Toronto Argonauts                                                    

 

                      

                      Joe Theismann rolls out with Bill Symons

                                providing blocking

                           

 

 

 

 

 

      

-- team --

 

Toronto

-

Montreal

-

Hamilton

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Ottawa

-

 

Winnipeg

-

Saskatchewan

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British Columbia

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Edmonton

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Calgary

-

 

 

 

U.S. Expansion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-- contents --

 

Grey Cup

 

 

 

 

Index

 

 

 

 

 

 

Magazine View

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1960's

1970's

1980's

1990's

2000's

  

-- photo link --

 

Shatto

Mann

Gilchrist

Parker

Harrington

Profit

Thornton

Raimey

Corrigall

Stillwagon

Mack

Barton

Smith

Metcalf

Adams

Greer

Carinci

Moen

Minter

Barnes

Schultz

Congemi

DKSmith

Foggie

Dunigan

Graves

Cunningham

Drummond

Williams

Kiselak

Vanderjagt

Bell

Kemp

Talbot

Bishop

Levingston

Bruce III

Rison

Parker

Williams

Lemon

 

-- timeline --

 

Dick Shatto - University of Kentucky - 1954-65 - Running Back

Dave Mann - Oregon State - 1958, 60-70 - Receiver/Punter/Kicker

Cookie Gilchrist - Brackenridge - 1959-61 - Running Back

Tobin Rote - Rice - 1960-62 - Quarterback

Jackie Parker - Mississippi State - 1963-65 - Quarterback

Ed Harrington - Langston - 1963-65, 67-71, 74 - Defensive End

 

Marv Luster #27

UCLA - 1964-72 - Defensive Back

Marv Luster (above with Dick Thornton) was a dominant athlete for 14 seasons in the CFL. He started his career playing both receiver and defensive back first with Montreal then joining Toronto in 1964. The Louisiana native was considered among the best defensive players in the league throughout his career.

 

Mel Profit - UCLA - 1966-71 - Tight End

Dick Thornton - Northwestern - 1967-72 - Defensive Back

 

Bill Symons #33

Colorado - 1967-73 - Running Back

The lightning quick Symons was the first Toronto Argonaut in the clubs history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season. Symons accomplished the feat in 1968. Bill was also the first Toronto Argonaut to be named the leagues Most Outstanding Player that same year. The Colorado product played with Toronto from 1967 until 1973 as a solid backfield contributor

 

Dave Raimey - Michigan - 1969-74 - Running Back/Defensive Back

Jim Corrigall - Kent State - 1970-81 - Defensive End

Zenon Andrusyshyn - UCLA - 1971-77, 80-82 - Kicker/Punter

Leon McQuay - Tampa - 1971-73, 77 - Running Back

 

Joe Theismann #7

Notre Dame - 1971-73 - Quarterback

The recruiting of Joe Theismann in 1971 out from under the Miami Dolphins by Leo Cahill and the Toronto Argonauts is a fascinating look at Canadian Football in the early 1970's. The diminutive Theismann was highly touted coming out of Notre Dame in 1970 having led the Irish to a Cotton Bowl championship. Drafted in the fourth round by Don Shula and the Miami Dolphins, Theismann became frustrated with contract negotiations, Leo Cahil saw an opportunity and pounced to lure Joe north. While Theismann lasted just 3 season with Toronto; he did lead the team to the Grey Cup game in 1971 and brought a great deal of attention to not only the Argos but the entire Canadian Football League. read the story of how Joe came to the Argos from Theismann's own words in his autobiography.

 

Jim Stillwagon - Ohio State - 1971-75 - Defensive Tackle

Gene Mack - Texas El Paso - 1971-75 - Linebacker

Greg Barton - Tulsa - 1971-72 - Quarterback

Eric Allen - Michigan State - 1972-75 - Wingback

 

Anthony Davis #28

USC - 1976 - Running Back

In 1976 legendary quarterback Russ Jackson began his second season as coach of the Boatmen, after a disappointing 5-10-1 record in 1975 the team was desperate to make a splash and revitalize the offence. To that end former USC standout and World League orphan Anthony Davis a star running back and 1974 Heisman runner-up was signed. Davis rebuffed an offer from the New York Jets and signed a five-year $1 million dollar deal with the Argonauts the first million dollar man in Canadian Football. Davis arrogant demeanor clashed with Jackson and the result was a supreme disappointment on the field for the team and ultimately the fans. He left after just one forgettable season with Toronto and is remembered as one of the most profound flops in the clubs history.

 

Bruce Smith - Colorado - 1976-79 - Defensive Tackle

Eric Harris - Memphis - 1977-79 - Defensive Back

Terry Metcalf - Long Beach State - 1978-80 - Running Back

Tony Adams - Utah State - 1979-80 - Quarterback

Terry Greer - 1980-85 - Wide Receiver

Condredge Holloway #7

Tennessee - 1981-86 - Quarterback

Bill Symons won the leagues Most Outstanding Player award in 1968, the next Argonaut to win the award Condredge Holloway in 1982. Holloway still holds a number of career passing records with Toronto. Holloway was on the 1983 championship team and is honoured as an all-time Argo. Teaming with unstoppable Terry Greer, Holloway led a dominant offensive attack in the 1980's. The 'Artfull dodger' from his days with the Tennessee Volunteers Holloway is remembered fondly by Argo fans for his exciting style of play.

