fame Inductee, 2 time CFL Outstanding Canadian, 3 time Lew Hayman Trophy Outstanding Canadian Eastern Division, 5 time Eastern All-Star, 4 Grey Cup appearances, 1986 Grey Cup Champion
Neil Lumsden: Fullback/Kicker - 10 Years CFL Toronto Argonauts/Hamilton Tiger-Cats/Edmonton Eskimos, Winner 1976 Frank M Gibson Trophy CFL Outstanding Rookie Eastern Division, 2 Time Eastern Division All-Star, 1981 Grey Cup Canadian MVP, 3 time Grey Cup Champion
Miles Gorrell: Offensive Tackle - 19 Years CFL Calgary Stampeders/Hamilton Tiger-Cats/Montreal Alouettes/Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 5 time Eastern Division All-Star, 2 time Winner Leo Dandurand Trophy CFL Outstanding Lineman Eastern Division, 5 Grey Cup appearances, 1 time Grey Cup Champion
Jeff Avery: Wide Receiver- 7 Years CFL Ottawa Rough Riders, 1 time Eastern Division All-Star, 2 Grey Cup appearances, 1976 Grey Cup Champion
Doug Falconer: Defensive Back - 4 Years CFL Ottawa Rough Riders/Calgary Stampeders, 1976 Grey Cup Champion
Al Moffat: Defensive Tackle - 6 Years CFL Hamilton Tiger Cats, 1 time Eastern Division All-Star, 1 Grey Cup appearance
Mike Murphy: Fullback - 5 Years CFL, Winner 1977 Frank M. Gibson Trophy CFL Outstanding Rookie Eastern Division
Tim Berryman: Linebacker - 7 Years CFL EdmontonEskimos/Ottawa Rough Riders, 1 Grey Cup appearance
Bill Harrison: Halfback - 5 Years CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats/Toronto Argonauts
Ian MacPherson:Defensive Tackle - 3 Years CFL Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Terry West: Defensive Back- 1 Year CFL Toronto Argonauts
As the 1975 Gee Gees team moved through their professional careers in the Canadian Football League, awards presented to them include:
3 CFL & Canadian Football Hall of Fame Inductees
1 Grey Cup MVP Canadian
2 CFL Frank M Gibson Trophies for Outstanding Rookie Eastern Division
2 CFL Leo Dandurand Trophy Outstanding Lineman Eastern Division
2 CFL Outstanding Canadian Awards
20 CFL and Divisional All-Star Selections
23 Grey Cup Appearances
12 Grey Cup Rings
The 1975 Gee Gees Head Coach was Don Gilbert, a former CFL great. Gilbert was awarded the Frank Tindell Award as the top collegiate coach in Canada in 1975. In 2000 Don was inducted into the University of Ottawa Football Hall of Fame. In 2003 Don was inducted into the City of Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame along with Buffalo Saber great Dominik Hasek and the Buffalo Bills great running back Thurman Thomas.
The Coordinator of Intercollegiate Sports in 1975 was CFL Hall of Famer and long-time CFL coach and general manager Bob O Billovich.
Bob O’Billovich to be inducted to Canadian Football Hall of Fame
Wednesday, December 10 2014
One of the most important figures in uOttawa sports history will be inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2015. Bob O’Billovich brought both the Gee-Gees football team and men’s basketball team to the national stage before beginning his CFL coaching career.
O’Billovich was head coach for one year for the Gee-Gees football team. Even if his tenure with the football program was short, he made an impact. The Gee-Gees posted an overall record of 7-1-1 under his leadership in 1970, and captured the Atlantic Bowl with a 24-11 win over UNB. The Garnet and Grey advanced to their first appearance in the College Bowl national final, but lost 38-11 to Manitoba at Toronto’s Varsity Stadium.
O’Billovich then served as head coach for the uOttawa men's basketball team from 1973 to 1977. Bob was just the second head coach in men’s basketball program history, taking over in the third season. In his four seasons, he won 78 of 116 games and brought the team to the CIAU Championship tournament twice, in 1973 and 1974, finishing in seventh and fifth place.
In 1976, O'Billovich started his CFL coaching career with the Ottawa Rough Riders and was named head coach of the Toronto Argonauts (1982-1989). He then spent three years as general manager and head coach of the BC Lions (1990-92) before returning to Toronto as head coach (1993-95) and GM (1994-95). He appeared in the Grey Cup three times (1982, 1983, 1987), winning the cup in 1983 and was honored as CFL Coach of the Year in 1982 and 1987. O'Billovich was director of player personnel with Saskatchewan (1998-99), Calgary (2000) and BC (2003-07). The same year he was hired as GM by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and was promoted to vice president of football operations in 2012.
O’Billovich began his CFL career as a player with the Ottawa Rough Riders playing both defensive back and quarterback. He played five seasons (1963-67) with Ottawa, recording 24 interceptions and winning a CFL East All-Star award in 1965.
Neil Lumsden’s legendary CIS career leads to him getting called to the Hall of Fame
Neil Lumsden's famed career with the Gee-Gees got him to the Hall of Fame.REGINA—The Canadian Football Hall of Fameadded seven new members at a reception Friday night, but only one was recognized for his CIS playing career. That would be renowned University of Ottawa running back, punter and kicker Neil Lumsden, who starred for the Gee-Gees from 1972 to 1975, leading them to a Vanier Cup in his final season and winning the Ted Morris Trophy as the Vanier Cup's MVP that year. Lumsden had an excellent CFL career as well, playing for Toronto, Hamilton and Edmonton from 1976 to 1985, but it's his amateur accomplishments that really stand out, and they saw him enter the Hall under a 2010 rule change that's led to the induction of one CIS or CJFL player each year since. Lumsden said Friday he loved being recognized for his CIS career, as the memories he has from that team are still very special to him.
