TORONTO -- The Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum announced its 2011 Induction Class today. This year’s inductees include former CFL stars Danny McManus, Joe Montford, Terry Vaughn and Ken Lehmann in the player category along with Gino Fracas and legendary CFL coach Don Matthews in the builder category. Chris Flynn a former star quarterback at Saint Mary’s University was also inducted in the player section.
“On behalf of the CFL, our Board of Governors and our fans, congratulations to this year’s inductees on this great honour,” said CFL Commissioner Mark Cohon. “Every one of these gentlemen had a positive impact on the growth of football in our country, and for that we are forever indebted to them. Thank you to the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and the Selection Committee for helping provide the recognition they deserve.”
DANNY McMANUS: McManus’ storied 17-year CFL career began when he signed as a free agent with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in 1990. During his career McManus would suit up for Winnipeg, B.C., Edmonton, Hamilton and Calgary. With the B.C. Lions in 1994 McManus took over for injured starting quarterback Kent Austin at halftime in the 82nd Grey Cup and led the Lions to a dramatic victory over the Baltimore Stallions. In 1999 with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, he led the CFL with 28 touchdown passes and 5,334 passing and culminated the season with a Grey Cup victory over Calgary. He was named the game’s MVP. On July 25, 2002 McManus threw a career high 513 yards and three touchdowns. He was only the third player in the Tiger-Cats franchise history to reach the 500 yard passing plateau in a single game. The 2002 season was also McManus’ eighth consecutive season with over 4,000 passing yards – a CFL record at that time. At the time of his retirement, Danny McManus was third all-time in CFL passing yards with 53,255 and held the Tiger-Cats’ franchise records for most career passing yards (33,841), most career pass attempts (4,257), most career pass completions (2,368), and most career touchdown passes with 164.
JOE MONTFORD: Montford, one of the most feared defensive players of his generation, began his CFL career in 1995 playing one season for the Shreveport Pirates. He was acquired by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats after the US dispersal draft in 1996. With the Ticats Montford led the league in quarterback sacks from 1998-2000 picking up 20 or more in each of the three seasons. He was also a part of the Tiger-Cats 1999 Grey Cup winning team. After a brief stint with the Toronto Argonauts, Montford finished his career with the Edmonton Eskimos where he won his second Grey Cup ring in 2005. He is fifth all-time in career quarterback sacks with 135 and was voted number 40 on TSN’s Top 50 CFL Players.
TERRY VAUGHN: Vaughn was one of the most prolific receivers in CFL history and the first player ever to crack the 1,000 career receptions mark during a 12-year career. Vaughn burst onto the CFL scene in with the Calgary Stampeders recording 72 catches for 1,031 yards in his rookie year. This kicked off an incredible stretch of 11 consecutive 1,000 yard receiving seasons which is still a CFL record. Vaughn was a three-time CFL All-Star winning a pair of Grey Cups with Calgary in 1998 and Edmonton in 2003. Vaughn played one season in Montreal in 2005 before finishing his career with Hamilton in 2006. He retired as the CFL’s all-time leading pass catcher with 1,006 receptions, a mark that stood until former teammate Ben Cahoon surpassed him in 2010. Vaughn was ranked number 45 on TSN’s Top 50 CFL Players.
KEN LEHMANN: Lehmann played middle linebacker for the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1964 to 1971. A mainstay of the Ottawa defense, Lehmann participated in a total of three Grey Cup games with the Rough Riders, and won back to back championships in 1968 and 1969. He was chosen as an Eastern All-Star five times throughout his career and All-Canadian four times. In 1966, Lehmann was the Eastern finalist for the Schenleys Most Outstanding Linemen Award and subsequently won the award in 1968.