 

Jan Carinci - Maryland - 1981-85 - Receiver/Returner

Don Moen - UBC - 1982-94 - Linebacker

Cedric Minter - Boise State - 1982-84, 87 - Running Back

Joe Barnes - Texas Tech - 1982-84 - Quarterback

Chris Schultz - Arizona State - 1986-94 - Offensive Line

John Congemi - Pittsburgh - 1987-90, 92 - Quarterback

Darrell K. Smith - Central State (OH) - 1986-92 - Wide Receiver

 

Gil Fenerty #6

Holy Cross - 1987-89 - Running Back

Leo Cahill returned to the Argonauts in 1986 as the clubs General Manager. Prior to the 1987 season Cahill uncovered a running back from little known Holy Cross College. The running back was Gil Fenerty and he went on to win rookie of the year honours in 1987 rushing for nearly 900 yards and 12 touchdowns. Gil 'the thrill' Fenerty played 3 season with the Argonauts before moving on to the New Orleans Saints. During his stay Fenerty electrified Argonaut fans with his explosive ability setting club rushing records.

 

Paul Masotti #88

Acadia - 1988-99 - Wide Recevier

Paul Masotti a Hamilton native who went to Acadia arrived with the Argonauts in 1988 and would go on to have a 12 seasons career as one of the most popular Argonauts ever. A consistent contributor, Masotti was a steady force through some tumultuous times for the organization.

 

Michael 'Pinball' Clemons #31

William & Mary - 1989-00 - Back

The attributes of Michael Clemons as a Person, Coach and Community leader are well known and widespread. The Dunedin born and raised Clemons has become a Canadian citizen and immersed himself as the ultimate Torontonian. What may be less known are the exploits ‘Pinball’ displayed over 12 seasons as a player in the Canadian Football League with the Toronto Argonauts. Clemons arrived in Toronto in 1989 after being cut by the Kansas City Chiefs. Head Coach Bob O’Billovich gave Clemons the ‘Pinball’ moniker from the way he bounced around running the ball in training camp that year. In 1990 Clemons was named the league’s Most Outstanding Player (3rd Argo after Bill Symons and Condredge Holloway).

 

Rickey Foggie - Minnesota - 1990-92 - Quarterback

Don Matthews - 1990, 96-98, 08 - Head Coach

Matt Dunigan - Louisiana Tech - 1990-91 - Quarterback

 

Raghib Ismail #25

Notre Dame - 1991-92 - Receiver

Raghib "Rocket" Ismail signed with McNall and the CFL's Toronto Argonauts for $3.5 million a year, under a personal services contract; like Wayne Gretzky, he was a speciality item, sent from one country to another to help establish one national game to the other land. Courtesy ESPN 1991 Draft. read more on the "Rocket" and his two seasons in the CFL

 

Marvin Graves - Syracuse - 1994-95 - Quarterback

Jimmy Cunningham - Howard - 1995-96 - Receiver/Returner

 

Doug Flutie #2

Boston College - 1996-97 - Quarterback

Doug Flutie was an Argonaut for two seasons 1996-97. His stay produced back-to-back Grey Cup Championship and one of the most dominant offensive attacks in club history. The 1984 Heisman winner parlayed his success with Toronto into a return to the NFL with the Buffalo Bills in 1998. Although Flutie's stay in Toronto may not have produced the attendance figures the team had hoped, he definitely delivered on the field setting numerous passing records and winning his final 2 Most Outstanding Player awards in the CFL which brought his total to an astounding 6 MOP awards in 8 seasons. Read more about Doug and his dominant two season stay in Toronto.

 

Tyrone Williams - Western - 1996 - Wide Receiver

Mike Kiselak - Maryland - 1996-97 - Center

Robert Drummond - Syracuse - 1996-97 - Running Back

 

Mike O'Shea #50

Guelph - 1996-99, 01-08 - Linebacker

Mike O'Shea a native of North Bay Ontario had an outstanding 16 season career in the CFL. Out of Guelph University he immediately made an impact with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in 1993. He would join the Argonauts in 1996 and spend the majority of his career in Toronto. A feared warrior and competitor he was a force at linebacker and on special teams. He retired in 2008 after 3 Grey Cups as a player and has gone on to be a successful coach.

 

Mike Vanderjagt - West Virginia - 1996-97, 08 - Kicker

 

Derrel Mitchell #87

Texas Tech - 1997-03, 07 - Wide Receiver

'Mookie' Mitchell is the career receiving yardage leader for the Toronto Argonauts. Mitchell joined the Argos in 1997 and enjoyed the highs of a Grey Cup with Doug Flutie. He would go on to catch passes from a series of different quarterbacks in double blue and continually post strong numbers on some not so strong clubs. A fan favorite and terrific talent.