"You talk about what we had together, great pride," he said. "I still see a lot of those guys, I played with a lot of them in my CFL career and we were always referencing that. It was a very tight-knit group of guys. Our coach Don Gilbert was phenomenal in our development as players. I think from that Vanier Cup team we had 18, 19 guys go to the CFL. What we were doing was something pretty special and this just brings it all back and makes me think about them. Some of the guys are no longer with us, they're passed unfortunately, so it's a really really big, deep mirror I'm looking into. The reflection is great."
Lumsden said he was thrilled to hear he would be inducted into the Hall, and he loved how it was done this year, with inductees being honoured at a special party during Grey Cup Week where they could hang out both with fans and with past inductees.
"It's unreal," he said. "To have it on this weekend makes it that much more special. The guys at the Hall did a phenomenal job with this reception. It's a big freaking deal."
"I've been coaching for the last 25 years but I've been at the University of Guelph for the last few," he said. "I love it for a lot of good reasons. There's a lot of really talented guys that I get to put my hands on and maybe just maybe create a situation like my coach created for me at the University of Ottawa, get them to where they ultimately want to go. It's a wonderful opportunity."
He said he thinks the current quality of the CIS game is great, but you wouldn't want to rule a team from his era out in a hypothetical game.
"I think like all sports the athletes are probably a little bigger,a little stronger, maybe a little faster because of the training involved," Lumsden said. "But the quality of the guys? All those guys who played on those teams, the great teams, would tell you that we could beat them, and I think on a level playing field we could because our level of talent was very high. But, you know, we're old and we don't want to play them."
"He's special," Lumsden said. "He's one of those guys, he's a special player. And there are a lot of those guys out there in other positions that I really like who might not get the recognition. And they're continuing to come. That's the great thing for guys like Wally Buono who run those football organizations and can benefit from that talent that's coming."
It is terrific to see that Canadian talent continually on the rise, and the CIS has a big role to play in that. Lumsden and many of his teammates accomplished great things in the university game before going on to CFL stardom, and it's neat that now he's using that experience to coach current CIS players. Lumsden is only the third CIS player to be honoured under this new rule, but there are many more deserving ones out there, and maybe someday, someone he's coached in CIS will get a call from the Hall themselves.
Veteran CFL coach Gary Etcheverry chosen to lead 2012 Gee-Gees Source
Ottawa Sports Info The University of Ottawa Sports Services has reached an agreement with Gary Etcheverry to lead the Gee-Gees football team as head coach for the upcoming season. “I am absolutely thrilled with the opportunity,” commented Etcheverry. “I am looking forward to making all the people who have supported me proud based on the results we are able to achieve, and to making some great alumni with the players that are here.” A long-time CFL coach, Etcheverry won the Grey Cup as the defensive line coach with the Toronto Argonauts in 1997. He was named Head Coach of the Argos in 2002, and most recently was the defensive coordinator for the Saskatchewan Roughriders, making two more Grey Cup appearances in 2009 and 2010.
Etcheverry has also worked with the B.C. Lions and Ottawa Renegades organizations. Etcheverry reflects on his brief time in Ottawa fondly. “The city as a whole was wonderful. It has a lot of potential as a football city, and I’m glad to be coming back.”
“We are very pleased to have hired someone of Gary’s experience and expertise,” said Luc Gélineau, Director of Sports Services, upon reaching the agreement. “He is a well-respected and creative coach who will maximize the tremendous talent of our student-athletes.”
After graduating from the University of Southern California with a BA in Physical Education, the native of Los Angeles began his coaching career at San Francisco State University, initially as an offensive coach. His career has included positions with teams in Europe, the NCAA, the NFL, and one season in the CIS with the University of British Columbia. Making the jump from the CFL back into the university scene has the fifty-five year old enthused. “I’ve had a lot of fortune with my time in the CFL and have experienced success at that level. But getting to know the game in Canada, I recognized that the level of football offered at the CIS is what interests me.
Getting back to the CIS has been a goal of mine for a long time.” Etcheverry will officially begin work with the Gee-Gees on June 4. The 2012 OUA regular season begins on Labour Day Monday, September 3 when the Gee-Gees will travel to Windsor.
Four new members inducted to Gee-Gee Football Hall of Fame at Touchdown Dinner
Friday, April 27 2012
The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees football program celebrated the induction of four new members into the Hall of Fame at the annual Touchdown Dinner this past Saturday evening. Alumni and friends of the program gathered for a reception dinner at Ashbury College to recognize the contributions of two players from the 1970s, a 1990s standout, and the long-time university rector.
Peter Hazzan was the first inductee of the evening. Playing from 1974-1978, Peter had an incredible career with the Gee-Gees and was the team captain in his last three seasons. In addition to being a member of the triumphant 1975 Vanier Cup team, Peter culminated his outstanding career with three consecutive All-Conference selections in 1976 to 1978 and a prestigious All-Canadian award in 1978. Peter was also the recipient of the Ken Ferren Leadership Award in 1976 and 1977; he was named the Gee-Gees Top Offensive Lineman in 1977 and 1978 as well as earning Team MVP honours in the following year.
