OTTAWA (CIS) – Neil Lumsden, a standout running back andkicker at the University of Ottawa, and Larry Haylor, a legendarycoach at Western University, are hours away from becomingimmortalized in Canadian football history.
The duo was announced last November as part of the CanadianFootball Hall of Fame’s 2014 induction class, along withformer CFL players Ben Cahoon, Uzooma Okeke, Maurice (Moe) Racineand Charles Roberts, as well as former CFL coach and currentgeneral manager Wally Buono, who will enter the Hall in thebuilders category.
The induction gala dinner is set for Saturday night inMontreal.
Lumsden and Haylor follow in the footsteps of Saint Mary’squarterback Chris Flynn (2011 – player), the late Alberta andWindsor coach Gino Fracas (2011 – builder), Mount Allison runningback Éric Lapointe (2012 – player), Calgary sideline bossPeter Connellan (2012 – builder), Alberta running back and receiverBrian Fryer (2013 – player), as well as the late St. FrancisXavier coach Don Loney (2013 – builder), who were allrecently inducted into the CFHOF for their accomplishments in theCanadian university game.
Lumsden will join the Hall in the players category.
The London, Ont., native made his debut with the Ottawa Gee-Geesin 1972 and had an immediate impact as a freshman, being voted MVPof the OUA East Division and earning a spot on the all-Canadianteam. At the end of his four-year university career, he had beennamed an OUA all-star every season, an OUA MVP three times and aCIS all-Canadian on three occasions. His 410 career points stood asthe CIS record for almost four decades and are now good for secondplace behind the 422 tallied over five campaigns by Western kickerLirim Hajrullahu.
In 1975, as one of the team captains, Lumsden was thecornerstone of arguably the best Gee-Gees squad in history. Thatseason, Ottawa posted an unblemished 11-0 overall record en routeto capturing its first Vanier Cup title thanks to a 14-9 win overCalgary at CNE Stadium in Toronto. Their workhorse running back wasnamed MVP of the national championship match after he rushed for169 yards on 27 carries, in addition to handling kicking andpunting duties. The 148 points he put on the scoreboard in sevenconference games in 1975 rank second in CIS annals, only two behindthe standard set by StFX’s Paul Brule in 1967.
Once the dust had settled on his playing days with the Garnetand Grey, Lumsden held numerous school records, including careermarks for most points (410), all-purpose touchdowns (31) andrushing majors (27).
Following graduation, he embarked on a successful 10-yearplaying career in the CFL with Toronto, Hamilton and Edmonton,winning three consecutive Grey Cups with the Eskimos from 1980 to1982. The eastern conference nominee for rookie of the year in1976, he was named the most outstanding Canadian in the 1981 GreyCup thanks to his eight receptions for 91 yards. He would add afourth CFL title to his resume in 1999 as general manager of theHamilton Tiger-Cats.
Lumsden has returned to CIS football in various capacities inrecent years, including as the honourary chairman of the 2008Vanier Cup in Hamilton. His son, Jesse, followed in his footstepsas a star CIS and CFL running back, meriting the Hec CrightonTrophy as the most outstanding player in CIS with the McMasterMarauders, in 2004.
The elder Lumsden is also a member of the Ottawa Gee-Gees, OUA andCity of Ottawa halls of fame.
“Neil is a major figure in our tradition of footballexcellence at the University of Ottawa,” said LucGélineau, director of sports services. “His playingdays here helped create the passion he has for university sport,and his understanding of the Canadian sport system is very wellestablished. The Gee-Gees will always be proud of hisaccomplishments and we congratulate him on this newhonour.”
Haylor will be inducted into the CFHOF as a builder.
The native of Prince Albert, Sask., got his first taste of CISfootball as a quarterback with the University of SaskatchewanHuskies in 1966 and 1967. He started his coaching career at theuniversity level as an assistant with the Huskies from 1971 to1973, had a brief stint as offensive coordinator of the DalhousieTigers in 1974, and later than season moved to London and joinedthe Western coaching staff in the same capacity.
Haylor took over as the Mustangs head coach in 1984 and therest, as they say, is history. When his reign ended on Nov. 4,2006, with a career overall record of 178 wins, 47 losses and fourties, he was the winningest head coach in CIS football annals. Henow sits in second place behind Saskatchewan mentor BrianTowriss.
A seven-time OUA coach of the year and a two-time recipient ofthe Frank Tindall Trophy as CIS coach of the year (1990, 1998),Haylor led the Mustangs to 22 consecutive campaigns with a recordof .500 or better. During his tenure, the ‘Stangs reachedfive national finals, claiming the Vanier Cup in 1989 and 1994, andplayed in 13 OUA title games, returning home with the Yates Cup oneight occasions.
Four Mustangs captured the Hec Crighton Trophy as CIS footballplayer of the year during Haylor’s illustrious career,including Andy Fantuz in 2005, Tim Tindale in 1991 and 1993, andBlake Marshall in 1986. Two of his pupils were CIS defensive MVP,one was named the top lineman in the nation, and two more claimedCIS rookie-of-the-year honours.
In 2009, CIS honoured him with the Jean-Marie De KoninckCoaching Excellence Award, presented to an individual who has madean outstanding contribution to university sport as demonstrated bylong-term commitment and leadership as a coach at the local,provincial national and/or international levels of Canadianuniversity sport. The same year, he joined WesternUniversity’s Wall of Champions.
In 2011, four years into “retirement”, Haylor servedas head coach for Canada’s first-ever entry at theInternational Federation of American Football (IFAF) senior worldchampionships.
“Larry Haylor is a legend at Western and in CISfootball,” said Thérèse Quigley, director ofsport and recreation services at Western. “He is a leader whoinspired many in the game to give back to it as coaches,broadcasters, builders and lifelong supporters. His intellect andinsight had a profound influence on the development of football atall levels across Canada and his continued involvement has Larryserving as an ambassador of our game on the internationallevel.”
CFHOF website: www.cfhof.ca
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