 

Kerwin Bell - Florida - 1998, 00-01 - Quarterback

 

Noel Prefontaine #1

San Diego State - 1998-07, 10-13 - Kicker/Punter

'Pre' had an outstanding 16 season CFL career spent primarily with the Toronto Argonauts. the California native arrived in Toronto in 1998 and quickly established himself as the most dominant punter in the league. He also provided a physical element on special teams not common among punters. His field goal kicking would evolve to where he was the envy of the league as a dual threat non-import. He would celebrate 2 Grey Cups with the Argonauts in 2004 and 2012.

 

Jimmy Kemp - Wake Forest - 1999-01 - Quarterback

Andre Talbot - Wilfrid Laurier - 2001-09 - Receiver

Michael Bishop - Kansas - 2002-08 - Quarterback

Bashir Levingston - Eastern Washington - 2002-07 - Returner

 

John Avery #20

Mississippi - 2004-07 - Running Back

John Avery arrived in Toronto in 2004 with high expectations. The diminutive running back had posted incredible seasons in the XFL and with Edmonton in 2002. While he did not live up to the hype that came with his arrival his stay did include a Grey Cup championship in 2004. A speedy back who suffered from injuries John Avery was another in a line of star players who could not meet expectations in Toronto.

 

Damon Allen #9

Cal State Fullerton - 2003-07 - Quarterback

Damon Allen had an incredible 23 season career in the CFL. While he had stops in Edmonton, Ottawa, Hamilton, British Columbia and Memphis he enjoyed his greatest success in the twilight of his career with the Toronto Argonauts. An Argo for 5 season he led the club to a Grey Cup championship in 2004 and captured his only Most Outstanding Player award the following season in '05. Under coach Michael 'Pinball' Clemons he flourished and left a legacy in Argo history.

 

Arland Bruce III - Minnesota - 2004-09 - Receiver

Andre Rison - Michigan State - 2004-05 - Receiver

Byron Parker - Tulane - 2005-09, 10-11 - Defensive Back

Ricky Williams - Texas - 2006 - Running Back

Cleo Lemon - Arkansas State - 2010-11 - Quarterback

 

-- features --

 

1971

 

1976

 

1983

 

1991

 

2004

 

'Leo'

 

'Obie'

 

John Candy

 

If Leon scored...

 

Exhibition Grounds

 


-- highlights --

 

The first major airlift into Toronto from the NFL and arguably the most successful was Tobin Rote in 1960. Rote arrived fresh off a championship with the Detroit Lions and proceeded to pass for 4,247 and 38 touchdowns in 14 games - unheard of totals for the era. While he would not bring a championship to Argo-land and his totals slipped in his 2 later seasons, Rote was an incredible Argo talent.

 

'Big Zee' Zenon Andrusyshyn was a fan favourite over 10 seasons and two separate stays with the Double Blue. The Oakville native arrived with the Argonauts in 1971 after a stellar collegiate career with UCLA. The powerful Andrusyshyn was among the first of a new era of specialized kicker who took great pride in their kicking and punting.

 

Along with Joe Theismann and Jim Stillwagon in the Argonaults recruiting spree of 1971 came the talented and enigmatic Leon McQuay. His unrivaled talent on the football field was matched by his unpredictable temperment off the field. Quoted by Leo Cahill as "the best player he ever recruited" McQuay came out of the University of Tampa after his junior year bringing his special football talents to Toronto. His electrifying play on the field is certainly remembered by Argonaut fans. However, what is most remembered as a lasting image is McQuay's controversial fumble in the 1971 Grey Cup on the wet unforgiving turf of Empire Stadium in Vancouver. The fumble arguably cost the Argos victory that day. 

 

In 1972, Leo Cahill followed up his recruiting exploits of 1971 by signing college superstar Eric “The Flea” Allen away from the NFL Baltimore Colts who had drafted Allen. Allen, a 5’7” 170lb dynamo was an explosive offensive weapon for the Michigan State Spartans setting a number of school records. Converted from a running back in college to a ‘wingback’ style with the Argonauts, Allen put his blazing speed to use and was an instant success in 1972 with over 1,000 yards receiving as a rookie. It was another feather in Cahill’s recruiting cap much to the chagrin of the National Football League.

 

Eric Harris was one of the last of the big name U.S. recruits arriving to the Argonauts in the late 1970's. The 6'4" defensive back was a collegiate star at Memphis and highly touted for the NFL. He would sign with the Argonauts for big $$ and spend 3 seasons with the club. He had the greatest impact as a rookie in 1977 with 7 interceptions including a club record 115 yard return. He was an all-star in 1977 and '78 he would go on to have a productive NFL career starting in 1980.

 

Don Matthews is considered by many as the greatest coach in CFL history. A master tactician and motivator who produced winners. Matthews coached several CFL teams over his 29 year coaching career in the CFL. Matthews had 3 separate stints as Head Coach with the Argonauts his most successful being back to back championships in 1996 and '97.

 


-- grey cup --

 

1971

 

1987

 

1991

 

1996

 


-- stadium attendance --

 

Rogers Centre

Capacity (52,595)

High Season: 47,356 (1976)

Low Season: 15,083 (2003)

2013 Avg: 21,844

 


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