Next to be inducted was Ted Evanetz, a “go to guy” for the Gee-Gees from 1967-1970. Although primarily used as a running back, Ted’s versatility allowed him to do it all. Adding to his backfield duties, he was an effective punt and kick return specialist who led his teams in total yards during his tenure with the Gee-Gees. His game highlights comprise several 100 yard rushing games including an amazing 235 yard outing and another incredible four touchdown performance. He earned himself an OQIFC All-Star recognition in his first year and All-Conference selections in 1967 and 1968, as well as an All-Canadian honourable mention in 1967.
Rev. Dr. Roger Guindon, OMI (1965-1984) was the rector of the University of Ottawa from 1965-1984 and throughout his tenure was a staunch supporter of the Gee-Gees football program. He did so with conviction and partook with pride in the team’s achievements. Father Guindon was a firm believer that a University without athletics was an incomplete institution, and that football was the flagship program of the University of Ottawa. His enthusiasm and support fostered unity amongst students, staff and alumni and later garnered him the title of “President” of the football program. During his 15 year tenure as uOttawa Rector, the Gee-Gees football program amassed the enviable record of 14 Conference Championships, two Atlantic Bowl Championships and one National Championship. The 91-year-old honouree was unable to attend the dinner, but was represented by his nephew and fellow Hall of Fame member, Pierre Guindon.
The final honouree of the evening was Jeff Beraznik. Jeff had a stellar career from 1992-1996 as a four year starter at wide receiver with the Gee-Gees and was the team captain for his last three seasons. Some of his football accolades include being a four-time Academic All-Canadian, an All-Conference Receiver in 1994, an OQIFC winner of a Russ Jackson Award nomination, a two-time recipient of the uOttawa Rector’s Award and a two-time winner of the Bill Cherniuk Award. In 1997, inspired by his own finger injury; Jeff founded Cutters Gloves. His ingenuity and innovation propelled Cutter Gloves to the market leader in high-performance sports gloves currently used in the NFL, MLB and CFL.
The evening was hosted by Barry Turner, and in addition to the induction ceremonies featured an auction and displays of the football program’s history from the University Archives. Also in attendance was Pedro the Panda, both the stuffed and trophy versions of the fabled bear. The Gee-Gees Football Hall Of Fame now includes fifty honourees, both players and supporters, spanning the history of the program.
Peter Ribbins – The Celebration of Life
The football community suffered a great loss this past December. Peter Ribbins, who played with the Gee-Gees from 1968 to 1971, passed away at the age of 63. He was named an all-star each and every year on the team and, in 1970, he was named the top athlete at the University of Ottawa and the most valuable player on the football team. In 1971, he was the number one pick of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Over the course of his career Pete played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Hamilton Tiger Cats and the Edmonton Eskimos. In the last year of his football career, he made an appearance in the Grey Cup.
Peter is fondly remembered by all those who knew him. Here are excerpts from the eulogy delivered by Rick Finlay.
Peter Daniel Ribbins was born on August 31, 1947. His parents, Patrick and Frances, who were British nationals, were living in Belfast, Northern Ireland at the time of Pete's birth. Pete's dad was a military man and shortly after Pete came around, he was deployed to Malaysia where Pete as a young lad learned to speak Malay and the local Chinese dialect alongside English. Pete was one of four children and the only boy. He was second eldest between his older sister Dee and younger sisters Gillian and Pat. The family returned from Malaysia briefly to England and then immigrated to Canada, first to Edmonton and then to Vancouver.
As Pete approached his teenage years, the family moved again, this time to Kansas City, Missouri, where Pete began his football career. It was in Kansas City that his speed and prowess on the football field caught the attention of the college scouts and, following the completion of his high school in Hamilton, Ontario, he went on to play football for the Pirates of East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina in 1967.
Playing football in North Carolina was fun but it was also hot So at the encouragement of a friend, Pete transferred to the University of Ottawa where he pursued a B.Sc. in Kinanthropology, which he successfully completed, and where he also played football for the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees.
Pete was drafted to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as a receiver because of his remarkable speed and his sure hands. He played on special teams including as long snapper on punts and field goals and when there was an injury on defense, Pete switched from receiver to defensive back. In 1972 he equalled the CFL record of four interceptions in a single game – a record that stood until 1990.
Towards the end of his football career, he had spent some time in the Cayman Islands to get away from the Canadian winters and to pursue his interest in diving. After he finished with football, he came to live in the Cayman Islands and to work in the dive and water sports industry. From there, he joined the Cayman Water Company in 1982 and was with the Water Company for 20 plus years eventually in the position of President and Chief Operating Officer.
But Pete wasn't satisfied with merely pursuing his business interests. He was, after all, an athlete by nature and his next athletic accomplishments were as a tri-athlete. So, having been a professional football player, a successful businessman, and a world-class tri-athlete, Pete then moved to Golf. It was through golf that Pete met Siobhan and they fell in love and married in 1994 and have three wonderful and beautiful children, Taylor, Emily and Joe.
Peter is once again running down a football field, cycling over rolling hills and diving for treasure in warm turquoise waters. Let his life be an example to us all, a lesson that every single day we should love and laugh and embrace the wonder and adventure of life as Pete did.
L’équipe de football des Gee-Gees de l’Université d’Ottawa
et le Cercle des anciens « 13e homme » sont heureux de
vous inviter au Souper Touchdown 2010. Cette année, nous soulignons l’anniversaire des championnats de huit équipes
et nous rendons hommage à six individus.
Le vendredi 23 avril 2010
Réception, 17 h
Souper, 18 h
Soirée, 21 h
Hampton Inn Ottawa
100, rue Coventry
Ottawa (Ontario) K1K 4S3 Billets :
150 $ par personne
1000 $ par table (8 personnes par table)
Pour en savoir davantage sur le Souper Touchdown et sur nos équipes et nos footballeurs qui seront intronisés au temple de la renommée, visitez le site Web des Gee-Gees au www.geegees.ca. Vous y trouverez aussi des renseignements sur les tarifs spéciaux d’hébergement.
