Western Mustangs football
The Western Mustangs football team (also known as the Western Ontario Mustangs) represents the University of Western Ontario in Canadian college football. The Mustangs compete as a member of the Ontario University Athletics (OUA), under the U Sports association.
Western Mustangs logo
|Athletic director||Christine Stapleton|
|Head coach||Greg Marshall|
13th year, 89–15 (.856)
|Other Staff||Paul Gleason (DC), Kevin MacNeil (RC), Jacob Kirk (VC)|
|Home Stadium||TD Stadium|
|Past associations||CIRFU (1929-1970)|
1971, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1989,
|Mitchell Bowls||2 |
1959, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1979,
1971, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1995
1931, 1939, 1946, 1947, 1949,
1950, 1952, 1953, 1957, 1959,
1971, 1974, 1976, 1977, 1979,
1980, 1981, 1982, 1985, 1986,
1988, 1989, 1990, 1994, 1995,
1998, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013,
|Hec Crighton winners||6|
Jamie Bone, Greg Marshall, Blake Marshall, Tim Tindale (2), Andy Fantuz
|Colours||Purple and white|
With their first full season in 1929, the Western Mustangs are one of the most decorated football teams in Canadian university history. The team has had the most Vanier Cup national championship appearances, having made it to the title game 14 times (most recently in 2018). The Mustangs have won seven Vanier Cups, second only to the Laval Rouge et Or. The Mustangs have also won the Yates Cup conference championship 32 times in team history; more than any other Canadian University. The Western Mustangs play their home games at TD Stadium, located on the south side of campus. With 8,000 seats, TD Stadium is the second-largest stadium in the OUA association.
One of the earliest known football games to have been played at Western was in 1908 by a group of medical students. Known as 'rugby' or 'rugby football', this team joined a local junior league and played a small series of games that year. In 1912, the Medical faculty students as well as the Arts faculty students joined and formed one team which played along with the local City of London team in the Junior Ontario Rugby Union.
Western joined the intermediate intercollegiate football team in 1920 and with a very rough start, the team persevered with the support of the university for the next couple of seasons. With improved coaching from 1923 to 1926, the team went on to win their first intermediate intercollegiate championship in 1927 with Art Wilson as the head coach.
J.W. Little Memorial StadiumEdit
In 1928, construction began on the first stadium on campus. With the help of Fielding Yost, the stadium was built to proper football guidelines. The J.W. Little Memorial Stadium opened the following year on October 19, 1929 and was named after Colonel J.W. Little, a former City of London mayor. Opening day, Western's new senior intermediate team played Queen's University and lost 25-2.
Improvements like an electronic scoreboard and a radio booth were added in 1948 and 1949, respectively. By 1960, the stadium expanded seating from the original 5,000 seats to well over 7,200 seats. This was then expanded to 8,000 in future years.
The stadium held its last game in 1999, and the new TD Stadium was built in 2000.
Senior Intermediate TeamEdit
The entry into the senior intercollegiate league in 1929 brought Western into the spotlight. Joe Breen became the head coach for the Senior Intermediate Team this year, with assistant coach Mitt Burt and Paul Hauch as captain. 1929 was the first year Western played senior football.
The Mustangs continued to play in league throughout the early 1930s, but had a mixed bag of wins and losses, but did win their first Yates Cup championship in 1931. By 1935, Breen retired as the head coach and Western football got a jumpstart when Bill Storen and John Metras came on as head coach and assistant coach this same year.
Both coaches were very knowledgeable and skillful football players and with their guidance, the team gained more and more wins each year. By 1939, the team accomplished their first undefeated season, notably with Joe Krol as a member of this historic team.
Metras took over as head coach in 1940, but with the beginning of the Second World War, the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union had suspended all athletic activities from 1940-1945. This decision was met with mixed reviews. It was at this time that Metras chose to play the Western senior team under the organization of Western's Canadian Officers' Training Corps (COTC). Known as the COTC Mustangs, they played in both Canada and American service and college teams.
After WWII into the 1950sEdit
Canadian intercollegiate athletics resumed in 1946, and the Mustangs saw another undefeated schedule season that year, winning their third Yates Cup. Some notable players this year were Bob McFarlane, Don McFarlane, George Curtis, and quarterback Herb Ballantyne.
