Don Loney

Donald John Loney[1] (November 16, 1923 – June 19, 2004) was a professional Canadian football centre and football coach. He was called the "Father of Maritime Football" by The Globe and Mail for his work as a coach at St. Francis Xavier University and his contributions to developing the Vanier Cup as a national championship.

Don Loney
Born:November 16, 1923
Ottawa, Ontario
Died:June 19, 2004(2004-06-19) (aged 80)
Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia
Career information
CollegeNorth Carolina State University
Career history
As coach
1957–1973St. Francis Xavier X-Men (HC)
As player
1943St. Hyacinthe-Donnacona Navy
1943Ottawa Combines
1945Montreal Hornets
1946Toronto Argonauts
1947–1952Ottawa Rough Riders
1954Calgary Stampeders
CFL East All-Star1946, 1947, 1948, 1949,
Awards1950 Jeff Russel Memorial Trophy
Career stats

Playing careerEdit

Loney was an exceptional football player in Canada after graduating from North Carolina State University. During the Second World War before he was sent overseas to serve in England, he suited up for the Ottawa Combines and the St. Hyacinthe-Donnacona Navy teams in 1943. He served in the RCN from 1943 to 1957 as a Lieutenant Commander.

Post-war, he resumed his career and played nine seasons as a centre in Canadian football with the Montreal Hornets (1945), Toronto Argonauts (1946), Ottawa Rough Riders (1947–1952) and Calgary Stampeders (1954), meriting four East all-star selections and the Jeff Russel Memorial Trophy as East MVP in 1950, a rare feat for a player at his position. He won a pair of Grey Cups, with the Argonauts in 1946 and the Rough Riders in 1951.

Don served in Shearwater as the Base Physical Training and Recreation Officer for two years, and it was during this period that he coached the senior Shearwater Flyers football teams to Nova Scotia and Maritime championships in 1955 and 1956.

University coaching careerEdit

Loney headed the St. Francis Xavier X-Men football program from 1957 to 1973. In 17 seasons at the helm, he compiled an impressive record of 133 wins, 31 losses and two ties, for a remarkable winning percentage of .807. The team went on an undefeated streak over an eight-year span. Time Magazine dubbed St. FX as "The Assassins of Antigonish".[2][3][4]

His teams won nine conference banners (including the pre-AUS era), six Jewett Trophy titles as AUS champions, four Atlantic Bowl championships, as well as a dominating 40–14 triumph over Waterloo Lutheran in the second Canadian College Bowl in 1966.

University pioneer and legacyEdit

Perhaps greater than his coaching career, Loney was a true university football pioneer. In 1960, he was instrumental in creating the Atlantic Bowl, Canada’s first post-season invitational game which officially became a national semifinal in 1967. He was also one of the architects of the Canadian College Bowl, which kicked off in 1965. Following the 1973 season, the Atlantic Bowl MVP award was named after him and, in 2006, the AUS championship final was renamed the Loney Bowl.

He was inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1988.[5] He was announced for induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame on February 21, 2013 as a builder for his contributions to university football in Canada. He was also inducted into the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame, Canadian Forces Hall of Fame and StFX Sports Hall of Fame.[6]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Coach for Life - Don Loney" 1999 documentary, part one.
  3. ^ "Coach for Life - Don Loney" 1999 documentary, part two.
  4. ^ "Coach for Life - Don Loney" 1999 documentary, part three.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2010-04-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Canada's Sports Hall of Fame profile
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-06. Retrieved 2010-04-18.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Obituary