Au plaisir de vous voir en grand nombre cet avril!
The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees football team and
the 13th Man Alumni Chapter are pleased to invite you to
the 2010 Touchdown Dinner. This year will mark the
anniversary of eight championship teams as well as
pay tribute to six individuals.
Friday April 23, 2010
Reception, 5 p.m.
Dinner, 6 p.m.
Evening, 9 p.m . Where:
Hampton Inn Ottawa
100 Coventry Rd.
Ottawa (Ontario) K1K 4S3 Tickets:
$150 per individual
$1000 per table (8 seats per table)
For more information about the Touchdown Dinner, including tickets and information on our championship teams and honourees, visit the Gee-Gees website at www.geegees.ca. You’ll also find more information on special rates for accommodations.
Looking forward to seeing you in April!
Congratulations to Ken Guarisco and Miles Gorrell! 2 More from 75 to be inducted into the Ottawa U Football Hall of Fame in 2010!!
January 20, 2009
Congratulations to Paul Kilger and Dan Slee! 2 More from 75 to be inducted into the Ottawa U Football Hall of Fame!!
Two more of our own are being inducted into the Ottawa U Football Hall of Fame this year. Paul Kilger, a 2 time All Canadian, a 5 time all conference defensive tackle and one of our co-captains in 75 has been voted in. Along side Paul will be 1970 All Canadian defensive back Dan Slee. Dan was an important part of the 75 team as an assitant coach.
Gerry "Sky" Bourgon, Gee Gees trainer through the 70's, will also be honored at the TD dinner.
This years TD dinner is going to be held on Friday April 24th, 2009 at the Hampton Inn, 100 Coventry Road.Hope to see you all there! See TD Dinner Program and event info below!
Graduated Gee-Gees quarterback caps career as five-time MVP
Even from the bush is Josh Sacobie Gee-Gees football best.
The graduated fifth-year senior was selected uOttawa football MVP for a team-record fifth consecutive season as one of nine 13th Man awards to close the book on a 2008 season in which the Gee-Gees played for the Yates Cup Ontario championship for the second time in three years.
“This is probably more important to me than any Hec Crighton award,” saidSacobie, 25, who finished a five-season career as the Gee-Gees all-time leading passer with 9,885 passing yards and 79 touchdown passes, good for third and second spot on the CIS all-time passing list.
‘I’m more thankful than anybody.”
The six-foot-four Sacobie drove from Ottawa February 5 for a month-long stay in the northern Quebec hinterland with aboriginal youth and elders from the Cree Nation of Mistissini.
“Getting out in the real world, I guess,” said Sacobie, who graduated with a Social Sciences degree in December and is busy considering applying for uOttawa Law for September 2010 admission, in addition to preparing for a CFL free-agent combine in March.
“I have worked too hard and too long to just turn my back on football,” said Sacobie.
Fourth-year linebacker Mike Cornell was selected Gee-Gees defensive player of the year.
A 230-pound native of Hamilton, Cornell, 22, led the OUA in tackles with 53.5 – the fifth highest total in Canada -and is a highly rated prospect heading into the 2009 CFL Draft.
“Never been more ready,” said Cornell, who maintains a two-a-day, three-hour workout schedule in preparation for the possibility of his first CFL training camp.
“That’s what my dream is … hopefully it happens.”
Selected best offensive player was third-year runningback Davie Masson, who broke a 27-season OUA and CIS playoff record with 327 yards rushing and three touchdowns in a 42-37 quarter-final win at Guelph.
University of Ottawa Gee Gees Football
2009 Team Awards
Team Spirit and Dedication - Lumsden/Avery Award
Joe Barnes – Fifth-year linebacker
13th Man Award – Dr. Robert Pelletier Award
Evan Prokipchuk- Third -year defensive lineman
46th Man Award - Ray Perras Award
John Beck – First-year linebacker
Most Outstanding Rookie – Coach Matt Anthony Award
Alex Fortier-Labonte – First-year receiver
Best Lineman - Miles Gorrell Award
Frank Spera – Fourth-year offensive lineman
Best Offensive Player
Davie Mason – Third-year runningback
Best Def. Player - Michel Dupuis Award
Mike Cornell – Fourth-year linebacker
Special Team Player of the year – Chris Evraire Trophy
Graham Voth – Fifth-year linebacker / fullback
Josh Sacobie – Fifth-year quarterback
Lettermen Recipients 2008-09 (Four-year players)
DL Evan Prokipchuk – DL Bill Pritchard – DL Tyler Dawe – LB Mike Cornell – DB Maxime Bedard – OL Frank Spera – RB Davie Mason – RB Craig Bearss – Rec. Matt Bolduc
Gee-Gees Alumnus, Neil Lumsden, named honourary chair for Vanier Cup
Canadian university football has a real hot potato on its hands!
November 25, 2008
AL COATES RECORD STAFF
Canadian university football has a problem. One school, one team, is just too big for a small sandbox.
The problem, if you will, is the Laval Rouge et Or, which has won the national university title in four of the past six years. Laval racked up a perfect 12-0 record and a No. 1 national ranking this fall, capping it with Saturday's 41-21 whipping of the No. 3 ranked Western Mustangs in the Vanier Cup title match in Hamilton.
