2013 CFHOF Profile: Don Loney

don-loney_featured

The Canadian Football Hall of Fame is a place where people who have had an impact on the sport in Canada can be honoured. The hall of fame looks to be a place where people can go to look at those who created and built the sport at every level. It could be someone in the CIS or someone in the professional ranks, CFL or NFL. Sometimes it can look to a person who has had their impact on many levels and other times it can go down to simply someone who focused on one aspect of the league. This is Where Don Loney sits as he would have his influence in one area of the Canadian football landscape. This would be the East Coast as Loney would show his impact on the Maritimes that would become its own unique area for the sport. Canadian Football is very divided as certain areas take a lot more focus while others fall through the cracks. Western Canada and Quebec are two places where football is big and in some towns can be mentioned alongside hockey as town favorites. Meanwhile in Ontario the game is swallowed by massive amateur hockey organizations that keep football on the outskirts. The Maritimes is its own area for the sport though as it has its own personality both in sports and in everyday life. Football in the East Coast may not get a lot of the credit that it deserves as it is a smaller part of the country that will never produce enough people to pick from. Still there is a taste for football in the Maritimes as the four teams in the AUS capturing the fans for the fall season. A lot of that has to do with the great people who have come through the east coast and left their mark including one of the biggest names in Maritime football Don Loney.

Don Loney would make his mark on the East Coast as the man born in Ottawa will forever be known as a pioneer in Maritimes football. Loney would begin his career as a centre at North Carolina State and as a professional in the CFL. He would play for the Ottawa Combines and St. Hyacinthe-Donnacona Navy teams before fighting in World War II. Upon returning he would join the Montreal Hornets, Toronto Argonauts, Ottawa Rough Riders, and the Calgary Stampeders. On the field is not where he had his biggest contributions though as he would make a real impact when he joined the Shearwater Flyers football team as a head coach. His knowledge of the game would help him to guide this military team to multiple Martimes championships. In 1957 Don Loney would take the next step to becoming a Maritimes football hero. As the head coach of the team known as “The Assassins of Antigonish” Loney would lead the X-Men to their most successful period in the history of the program. A total record of 133-31-2 while coaching the team would earn Loney 6 Jewett Trophies. More important than his time at St. Francis Xavier was the legacy he would leave after he had left. While coaching he would be one of the key contributors to the creation of the Atlantic Bowl. The Atlantic Bowl would be the first ever invitational game. It was almost a defacto national championship for years before the Vanier Cup as it would involve the best teams in the country to play against each other. Eventually the Atlantic Bowl would become one of the two semi-final games in the National playoffs. The Atlantic Bowl would eventually be replaced by the Uteck Bowl but it had its purpose. The Atlantic Bowl would be the start of the National playoffs and Don Loney was a major part of establishing this game in Eastern Canada. Loney would be one of the greatest coaches in AUS history but would also have a massive impact on the national stage. For his efforts the championship game in the AUS would be named after him as the Loney Bowl is played every year for the Jewett Trophy. Don Loney had his effect on the sport out East and for that he will forever be enshrined in the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.

 

Don Loney, Head Coach (1957-1973)
133-31-2 Career Record
– Helped Create the Atlantic Bowl
– 4 Atlantic Bowl Championships (1959-1961, 1963)
– 6 Jewett Trophy Championships (1960-1963, 1966, 1967)
– AUS Championship Game named after him (Loney Bowl)

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