DON MATTHEWS, BUILDER: The Don started his professional coaching career as a linebacker coach with the Edmonton Eskimos in 1977 and became the defensive coordinator the following season. He helped coach the Edmonton Eskimos to five consecutive Grey Cup titles from 1978 through to 1982. In 1983, Matthews became head coach for the B.C. Lions. He coached the Lions to their first Grey Cup appearance in 19 years that season. In 1985, he coached the team to a Grey Cup victory over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and earned his first Coach of the Year honour. In 1994, Matthews was named head coach of the US expansion team, the Baltimore Stallions. He coached the Stallions to a Grey Cup appearance in 1994 and a Grey Cup victory in 1995. That same season he became the sixth CFL head coach to record 100 regular season wins. In 1996, Matthews became head coach of the Toronto Argonauts. He coached the Argonauts to back-to-back Grey Cup victories in 1996 and 1997. In 1997, Matthews broke Frank Clair’s record for most regular season coaching wins with 147. Matthews became head coach of the Montreal Alouettes in 2002 and coached the team to a Grey Cup victory that season and won his Coach of the Year. He also coached the Alouettes to Grey Cup appearances in 2003 and 2005. Matthews coached a total of 22 season and 365 games in the CFL. At the time of his retirement, he had the most victories of any Coach in CFL history with 231 wins, 133 losses, and 1 tie. He also holds the record for most Grey Cup wins by a head coach with 5 and most Grey Cup appearances by a head coach with 9.
GINO FRACAS, BUILDER: In 1967 Fracas became the first ever Head Coach of the University of Windsor Lancer Football program. He led the Lancers to the CCIFC championship in 1969, an OUAA Championship in 1975 and he was the OUAA coach of the year in both 1976 and 1977. For his all-around excellence on the football field, Coach Fracas became an inaugural member of the Ontario University Athletics Football Legends Wall of Fame as a player, coach and administrator. In addition, the Canadian University (CIS) Football Volunteer Coach of the Year award is named in his honour. In 1987, Fracas received the prestigious Football Canada/CFL Award of Merit for outstanding lifetime contribution to football in Canada. Also a professor at the university, Fracas was one of the most well known figures both on the Lancer campus and in the community. In 1995, he retired after 28 successful years from the Faculty of Human Kinetics. Gino Fracas passed away in October of 2009 at the age of 79.
CHRIS FLYNN, PLAYER: Chris Flynn quarterbacked Saint Mary’s University Huskies from 1987 to 1990. Flynn led Saint Mary’s to a 27-2 regular season record; four AUAA championships; and two Vanier Cup appearances. He was a four-time AUAA All-Star QB; three time CIAU All-Canadian QB; CIAU records for most TD passes in a season and career; leading rusher QB in CIAU history; He won the Hec Crighton Trophy three times for Most Outstanding Player.
“We would like to thank the Selection Committee for their continued commitment and dedication, their efforts make this possible. This was the first Class selected under the new terms of reference in which we recognized all levels of Football in Canada. We are very pleased to see significant amateur representation in the 2011 class remarked” Steve Howse Chairman of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum.
“It is an honour for CIS to be part of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame recognition,” said CIS Chief Executive Officer, Marg McGregor. “It offers outstanding visibility to the deserving inductees, and it is great to see the Hall recognize the important role of university football in Canada.”
“Chris Flynn is one of the best athlete’s to ever come out of Saint Mary’s University and arguably the best football player to ever come out of the CIS. His accomplishments are unmatched; winning three consecutive Hec Creighton Awards and the excitement he brought to Saint Mary’s University is legendary. Remarked Steve Sarty Director of Athletics & Recreation
We are thrilled that Gino's legacy will carry on through his induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame," He was an icon at the University of Windsor and his contributions to the sport of Football in Canada were truly outstanding." commented University of Windsor Athletic Director Gord Grace
Mark Fracas commented “On behalf of the Fracas Family we are extremely pleased to see Gino inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame. I think his colleagues and friends would agree with me when I say that our father was an exceptional coach and innovator. His induction to the Hall of Fame was always a dream of his now that dream has come true”.
This year’s induction weekend will be hosted by Calgary Stampeders September 14-18. The new inductees will bring the total Hall of Fame members to 251 members already included in the Hall’s Zone of Champions, which features busts of each member of the Hall. The Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum operates as a non-profit registered charity. Located in Hamilton, Ontario since 1963, and in its current location next to Hamilton City Hall since 1972, the Hall is home to more than 30,000 Canadian football artifacts, ranging from equipment and trophies to photos and videos.