The score wasn't a true reflection of the actual play -- Laval was more dominant than the final score might suggest. One week earlier, in the national semifinal known as the Uteck Bowl, Laval did an enormous number on the sixth-ranked Calgary Dinos, running up a 49-0 first-half lead before putting it on cruise control and settling for a 59-10 blowout.
Over the course of Laval's regular, eight-game league schedule, the Rouge et Or surrendered only 60 points, fewer than eight per game. Over the course of the past six seasons, playoffs included, Laval has compiled a 65-5 won-lost record.
So, what's the problem? Is it that Laval is just too good -- or is it that its opponents aren't good enough, that they haven't been able to keep pace?
The easy answer is that it doesn't matter because the imbalance and disparity remain no matter the circumstance. The fans, as always, will vote with their feet and their wallets -- the announced Ivor Wynne crowd of 13,873 was one of the smallest Vanier Cup crowds in the past two decades, which perhaps tells you all you need to know.
And, as matters stand at this point, the national title game is without a sponsor -- and still looking for one -- for the 2009 matchup. So, yes, Canadian university football has a real hot potato on its hands.
The more complex response is this: How do you -- and should you -- penalize Laval's excellence?
Surely, you shouldn't fault Laval for taking advantage of opportunity, for putting together a football program that's the envy of every school in Canada.
Youth and junior football have exploded in popularity in Quebec, especially southern Quebec, over the past two decades. There were 11 Quebec-based players competing in Sunday's Grey Cup match between the Montreal Alouettes and Calgary Stampeders.
When it comes to player recruitment, Quebec schools such as Laval have some advantages not available to schools in other provinces. First off, young, French-speaking Quebec kids want to stay in the province because it's familiar and it's home; there are also huge tuition breaks and bursary opportunities available at Quebec universities for homegrown players who keep their marks up.
It's nearly impossible, in other words, for teams in Alberta, Ontario and elsewhere to attract a well-coached, well-grounded Quebec kid to their campuses. Beyond the football-quality gap, there is the language issue for young Quebec players to consider.
Secondly, Laval's quality football program makes the school very attractive to those athletes from across Canada who want to compete at the highest university level. Laval offers that opportunity, running one of the most sophisticated coaching and training programs available anywhere; the Rouge et Or have three full-time coaches running the program.
And finally, there is this: not only does everyone love a winner, but everyone wants to play for a winner, too. Laval won the Vanier Cup on Saturday with a comparatively young team -- the Rouge et Or will lose only a few players to graduation.
Next season, Laval will be scary good once again. That should frighten some people, especially the ones stuck with the job of promoting a Vanier Cup with a foregone conclusion.
Gee-Gees Alumnus, Neil Lumsden, named honourary chair
GEE-GEES ALUMNUS NAMED HONOURARY CHAIR October 28, 2008
Gee-Gees football alumnus Neil Lumsden, who played ten seasons in the CFL, was named honourary chair for the 2008 Vanier Cup. The Canadian football university championship will be held on November 22nd, in Hamilton, ON.
Lumsden played four seasons as a running-back and a place kicker with the Gee-Gees. He was a member of the 1975 Vanier Cup winning team, the university’s first national football championship. Neil Lumsden was named MVP of the 1975 championship, and was a three-time All-Canadian.
While playing for Ottawa, Lumsden broke a number of records, many that still stand today. He remains the team’s leading career scorer, with 410 points. He also owns the record for the most points in one season, with 148 in 1975.
“He’s one of the Gee-Gees legends”, said current Gee-Gees head-coach Denis Piché. “I have a picture of him in the locker room. He did many incredible things.”
After his university days, Neil Lumsden continued his football career with Toronto, Hamilton and Edmonton, winning three Grey Cups along the way.
One of Lumsden’s career highlights came during his university playing days in a game against Queen’s. He scored 37 points in a single game, putting him into second place all-time for most points scored in a single game for the Gee-Gees. Coincidentally, this game was played on November 1st, 1975. Twenty-three years later, the Gee-Gees will play Queen’s this Saturday, November 1st for the OUA semi-final.
October 29, 2008
Checkout the new video footage on the Gee Gees Video section "The CFL Years". Miles interception of a Warren Moon pass! That's right, Miles started off his career as a DB. Just kidding!
July 27, 2008
Michael Farber Sports IIlustrated
The Great Debate Rages On!
Rutgers may have to cede historical cachet to Canada
The mother's milk of the Rutgers football program, the nugget that kept everyone going through the years when Rutgers decided there was no reason to play Lehigh when it could be fodder for bigger programs, is the school played the first intercollegiate football game, defeating Princeton, 6-4, on Nov. 6, 1869. (As a Rutgers alumnus, I can rattle off that date as easily as my wedding anniversary.) This is our story and we Scarlet Knights people have always stuck to it, a tale that is now folk history and is swallowed whole by the college football establishment.
Except, alas, in Canada.
McGill University, in Montreal, claims it played the first college football game, May 14, 1874, at Harvard. (Yes, 1869 comes before 1874 -- even we state university graduates can figure that much out. Still, keep reading.) Of course, Harvard doesn't make too much noise on the subject of being No. 1, at least chronologically, probably because it's been preoccupied with turning out geniuses and future leaders and all; but McGill can be a little pushy on the subject. McGill and Montreal take being first a little more seriously, not surprising given the past. A McGill man, James A. Naismith, invented college basketball at a YMCA in Springfield, Mass., and there is much, although not incontrovertible, evidence that hockey was first played in Montreal -- a contention that will get you high-sticked in Windsor, Dartmouth and Halifax, Nova Scotia, and maybe even Kingston, Ontario. In the sports business, being able to claim a piece of three of the Big Four isn't too shabby.
