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Garney Henley (born December 21, 1935) was a star football player in the Canadian Football League.

Garney Henley
No. 26
Born: (1935-12-21) December 21, 1935 (age 83)
Hayti, South Dakota
Career information
CFL statusInternational
Height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight180 lb (82 kg)
High schoolHayti (SD)
AFL draft1960 / Round: Second Selections
Drafted byNew York Titans
NFL draft1960 / Round: 15 / Pick: 173
Drafted byGreen Bay Packers
Career history
As player
19601975Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Career highlights and awards
  • 4 time Grey Cup champion (1963, 1965, 1967, 1972)
  • played in 7 Grey Cup games (1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1972)
CFL All-Star1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972
CFL East All-Star1963, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1972
Career stats

College careerEdit

He attended Huron University in South Dakota, starring as a running back from 1956 to 1959 (as well as being a Dean's List honours student.) A First Team NAIA All-America in 1959, set NAIA career records with 394 points scored and over 4,000 rushing yards.

CFL careerEdit

Henley was drafted in 1960 by the NFL's Green Bay Packers in the 15th round (173rd overall), but was traded to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in Ontario, Canada. This was an excellent opportunity, as he embarked on a 16-year career (1960 to 1975) of CFL greatness. In his early Tiger-Cat career, he was used mostly as a defensive back with a unique tackling style which relied on his skill in taking down players with body angle and leverage rather than brute force. In his later years with the Tiger-Cats, he played more as a receiver when it became obvious to everyone, coaches, players and fans alike, that he was a superlative offensive player.

As a defensive back he intercepted 59 passes for 916 yards and 5 touchdowns, and was selected as an All Star nine times. An excellent two-way player, as a wide receiver he was an All Star for the 10th time in 1972. He also won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award that year in which the Tiger-Cats won the Grey Cup at their home field, Ivor Wynne Stadium in Hamilton, Ontario.

He played in 7 Grey Cup games, winning 4: the 51st Grey Cup of 1963, the 53rd Grey Cup of 1965 (the so-called Wind Bowl), the 55th Grey Cup of 1967 when Saskatchewan was mashed 24-1, and the 60th Grey Cup of 1972, losing 3: the 49th Grey Cup of 1961, the 50th Grey Cup of 1962, and the 52nd Grey Cup of 1964.

Post-football careerEdit

While still playing football in Hamilton, Garney was hired at the University of Guelph by athletic director, Bill Mitchell. Henley served as the assistant athletic director, advisor to the football team and taught in the Physical Education program. He also took over the Gryphon Basketball program. Despite several winless seasons Garney gradually built the program into a contender. In 1973-74, Garney coached the team to its first CIAU national championship.

After his playing days, he became the athletic director and coach at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, and Brock University in Ontario. From 1989 to 1993, he was hired as defense coach with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. As coach he made another appearance in Grey Cup in 1989 losing to Saskatchewan in the final minutes. He also served as the director of Football Operations for the Ottawa Rough Riders from 1995–1996. His teams had a combined 6–30 record. In 1996, Garney moved back to his home state of South Dakota after 36 years in Canada. He finished his career as athletic director at his alma mater, Huron University. After Huron University closed, Garney became a general manager for Professional Transportation Inc transporting railroad engineers and conductors. He retired in 2013.

It was often said that the always thin Henley did not look the part of a successful athlete. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1979, the University of Guelph Athletics Hall of Fame on October 4, 1985, the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004, and the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame in 2015.[1] Henley was voted the sixth greatest CFL player in a poll conducted by Canadian Sports network TSN in 2006.



Further readingEdit

  • Christie, Alan (2009-07-14). "Retro: Ticat great Garney Henley".