Toronto Argonauts Alumni Association
In Memorium: Bernie Custis
(Feb. 23, 2017 – Canadian Press and argoalumni.com) All Bernie Custis wanted was the chance to be a pro quarterback, but to Damon Allen he will always be a football pioneer. Custis, pro football’s first black quarterback who blazed the trail for future CFL stars like Allen, Warren Moon and Chuck Ealey, died Thursday. He was 88.
Custis made pro football history Aug. 29, 1951, when he became a starter with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. It came after he was denied the opportunity to play the position with the NFL’s Cleveland Browns.
Ultimately, Bernie spent several seasons in the Argonauts front office as a scout for team president Ralph Sazio. He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Hamilton Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
Full story: (thespec.com)
Save the date – 2017 Argo Alumni Reunion
(Feb. 20, 2017 – ArgoAlumni.com) The 2017 edition of the Toronto Argonaut Alumni Association’s annual reunion will be held Wednesday, April 19. The year’s don’t-miss event will be once again held at the Royal Woodbine Golf Club at 195 Galaxy Blvd., Toronto, Ontario M9W 6R7. Further information will be forthcoming.
2016 Reunion revisited
He was an Argo: Darrell K. Smith
(Feb. 14, 2017 – ArgoAlumni.com) Former Argo reciever (1986-92) Darrell K. Smith has passed away. Smith played 112 games over seven seasons (1986-92) with the Argonauts. The Youngstown, Ohio, native hauled in 465 passes for 8,144 yards and 52 touchdowns while adding 84 kick returns for 1,139 yards with the Double Blue.
“Darrell was an electrifying player who captured the hearts of our fans, etched his name in the Argos’ record book, and helped lead us to our Grey Cup Championship in 1991,” said Michael Copeland, President & CEO for the Argos. “He will be forever remembered as one of the Argos’ all-time great receivers. On behalf of our fans and our entire organization, we send our deepest condolences to Darrell’s friends and family.”
Save the date: Golf Fun Day 2017
Mon., June 5 – 12:30 pm shotgun
Eagle Ridge Golf Course, Georgetown
Sowieta hits back after diagnosis
(Jan. 16, 2017 – ArgoAlumni.com) Former Argo (1977-78) and Ottawa Rough Rider linebacker Rick Sowieta is facing the battle of his life after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Rick played 10 seasons in the CFL including eight years in Ottawa. He was a CFL Eastern All Star in 1980, 1983, and 1985.
Story (OttawaCitizen.com): ‘I’m a fighter’: Ex-Rough Rider Rick Sowieta hits back after cancer diagnosis
To donate: YouCaring.Com
Steinauer off to Fresno State
(Dec. 29, 2016 – ArgoAlumni.com) Former Argo player (2001-08) and coach (2010-12) Orlondo Steinauer will be the new defensive coordinator of the Fresno State Bulldogs in NCAA Division I college football. Steinauer, 43, was defensive coordinator of the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for the past four seasons. His CFL playing career spanned 12 seasons from 1996-2008 with Ottawa Rough Riders, the Ticats and Argos.
He finished his career second all-time in CFL history for interception return yards with 1,178. Steinauer was a two-time Grey Cup champion as a player after winning in 1999 with the Tiger-Cats and in 2004 with the Argonauts. He has also won a championship as a coach, winning the 100th Grey Cup as the defensive backs coach for the Argonauts in 2012.
Gene Mack wants to hear from you
(December 24, 2016 – ArgoAlumni.com) Recently, Gene Mack (Argo LB 1971-75) had surgery to remove a foot and is recuperating in hospital.
Gene is doing well and working hard at getting back home and to work making all those commercials and movies. His spirits are high and he asked us to post this notice for everyone and he is happy to see and/or chat over the phone with alumni.
Many of us have been to see or called him already. He can be reached at 416-243-3600 extension 3160.
To visit, or write to Gene:
WestPark Health Care Centre
82 Buttonwood Avenue (area of Jane Street, south of Weston Road)
Release still leaves bitter taste in Sam’s mouth
On the 10th anniversary of the death of P.K. Sam’s father, the veteran receiver lashed out at how Nick Saban, the former Dolphins head coach now leading Alabama, handled the matter
(Dec. 20, 2016 – Canadian Press) Family has helped ease P.K. Sam II’s pain, but not his anger toward Nick Saban.
Sam’s father died father died Dec. 14, 2006, at the age of 49, just more than a month after being diagnosed with cancer. The disease robbed Sam, then 23, of the opportunity to further bond with the man who helped him believe he could excel in athletics.
Full story: The Globe and Mail
He was an Argo: Wayne Smith
(Dec. 14, 2016 – Globe and Mail) Having never played high school or college football, Wayne Smith defied the odds and went on to become a CFL defensive all-star during his 12-year career in professional football.
In 1969, at the age of 19, Mr. Smith joined the Ottawa Rough Riders with little more than ambition and raw athletic talent. His only experience was playing briefly for a small football team in his hometown of Halifax. But Mr. Smith, who died in his sleep at his Halifax home on Nov. 27 at the age of 66, after suffering complications from diabetes, would quickly establish himself as a quick, ambitious force within the league, playing for five teams and winning two Grey Cups.
Full story: The Globe and Mail
Pinball and Peter Martin named CFL Alumni men of the year
(Nov. 25, 2016 – Argonauts.ca staff) The CFL Alumni Association (CFLAA) announced that former Toronto Argonaut players Michael “Pinball” Clemons and Peter Martin were the co-winners of the CFL Alumni Man of the Year Award. The CFLAA presented the prestigious award to the two outstanding Argonauts alumni during the Grey Festival at the popular CFL Legends Luncheon held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
Jason Colero honoured for his 32 years of community work
(Nov. 24, 2016 – cfl.ca staff) An “unsung hero” was recognized for more than three decades of dedicated service to the Toronto Argonauts, the community and causes that serve youth.
Jason Colero, the Argos’ Director of Education and Community Programs, was honoured with the Commissioner’s Award, presented each year to an individual or group that has made an outstanding contribution to the development of football in Canada.
Full story: cfl.ca