The McGill people don't dispute that Rutgers and Princeton played something in 1869; the question is just what they played. There is a strong probability those New Jersey schools played 25-per-side soccer in New Brunswick, which has not yet taken to calling itself the birthplace of college soccer. Indeed PFRA Research has come to that very conclusion.
McGill and the McGill of the South, as some of true believers think of Harvard, were not playing soccer but the so-called Boston Game. Unlike Rutgers and Columbia and others that fielded teams that played kicking-only games in the early 1870s, the Harvard rules allowed players to pick up the ball and run with it as long as they were being pursued. McGill was accustomed to playing something almost identical to modern rugby, but it gave the Boston Game a shot in the first of a two-game series in Cambridge.
Harvard won, 3-0, in a game called after 22 minutes. (The actual playing time was about six minutes, what with the clock stopping to move the chains after every first down and commercials for buckboards. On the College Game Day show, Lee Corso wore a crimson stovepipe hat.) The teams played to a scoreless tie the next day using McGill's rules, which the Harvard players liked so much they quickly abandoned the Boston Game. The second McGill-Harvard game reflected the true origin of college football, at least more than anything that had gone before.
July 14, 2008
The Doctor is in: Gee-Gees football ambassador enters Dragon’s Den
Dr. Naim El-Far
Dr. Naim El-Far has transitioned from all-star Gee-Gees football guard to aspiring entrepreneur with dreams big enough to fill a Dragon’s Den. “I’ve completely immersed myself in work,” said El-Far, who has held a uOttawa PhD in Computer Science for less than two months. “I sort of switched gears completely.” El-Far earned his doctorate in April after defending a thesis titled: “Haptic Rendering of Highly Detailed Point Cloud-Based Models.” The 27-year-old native of Amman, Jordan and three partners from the Ottawa software firm LightSpeed Studios pitched the CBC-TV reality program Dragon’s Den in late June. El-Far signed confidentiality forms with the network and cannot reveal the Dragons’ response. The Canadian series begins its third season in October. “I feel more like I am working for myself,” said El-Far, who is a shareholder in and sets the technical direction for LightSpeed Studios; a start-up that specializes in building next-generation multimedia electronic kiosks. A noted volunteer who regularly gives at the Shepherds of Good Hope in Ottawa, El-Far earned the 2006 Russ Jackson Award (given to the CIS football player who best combines academic and athletic achievement with community involvement), and has plans to continue with football, but in a coaching capacity. “The next best thing to playing is to coach,” said El-Far, who plans to help with the Gee-Gees in their upcoming season, and beyond. “The real challenges are yet to come.” Dr. Naim R. El-Far Senior Software Architect and Project Leader LightSpeed Studios, Inc.
July 10, 2008
The 1975 Yates Cup U of Ottawa vs U of Toronto "Game Film" and the 1975 Central (Churchill) Bowl "Game Film" (1rst half )are now up on the Gee Gees Video section!
June 30, 2008
Message Board Now Up! After you register, to post a response just click on the icon "Start a new topic".
June 28, 2008 CFL Season Opens to New Slogan "This is Our League"
June 26, 2008
125 CIS grads on 2008 CFL rosters
OTTAWA (CIS) - A single-season record total of 125 players from Canadian Interuniversity Sport institutions, five more than a year ago, are listed among the official rosters posted online by the eight Canadian Football League teams as they get set to open the CFL campaign on Thursday *.
According to a survey of lineups posted on the CFL team websites, 52 athletes hail from the 10-team Ontario league (OUA), 41 are from the seven-team Canada West conference, 21 are out of the six-team Quebec division (QUFL) and 11 are a product of the four-team Atlantic conference (AUS).
All but two of the 27 teams in the CIS are represented.
McMaster leads all CIS institutions with a whopping 13 players listed on the 2008 CFL rosters. Reigning Vanier Cup champion Manitoba is next with 11, followed by Saskatchewan, Western Ontario, Laval and Wilfrid Laurier (9 apiece).
Ottawa is next with six, followed by Regina (5), UBC (5), StFX (5) and Simon Fraser (5; excluding four who played in the CFL before SFU joined the CIS in 2002).
Rounding out the list are Saint Mary's (4), Windsor (4), Queen's (4), Concordia (4), Bishop's (3), York (3), Guelph (3), Calgary (3), Alberta (3), McGill (2), Acadia (2), Montreal (2), Sherbrooke (1) and Waterloo (1).
The 2007 Grey Cup champion Saskatchewan Roughriders will open the season with 21 former CIS players within their ranks, more than any other CFL squad.
All CFL teams are permitted to maintain a 46-man protected roster, although only 42 play in each game. Practice roster players are technically free agents who are paid to practice, although they can be signed by any other team. There's also room for six or seven injured players, not counting anybody placed on the nine-game injury list, whose salaries don't count against each team's $4.2 million salary cap.
