Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Ken Ploen - Quarterback - 1957-67 - University of Iowa

 

Winnipeg Sports Hall of Fame

Who knew that a native of Lost Nation, Iowa would be one of the most successful players ever to suit up in the Blue and Gold uniform?

After quarterbacking the University of Iowa Hawkeyes to a Rose Bowl victory in 1957, Ken Ploen joined the Bombers and made an immediate impact. He was named the All-Western Quarterback in 1957 and led the team to a Grey Cup appearance. This was the start of a great career for “K.P.”

 

Also an excellent defensive back, Ploen was selected as an All-Western in 1959 as he established a club record with 10 interceptions that year.

 

But Ploen will always be remembered for his accomplishments as a quarterback. In 1961, he led the Bombers to a Grey Cup victory over the Hamilton Tiger Cats by scoring the final touchdown on an 18 yard run.

 

In 1965, Ploen had a tremendous season as he was selected an

 All-Canadian quarterback and threw a 109 yard pass to Ken Neilson to establish a new CFL record. He also won the Air Canada award as the most popular player.

 

Ploen retired in 1967 with a lengthy list of records and impressive stats which included 1,080 completions from 1,916 passes attempted for 16,470 yards and 119 touchdown passes, 3 time all-star, 5 Grey Cup appearances as quarterback (three victories), and the Cyclone Award in 1966. When he retired he was the sixth all-time CFL passer and fifth all-time Bomber rusher with 2,931 yards.

 

Often considered the best player never to win a Schenley Award, Ken Ploen’s eleven year career was brilliant and since then many tributes and awards have come his way. He was inducted into the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame in 1975, named the Bombers’ offensive player for the first half century in 1980 and in 1986 had an annual trophy named after him by the club for the best offensive player on the team.

 

 

-- statistics --

 

 

Ken Ploen       Iowa      
    Passing        
Yr Team Att Cmp Yds Pct. TD Int Lg
1957 Wpg 140 74 1,284 52.9 10 8 71
1958 Wpg 77 33 626 42.9 4 5 61
1959 Wpg 56 30 467 53.6 3 4 65
1960 Wpg 201 103 1,693 51.2 12 17 78
1961 Wpg 96 50 905 52.1 5 4 75
1962 Wpg 208 137 2,097 65.9 17 4 66
1963 Wpg 226 132 2,026 58.4 14 15 70
1964 Wpg 239 132 1,878 55.2 12 13 67
1965 Wpg 213 124 1,789 58.2 15 14 53
1966 Wpg 257 153 2,323 59.5 16 11 96
1967 Wpg 203 116 1,382 57.1 11 11 58
Total 11 1916 1084 16,470 56.6 119 106 96

 

    Rushing    
Yr Team C Yds Avg Lg TD
1957 Wpg 100 319 3.2 30 4
1958 Wpg 67 366 5.5 35 1
1959 Wpg 14 83 5.9 15 0
1960 Wpg 68 541 8.0 24 4
1961 Wpg 43 192 4.5 20 2
1962 Wpg 40 245 6.1 29 0
1963 Wpg 64 316 4.9 31 0
1964 Wpg 63 397 6.3 40 0
1965 Wpg 59 230 3.9 16 2
1966 Wpg 35 163 4.7 20 0
1967 Wpg 33 149 4.5 42 1
Total 11 586 3,001 5.1 42 14