By 1948, the team was attracting thousands of fans for every game and the CP Rail would run special trains to help accommodate getting the team, band, and fans to and from away games. Videotaping, electronic score boards, and radio broadcasting were all brought to the games starting in the 1948 season.
Into the 1950s, the Mustangs continued the excellent playing and Metras continued as the head coach. The local newspaper, the London Free Press, was diligently attending and recording all the games the Mustangs played. Western football became a part of the London community and not just the student body. In 1950, the Mustangs defeated the Toronto Varsity Blues at Varsity Stadium 8-1 with over 27,000 spectators, winning their 6th Yates Cup championship.
The next couple of seasons saw players like Don Getty, Murray Henderson, Bill Britton, John Girvin, Frank Cosentino, and Ed Meads all play for the Mustangs. The Western Mustangs went on to win five Yates Cups in the 1950s.
By the 1960s, the Senior Intercollegiate league changed its name to the Ontario-Quebec Athletic Association and the Canadian Intercollegiate Athletic Union started to include more Canadian universities. Prior to this, Western only played three other teams in their regular season; Queen's, Toronto, and McGill. With this change, Western also started to play McMaster, Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier and Windsor in this new group.
The Mustangs saw more difficult times in the 1960s. The first early seasons of the decade saw good highlights, such as an 85-yard touchdown by John Wydareny in 1960 and a 99-yard touchdown by Whit Tucker in 1961. The team lost their steam in 1963 with a 3-3 record. With some disappointing losses, the Mustangs did not win a single Yates Cup during this decade. Metras retired as the football coach in 1969, but stayed on as the Director of Athletics for Western.
The team is currently coached by Greg Marshall, who took over for Haylor in 2007 after his aforementioned retirement. Marshall won the Hec Crighton Trophy for most outstanding player in U Sports football as a player for the Mustangs in 1980 and has also coached professional football for the Hamilton Tiger-Cats from 2004-2006. In the 12 seasons that Marshall has served as the Mustangs head coach, the team has won the Yates Cup six times, in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2017, and 2018 and one Vanier Cup in 2017. The Mustangs have been one of the top teams in U Sports football as of late, posting a 76-11 regular season record between 2008 and 2018.
List of head coachesEdit
|Frank Cosentino||1970–74||National championship (Vanier Cup in 1971 & 1974)|
|Darwin Semotiuk||1975–84||National championship (Vanier Cup in 1976 & 1977)|
|Larry Haylor||1984–2006||National championship (Vanier Cup in 1989 & 1994)|
|Greg Marshall||2007–present||National championship (Vanier Cup in 2017)|
The following is the record of the University of Western Ontario Mustangs football team since 2002:
|2002||8||6||2||0.750||371||213||3rd in OUA||Defeated Windsor Lancers in quarter-final 65-10|
Lost to Queen's Golden Gaels in semi-final 55-20
|2003||8||5||3||0.625||306||257||2nd in OUA||Lost to Windsor Lancers in quarter-final 21-18|
|2004||8||6||2||0.750||370||189||3rd in OUA||Defeated York Lions in quarter-final 54-18|
Lost to McMaster Marauders in semi-final 40-23
|2005||8||6||2||0.625||371||144||2nd in OUA||Defeated Ottawa Gee-Gees in semi-final 18-10|
Lost to Laurier Golden Hawks in Yates Cup 29-11
|2006||8||5||3||0.625||205||179||5th in OUA||Defeated Windsor Lancers in quarter-final 20-16|
Lost to Laurier Golden Hawks in semi-final 20-15