* As of 12 noon. on Wednesday, June 25
SOURCE: Earl Zukerman, Communications Officer, McGill University Athletics
CIS players on 2008 CFL rosters (by CIS schools):
McMaster (13) Manitoba (11) Saskatchewan (9), Western Ontario (9), Laval (9), Wilfrid Laurier (9) Ottawa (6) Simon Fraser (5), Regina (5), UBC (5), StFX (5) Saint Mary's (4), Windsor (4), Queen's (4), Concordia (4) Bishop's (3), York (3), Guelph (3), Calgary (3), Alberta (3) McGill (2), Acadia (2), Montreal (2) Sherbrooke (1), Waterloo (1)
CIS players on 2008 CFL rosters (by CIS regional associations):
OUA (52) Canada West (41) QUFL (21) AUS (11)
CIS players on 2008 CFL rosters (by CFL teams):
Saskatchewan (21) Winnipeg (20) Edmonton (18) Montreal (15) Calgary (14) Toronto (14) British Columbia (13) Hamilton (10)
June 22, 2008
uOttawa football grads in CFL camps
Grey Cup champion safety Scott Gordon (Saskatchewan Roughriders) along with uOttawa and CFL team-mate Jocelyn Frenette are among six former uOttawa Gee-Gees in 2008 Canadian Football League training camps. Defensive lineman Adrian Baird (Edmonton Eskimos), wide receiver Adam Nicolson (BC Lions), defensive back Delroy Clarke (Toronto Argonauts) and defensive back Steven Holness (Winnipeg Blue Bombers) are also seeking to prolong or establish their CFL careers.
Gordon, 31, is in his seventh CFL camp with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The Ottawa native played two seasons with the Gee-Gees (2000-01), including the 2000 Vanier Cup, before being drafted by Calgary in the 2nd round (18th overall) of the 2002 CFL College Draft.
Frenette, 31, a 300-pound backup offensive lineman also in his seventh season, was a third-round draft choice of the Roughriders in 2001. The Montreal native played three seasons with the Gee-Gees (1999-2001), including the 2000 Vanier Cup.
Baird, who turns 29 on July 15, signed a free agent contract with the Eskimos in the off-season after advancing to the 2007 Grey Cup with Winnipeg as a special teams point-man, back-up defensive lineman and long snapper. "Even as a kid Edmonton was always among the top teams," said Baird, originally from Ajax, ON. "It will be great to play for a team that has that kind of tradition." A walk-on with the Gee-Gees, Baird was converted from slotback to defensive end in his first season of four seasons (2002-05) at uOttawa.
Nicolson, 23, a two-time OUA all-star from North Bay, ON, enters his second CFL season with BC after being chosen eighth overall by the Lions in the 2007 Canadian College draft following his fourth season (2003-06) with the Gee-Gees. "I am definitely a lot more ready this year," said Nicolson.
Clarke, 25, played three seasons with the Gee-Gees (2005-07) before being drafted in the fourth round by the Toronto Argonauts in the 2008 Canadian College Draft. A former elite soccer player from Kingston, Jamaica who graduated from high school in Whitby, ON, Clarke has played football for just six years.
Holness, 24, uOttawa's fastest player last season, signed with Winnipeg as a free agent following four years with the Gee-Gees (2004-07), including two as a starter. "I haven't earned anything yet," said Holness. "I have to make the best of the opportunity."
The Gee-Gees could have 20 starters among 60 returning veterans when 2008 training camp opens Aug. 19.
June 15, 2008, National Post
Cohon: Why the CFL matters
The following column appeared in the National Post on Saturday, June 14th, 2008.
By Mark Cohon CFL Commissioner
It was Grey Cup 2007 and 53,000 Canadians were on their feet, belting out “O Canada.”
Here was a living, breathing, singing map of the country, formed by people from every corner of it, united in celebration.
The sight was unforgettable. The sound was deafening. And the moment, for me, was defining.
I thought of my parents, immigrants for whom life in Canada was a conscious choice, instead of a happy accident.
I thought how grateful I am they moved here from Chicago when I was just a toddler, how this country embraced us, and how much my Mom and Dad have loved it back.
I reflected on my own decision, after working in New York City and London, England for many years, to come back to Canada, because of its quality of life, its enduring values, most of all, because this is where we wanted to raise a family.
I thought about the Grey Cup, and its magical hold on our nation. How it has always shone.
I considered how many people in the crowd that day gather at each and every Grey Cup, and the bond they share with their fellow travelers, how they are as diverse as their backgrounds and respective home provinces, and yet at that moment, they were one.
I considered the fans I had met that year in our stadiums across Canada, Moms and Dads and kids, in seats the average family can afford, for whom a game is a rite of passion.
I looked at the field, distinctly Canadian in its dimensions, and anticipated the game, uniquely Canadian in its origins, traditions and rules of play.
I took some pride in knowing that those who play it also excel in much quieter forums: in classrooms and children’s hospitals across the country, where they champion causes bigger than football.
And I realized what my seatmate, one of our provincial Premiers, said aloud, that there are so few things like this that truly bring Canadians together, and I thought that’s true, especially in an era of free trade, the internet, and Stanley Cup finals in places like Florida and California.
Having worked for the NBA and Major League Baseball, I was struck by the fact that of all the big sporting events I’ve attended – from the World Series to the NBA Finals to Premiership championships – nothing was as authentic as a Grey Cup and no crowd was as celebratory as this one.
And so I sang like everyone else: loudly and proudly.
And I savoured the simple fact that I was there with my fellow Canadians -- folks from Halifax and Victoria, Portage la Prairie and downtown Toronto, on their own ticket, out of love for the game, respect for the Cup and, truth be told, for the sheer joy of it all.
In this space, I could have chosen to detail how strong our league is today, how dedicated our governors are, how TV ratings are higher than ever, and attendance is the strongest it has been in two decades.
But I’ve chosen to write about this one intensely personal experience because I believe it makes a profound point: The Canadian Football League matters.
It matters to Canadians. It matters to Canada. It brings us together. And it brings out our best.
There are those who disagree with me. They will tell you the CFL doesn’t matter, because it’s not the biggest or the flashiest or the wealthiest.
