Open main menu

The McGill football Club represents McGill University athletics teams in U Sports and is based in Montreal, Quebec. Nicknamed the Redmen until May of 2019, the program is one of the oldest in all of Canada, having begun organized competition in 1874. The team won its first championship in 1902 and since then have also won in 1912, 1913, 1919, 1928, 1938 and 1960 prior to the inauguration of the Vanier Cup in 1965. McGill appeared in the Vanier Cup final in 1969, 1973 and 1987, with the Redmen finally winning the title in the 1987 game. McGill plays out of Percival Molson Memorial Stadium, where the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes also play. After a controversial student campaign in late 2018 that accused the traditional “Redmen” name of being offensive to Canadian First Nations communities, the longstanding men’s varsity nickname was dropped by the university. As of May 2019, the team has been temporarily renamed “the McGill University Football Club” pending an eventual rebranding.

McGill Football Club
McGill Athletics wordmark.png
McGill Football Club logo
First season1874
Athletic directorDrew Love
Head coachRonald Hilaire
4th year, 10–22–0  (.313)
Other StaffDavid Lessard (OC)
Ronald Hilaire (DC)
Home StadiumPercival Molson Memorial Stadium
Year built1914
Stadium capacity25,012
Stadium surfaceFieldTurf
LocationMontreal, Quebec
LeagueU Sports
ConferenceRSEQ (2010 – present)
Past associationsCRFU (1898–1914, 1919–1939, 1946–1970)
QUAA (1971–1973)
OQIFC (1974–2000)
QSSF (2001–2009)
All-time record– 
Postseason record– 
Tournaments
Vanier Cups1
1987
Mitchell Bowls3
1958, 1960, 1973
Atlantic Bowls2
1969, 1987
Yates Cups10
1902, 1906, 1912, 1913,
1919, 1928, 1938, 1960,
1962, 1969
Dunsmore Cups3
1987, 2001, 2002
Hec Crighton winners1
Dave Fleiszer
Current uniform
ColoursRed, White, and Black
              
OutfitterAdidas
RivalsMontreal Carabins
Concordia Stingers
WebsiteMcGill Football

Since the retirement of long-time head coach Charlie Baillie in 2000, the team has only won two league championships (2001, 2002). In October 2005, the McGill administration cancelled the last three games of football team's season after confirmed reports of hazing involving sexual abuse.[1] After their 2005 suspension, the team struggled with three losing seasons, including two winless seasons in 2007 and 2008. The program showed signs of hope as the Redmen won three games in 2009, but soon sank back down to futility with consecutive winless campaigns in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, the Redmen qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2006, but lost to perennial powerhouse Laval.

SeasonsEdit

 
The McGill v. Harvard game played in 1874

In 1874, McGill and Harvard met in the first North American style football game.[2]

Old "Football Fightum" had been resurrected at Harvard in 1872, when Harvard resumed playing football. Harvard, however, had adopted a version of football which allowed carrying, albeit only when the player carrying the ball was being pursued. As a result of this, Harvard refused to attend the rules conference organized by the other schools and continued to play under its own code. While Harvard's voluntary absence from the meeting made it hard for them to schedule games against other American universities, it agreed to a challenge to play McGill University in a two-game series. Inasmuch as rugby football had been transplanted to Canada from England, the McGill team played under a set of rules which allowed a player to pick up the ball and run with it whenever he wished. Another rule, unique to McGill, was to count tries (the act of grounding the football past the opposing team's goal line; it is important to note that there was no end zone during this time), as well as goals, in the scoring. In the Rugby rules of the time, a touchdown only provided the chance to kick a free goal from the field. If the kick was missed, the touchdown did not count.

The McGill team traveled to Cambridge to meet Harvard. On May 14, 1874, the first game, played under Harvard's rules, was won by Harvard with a score of 3–0.[3] The next day, the two teams played under "McGill" rugby rules to a scoreless tie.[4] The games featured a round ball instead of a rugby-style oblong ball.[3] This series of games represents an important milestone in the development of the modern game of American football.[5][6] In October 1874, the Harvard team once again traveled to Montreal to play McGill in rugby, where they won by three tries.

From 1898, McGill played in the Canadian Intercollegiate Rugby Football Union, and won their first championship, the Yates Cup in 1902. In 1912, Frank Shaughnessy was recruited as the first professional head coach. His teams won the Yates Cup during his first two seasons. In 1919, the team went undefeated and did not concede a touchdown,[7] and in 1928. The 1919 team was inducted into McGill's Hall of Fame in 2010.

McGill next won a championship in 1938. The team tied for the regular season 8–1 with Western after losing their final regular-season game to Western. The teams played off for the championship, won 9–0 by McGill, with all the scoring from kicker Herb Westman, who kicked a school record nine punt singles.[8] The Redmen would not win another title until 1960, when they won the Yates Cup, against Queen's University of Kingston, then defeated the Canada West champion Alberta Golden Bears in a challenge match for an unofficial national championship (Churchill Bowl).

In 1971, McGill joined a newly formed Quebec-only conference known as the Quebec University Athletic Association. In 1974, the three remaining Quebec teams merged with three Ontario teams in the Ontario-Quebec Intercollegiate Football Conference.