|2007||8||4||4||0.500||223||127||5th in OUA||Defeated Queen's Golden Gaels in quarter-final 27-19|
Defeated Ottawa Gee-Gees in semi-final 23-16
Defeated Guelph Gryphons in Yates Cup final 34-21
Lost to Manitoba Bisons in Mitchell Bowl 52-20
|2008||8||7||1||0.875||363||133||1st in OUA||Defeated Laurier Golden Hawks in semi-final 36-28|
Defeated Ottawa Gee-Gees in Yates Cup final 31-17
Defeated Saint Mary's Huskies in Mitchell Bowl 28-12
Lost to Laval Rouge et Or in 44th Vanier Cup 44-21
|2009||8||6||2||0.750||335||145||3rd in OUA||Defeated Guelph Gryphons in quarter-final 37-18|
Defeated Laurier Golden Hawks in semi-final 26-16
Lost to Queen's Golden Gaels in Yates Cup final 43-39
|2010||8||7||1||0.875||317||96||2nd in OUA||Defeated McMaster Marauders in semi-final 34-28|
Defeated Ottawa Gee-Gees in Yates Cup final 26-25
Lost to Laval Rouge et Or in Uteck Bowl 13-11
|2011||8||7||1||0.875||311||182||1st in OUA||Defeated Windsor Lancers in semi-final 33-27|
Lost to McMaster Marauders in Yates Cup final 41-19
|2012||8||5||3||0.625||327||165||4th in OUA||Defeated Windsor Lancers in quarter-final 56-35|
Lost to McMaster Marauders in semi-final 42-28
|2013||8||8||0||1.000||458||148||1st in OUA||Defeated McMaster Marauders in semi final 32-3|
Defeated Queen's Golden Gaels in Yates Cup final 51-22
Lost to Calgary Dinos 44-3 in Mitchell Bowl
|2014||8||6||2||0.750||415||152||3rd in OUA||Defeated Laurier Golden Hawks in quarter-final 25-10|
Lost to Guelph Gryphons in semi-final 51-26
|2015||8||8||0||1.000||344||93||1st in OUA||Defeated Laurier Golden Hawks in semi-final 32-18|
Lost to Guelph Gryphons in Yates Cup 23-17
|2016||8||7||1||0.875||393||148||1st in OUA||Defeated Carleton Ravens in semi-final 51-24|
Lost to Laurier Golden Hawks in Yates Cup 43-40
|2017||8||8||0||1.000||386||105||1st in OUA||Defeated Guelph Gryphons in semi-final 66-12|
Defeated Laurier Golden Hawks in Yates Cup 75-32
Defeated Acadia Axemen in Uteck bowl 81-3
Defeated Laval Rouge et Or in 53rd Vanier Cup 39-17
|2018||8||8||0||1.000||384||89||1st in OUA||Defeated Carleton Ravens in semi-final 39-13|
Defeated Guelph Gryphons in Yates Cup 63-14
Defeated Saskatchewan Huskies in Mitchell Bowl 47-24
Lost to Laval Rouge et Or in 54th Vanier Cup 34-20
|2019||8||8||0||1.000||290||175||1st in OUA||Defeated Waterloo Warriors in semi-final 30-24|
Lost to McMaster Marauders in Yates Cup 29-15
Western Mustangs in the CFLEdit
As of the end of the 2019 CFL season, 14 former Mustangs players were on CFL teams' rosters:
- Jordan Beaulieu, Edmonton Eskimos
- Shane Bergman, Calgary Stampeders
- David Brown, Calgary Stampeders
- Lirim Hajrullahu, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
- Sean Jamieson, Montreal Alouettes
- Hakeem Johnson, BC Lions
- Shaq Johnson, BC Lions
- David Mackie, BC Lions
- Harry McMaster, Edmonton Eskimos
- Zackary Medeiros, Toronto Argonauts
- Jean-Gabriel Poulin, Montreal Alouettes
- Fraser Sopik, Calgary Stampeders
- Alex Taylor, Edmonton Eskimos
- Josh Woodman, BC Lions
- "Vanier Cup: Western Mustangs gallop to championship victory". 2017-11-25. Retrieved 2017-11-25.
- "OUA Facilities".
- "Football: The Early Years".
- "Football: Intercollegiate Competition".
- "Football: JW Little Stadium".
- Greg Marshall. "Western Mustangs". Westernmustangs.ca. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
- "2013 CIS Football Playoff - CIS English". English.cis-sic.ca. 2015-11-16. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
- "2010-11 Football Standings - CIS English". English.cis-sic.ca. 2015-11-16. Retrieved 2016-09-11.
- OUA Standings
- "CIAU Football 2001". Chebucto.ns.ca. 2002-11-24. Retrieved 2017-11-19.
- "Players". Canadian Football League. Retrieved June 16, 2019.