Well, if those were our only yardsticks, Canada itself wouldn’t measure up.
But we know it does. It measured up to my parents’ hopes and dreams, and it measures up to mine, just as it clearly measured up for the 53,000 who stood as one last Grey Cup Sunday.
This is our country. And this – the Canadian Football League -- is our league.
That’s our motto for 2008: This is Our League. You’ll see it on our fields, on your television screen, maybe on a t-shirt.
It’s a celebration of what’s uniquely and distinctly ours.
It’s an invitation, to come out and experience what I did on that Grey Cup Sunday: a thrilling sense of belonging.
Doug Falconer, one only 8 former University of Ottawa Gee Gees to hoist both the Vanier Cup and Grey Cup along with 1975 teammates Jeff Avery (1976 Ottawa Rough Riders), Rocky DiPietro (1986 Hamilton Tiger-Cats), Doug Falconer (1976 Ottawa Rough Riders), Miles Gorrell (1986 Hamilton Tiger-Cats), three-time Grey Cup champion Neil Lumsden (1980, 1981, 1982 Edmonton Eskimos) and five-time Grey Cup champion Eric Upton (1978-82 Edmonton Eskimos), Scott Gordon (2007 Saskatchewan Roughriders) and Jocelyn Frenette (2007 Saskatchewan Roughriders).
June 2, 2008
Congratulations to Scott Gordon!
Gordon extends Gee-Gees football legacy: Vanier and Grey Cup champion enters seventh CFL training camp
May 30, 2008 - Scott Gordon, at age 31, is in an elite group of uOttawa football legends.
The starting CFL safety earned a 2007 Grey Cup with the Saskatchewan Roughriders to become the eighth all-time Gee-Gee to earn both a Grey Cup and Canadian university Vanier Cup championship.
“It’s taken a while to sink in," said Gordon. "I think 20 years down the road there will be more feelings and pride of accomplishment.”
Gordon, who played at uOttawa for two seasons (2000-01) and spoke prior to leaving for Regina in preparation for his seventh CFL season in 2008, fondly remembers the Gee-Gees 2000 championship season, with all-Canadian Phil Cote at quarterback and few obstacles leading to a 42-39 win over UBC in the Vanier Cup.
uOttawa earned its’ second Canadian university football title and Gordon was named defensive MVP in the 2000 championship game.
"You could tell we had the calibre of team to win the Vanier Cup, and we proved it that year," said Gordon. "It is something I will remember the rest of my life."
Saskatchewan’s 2008 training camp opens June 1.
The five-foot-11, 200-pound Ottawa native put himself in lofty territory as a professional by beating the odds. He has had six combined surgical procedures on his shoulder, knees and hand but today looks strong, fast and healthy. Gordon has plans to play in the CFL for 10 years and beyond.
“It’s always been a dream to win the Grey Cup. But when you’re playing in University you’re not thinking of the Grey Cup. You’re thinking of the Vanier," said Gordon, who was joined by Saskatchewan offensive lineman Jocelyn Frenette, a team-mate also on the 2000 Gee-Gees, as a 2007 Roughriders Grey Cup champion.
Joining Gordon and Frenette as ex-Gee-Gees to hoist both the Vanier Cup and Grey Cup (with years and teams) are: Jeff Avery (1975 uOttawa, 1976 Ottawa Rough Riders), Rocky DiPietro (1975 uOttawa, 1986 Hamilton Tiger-Cats), Doug Falconer (1975 uOttawa, 1976 Ottawa Rough Riders), Miles Gorrell (1975 uOttawa, 1986 Hamilton Tiger-Cats), three-time Grey Cup champion Neil Lumsden (1975 uOttawa, 1980, 1981, 1982 Edmonton Eskimos) and five-time Grey Cup champion Eric Upton (1975 uOttawa, 1978-82 Edmonton Eskimos).
“To have my name on those Cups and to be a part of history is pretty cool,” said Gordon.
June 1, 2008
Great article below however; not so fast Whitebrook Boxing Kinetics. I think our own Steve Carlo can testify as to who the real founding father and pioneer of OU football player boxers was way back in 1975! Who’ll ever forget that brutal 3 rounder in front of a packed house at Madison Square Garden, or was it Montpetit Hall! Those that couldn’t get into the gym that night watched on Pay Per View. The legacy grows!
Boxing for Vanier: uOttawa football alumni trains 2008 Gee-Gees
May 29, 2008 - Twelve members of the Gee-Gees football team are group training Friday afternoons at a local boxing studio founded by an alumni member of the 127-year-old team.
Chris Weissbach, an offensive and defensive lineman with the Gee-Gees from 1989-1992 who played with head coach Denis Piche and who also pioneered boxing techniques into his training, will coach the Gee-Gees Friday afternoon, May 30, between 3:30-4:30 p.m.
“It makes me feel young again,” said Weissbach, 38. “I was a freak back 15 years ago doing this.”
The Gee-Gees will work through five stations: heavy bag work, shadow boxing, rope work, speed and reflex bags, with increasing intensity. Friday’s training session will be the fifth of an eight-week program.
“It becomes more than just conditioning. It becomes a question of can you suck it up and finish the round? We really drive them,” said Weissbach. “These are the types of things they will feel in the fourth quarter… What do they have? Can they bring it out of them?”
Weissbach has also worked with the public in addition to OHL and NHL athletes since founding WBK in 1998.
Whitebrook Boxing Kinetics is located at the Champagne Fitness Centre (321 King Edward Ave. Ottawa).
“To be able to try and help the program … it’s a big personal boost I guess you could say,” said Weissbach.