McGill won the ODIFC's Dunsmore Cup again for the first time 1987, along with the Montreal Shrine Bowl, Shaughnessy Cup, Robert Stanfield trophy (Atlantic Bowl champions) and the Vanier Cup (CIAU national champions). The 1987 team featured Michael Soles at running back, who went on to a lengthy playing career in the Canadian Football League. That team was coached by Charlie Baillie who took over in 1972 and served as head coach until 2000. Baillie surpassed the legendary Frank Shaughnessy's school record for wins and went on to become McGill's winningest coach. His overall record was 119–111–2.

Recent regular season resultsEdit

Season Games Won Lost OTL PCT PF PA Standing Playoffs
2001 8 5 3 - 0.625 161 166 2nd in QUFL Defeated Concordia Stingers in semi-final 11–8
Lost to Laval Rouge et Or in Dunsmore Cup 42–14[A]
2002 8 7 1 - 0.875 299 93 1st in QUFL Defeated Bishop's Gaiters in semi-final 44–0
Defeated Concordia Stingers in Dunsmore Cup 10–6
Lost to Saskatchewan Huskies in Mitchell Bowl 22–0
2003 8 3 5 - 0.375 171 205 4th in QUFL Lost to Laval Rouge et Or in semi-final 47–7
2004 8 4 4 - 0.500 162 158 4th in QUFL Lost to Montreal Carabins in semi-final 38–18
2005 8 1 7 - 0.125 120 233 6th in QUFL Out of playoffs
2006 8 4 4 - 0.500 157 168 4th in QUFL Lost to Laval Rouge et Or in semi-final 52–0
2007 8 0 8 - 0.000 144 289 6th in QUFL Out of playoffs
2008 8 0 8 - 0.000 130 413 6th in QUFL Out of playoffs
2009 8 3 5 - 0.375 181 267 5th in QUFL Out of playoffs
2010 9 0 9 - 0.000 102 330 6th in QUFL Out of playoffs
2011 9 0 9 - 0.000 139 287 6th in RSEQ Out of playoffs
2012 9 3 6 - 0.333 157 294 4th in RSEQ Lost to Laval Rouge et Or in semi-final 46–9
2013 8 3 5 - 0.375 220 263 5th in RSEQ Out of playoffs
2014 8 0 8 - 0.000 103 342 6th in RSEQ Out of playoffs
2015 8 3 5 - 0.375 192 249 5th in RSEQ Out of playoffs
2016 8 4 4 - 0.500 156 173 4th in RSEQ Lost to Montreal Carabins in semi-final 42–0
2017 8 1 7 - 0.125 105 282 5th in RSEQ Out of playoffs
2018 8 2 6 - 0.250 109 233 3rd in RSEQ Lost to Montreal Carabins in semi-final 48–2

[9]

^ A. McGill was later awarded the Cup by forfeit after it was discovered that Laval had used ineligible players

Head coachesEdit

Name Years Notes
A.M. Hamilton 1908
Bill Steedman 1911
Frank Shaughnessy 1912–27 & 1932–34 First professional coach in Canadian college history;
Yates Cup in 1912, 1913 and 1919.
Lorne Montgomery 1928–29 Yates Cup in 1928
Flin Flanagan 1928
T.H. Hall 1928–29
A.A. Burridge 1928–29
D. Stuart Forbes 1930–31
Joe O'Brien 1935
Doug Kerr 1936–46 Yates Cup in 1938
Vic Obeck 1947–53
Larry Sullivan 1954–57
Bruce Coulter 1958–61 Yates Cup, national championship in 1960
Bill Bewley 1962–64 Yates Cup in 1962
Tom Mooney 1965–70 Yates Cup in 1969
John Roberts 1971
Charlie Baillie 1972–2000 National championship (Vanier Cup in 1987)
Chuck McMann 2001–2006
Sonny Wolfe 2007–11
Clint Uttley 2011–2014 Took over as interim for final three games of 2011 season; named head coach after season but resigned on September 30, 2014.
Ronald Hilaire 2015–present Appointed head coach Feb 17, 2015. Finished 2014 season as interim co-head coach.

Source: McGill.[10]

Notable former playersEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Hazing probe prompts McGill to cancel football". CTV News. October 19, 2005. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  2. ^ "Spotlight Athletics:". Mcgill.ca. 2012-05-14. Archived from the original on 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2012-10-22.
  3. ^ a b Parke H. Davis. Football, the American intercollegiate game. p. 64.
  4. ^ "No Christian End!" (PDF). The Journey to Camp: The Origins of American Football to 1889. Professional Football Researchers Association. Retrieved January 26, 2010.
  5. ^ "Spotlight Athletics". Mcgill.ca. May 14, 2012. Archived from the original on October 18, 2012. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  6. ^ "Parke H. Davis '93 On Harvard Football". Princeton Alumni Weekly. 16: 583. March 29, 1916 – via Google books.  
  7. ^ "1919 McGill Football Team". McGill University. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  8. ^ "1938 McGill Football team". McGill University. Retrieved February 21, 2012.
  9. ^ http://www.sportetudiant-stats.com/universitaire/football/classements-1.php
  10. ^ "Coach profiles". McGill University. Retrieved February 21, 2012.

External linksEdit