Calgary Stampeders

Lovell Coleman - Running Back- 1960-68 - Western Michigan

 

Stampeders.com

It was in 1960 that Lovell Coleman arrived in Calgary.
On one hand, the Hamtramck, Mich., nativeís timing was good as that was the year the Stampeders moved from quaint Mewata Stadium to their fancy new digs on Crowchild Trail, McMahon Stadium.


Whatís more, while the Red and White had made the only once in the seven seasons prior to Colemanís arrival, 1960 would see the start of a successful run with six straight appearances in the post-season.


Conversely, Coleman was a running back and 1960 was not a good time to be a ball-carrier in Calgary. Thatís because all-star Earl Lunsford was ably manning the position for the Stamps and so Coleman had to bide his time and wait for his chance.
The former Western Michigan player fared quite well in limited action during his first three seasons, averaging more than six years per carry and rushing for 1,137 yards. He also kept himself busy by running back kicks and playing some defence.
In 1962, Coleman received a heavier share of the workload Ė 111 carries Ė and by 1963 he had displaced Lunsford as the top running back. Coleman wasted no time showing the CFL that he was ready for a starring role as he led the league with 1,343 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns in his first season as the full-time starter.


As impressive as his 1963 campaign was, Coleman was only warming up. The following season, he again led the CFL in rushing as he racked up an impressive 1,629 yards on his way to winning the leagueís Most Outstanding Player award.


The 1,629 yards stand as the fourth best single-season total in franchise history but one figure that has never been topped by a Stampeder is the 238 yards Ė including an 85-yard touchdown -- gained by Coleman in a Sept. 14, 1964 contest against Hamilton.
Incredibly, that wasnít even the best single-game total of Colemanís athletic career. In a 1958 college game, he ripped off 279 yards.
Willie Burden tied Colemanís Stampeders mark in 1975 and the only two other players who have threatened the record were Jon Cornish, who ran for 208 yards in a 2013 game, and Coleman himself who burned Edmonton for 224 yards on Aug. 18, 1965.
Coleman had another big season in 1965 as he accumulated 1,509 yards on the ground and only the brilliance of Saskatchewanís George Reed prevented him from completing a hat trick of rushing titles.


Over that three-year period (193-65) Coleman ran for a remarkable 4,481 yards and 31 touchdowns. He also had 992 receiving yards and six scores and even threw three TD passes.


Fuelled by Colemanís accomplishments, the Stamps posted a record of 34-12-2 over that period. In 1966, injuries limited the running back to just three games and not surprisingly the team sagged in his absence, limping to a 6-9-1 record and failing to make the playoffs for the first time since 1959.


By the time Coleman returned to health in 1967, the Stamps had reinvented themselves as a passing team. Coleman ably made the adjustment as he actually had more receiving yards (646) and touchdowns (seven) that season than rushing yards and scores (594 and three).


Coleman finished his career with a couple of seasons as a backup on two different teams, with Ottawa in 1968 and, after a one-year hiatus, with BC in 1970.


Coleman became a Canadian citizen during his playing career and remained in the country after retiring. Ho operated his own business in Vancouver for more than 20 years before retiring and settling in Barriere, B.C.


More than a half-century after arriving in Calgary, Colemanís name is plastered all over the teamís record books as he remains among the teamís all-time leaders in numerous categories including rushing yards (6,395), rushing touchdowns (41) and 100-yard games (26)
Coleman was added to the Stampedersí Wall of Fame in 1999.
 

-- statistics --

 

Lovell Coleman Western Michigan
  Rushing        
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1960 Cgy 30 249 8.3 57 1
1961 Cgy 42 227 5.4 21 0
1962 Cgy 111 661 6.0 59 6
1963 Cgy 237 1,343 5.7 51 13
1964 Cgy 260 1,629 6.3 85 10
1965 Cgy 249 1,509 6.1 69 8
1966 Cgy 35 183 5.2 43 0
1967 Cgy 120 594 5.0 49 3
1968 Cgy 39 136 3.5 19 0
1970 BC 12 35 2.9 9 1
Total 10 1,135 6,566 5.8 59 42

 

    Receiving    
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1960 Cgy 6 154 25.7 45 0
1961 Cgy 16 367 22.9 100 5
1962 Cgy 6 100 16.7 39 1
1963 Cgy 32 443 13.8 47 2
1964 Cgy 27 247 9.1 29 0
1965 Cgy 27 302 11.2 46 4
1966 Cgy 3 15 5.0 19 0
1967 Cgy 51 646 12.7 84 7
1968 Cgy 10 205 20.5 54 0
1970 BC 3 41 13.7 29 0
Total 10 181 2,520 13.9 100 19