Don Loney

Don Loney was born in Ottawa, Ontario and moved to Montreal when he was 13.  where he played junior football with the Montreal Pats. Loney enlisted in the Navy Reserve in 1943 and served in the coastal patrol.  Loney was sent over to England, but the war ended before he saw action in Europe.  During the war, Loney played with the Ottawa Combines and the Montrea Navy team in 1943.

After the war, Loney played for the Montreal Hornets in 1945 - the Hornets were the immediate predessessor of the Alouettes who started in 1946.  Loney won a football scholarship to North Carolina State, but stayed there only one year before returning to Canada.  Loney played with the Toronto Argos in 1946, winning his first of four East All-Star selections at Center, and winning his first of two Grey Cups.

Loney returned to his home town of Ottawa in 1947, and played six seasons (1947-52) with the Ottawa Rough Riders.  In those six seasons, Loney went on to win three more East All-Stars (CFL All-Stars didn't exist until 1962) in 1947, 1948 and 1949.  Loney also won the Jeff Russell Award in 1950 as the Outstanding Player in the East.  Considering that the Outstanding Player awards in the CFL almost always go to the glamour positions like Quarterback, Running Back or Receiver, that award says a lot about the talent of Don Loney.

You couldn't make a living as a football player back then, especially if you were a non-import, and Loney left football after 1951 having won his second Grey Cup with the Rough Riders that year.  Loney rejoined the Naval Reserve and there got his first taste of coaching in 1953 at MCS Stadacona in Halifax.  In 1954, Loney came out of retirement to join the Calgary Stampeders, but an injury cut his return short.

Soon after, Loney took up coaching again as the Head Coach of the St. Francis Xavier X-Men.  It was a 17 year stint from 1957 to 1973 with a record of 133-31-2 that won Loney the title "Father of Maritime Football."   Under his guidance, the X-Men won 9 conference titles, 4 Atlantic bowls and the 1966 College Bowl (now the Vanier Cup).  The Atlantic Bowl by the way started in 1956 and was mainly the work of Don Loney.

Don Loney passed away at the age of 80 on June 19, 2004.

Loney May Flying Wing, Nominated for Jeff Russell - October 26, 1945

Loney Joins the Riders. January 11, 1947

Father of Maratime Football

The following is from Don Loney's Obituary

Loney, Donald John - Deceased: June 19, 2004
Don Loney passed away in Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia, on Saturday after a lengthy illness. He served in the RCN from 1943-1957 as a Lieutenant Commander. 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. After leaving the Navy, Don went on to St. Francis Xavier University as an athletic director and coach of their senior football programme. He spent many years in this position (1957-1974), bringing numerous championships and football honours to the university. It is to be noted that from 1946 to 1953, Don had a distinguished career as a player in the Canadian Football League, where he played for the Montreal Alouettes, Toronto Argonauts, Ottawa Rough Riders, and the Calgary Stampeders. In 1950, he was awarded the Jeff Russel Trophy as the most valuable player in the CFL Eastern Conference. He is a member of Canada's Sports Hall of Fame, Canadian Forces Sports Hall of Fame, Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame, and St. Francis Xavier Hall of Fame.


Year Team GP
1943 MNAV
1943 OCOM
1945 MH
1946 TOR 10
1947 OTT 12
1948 OTT 12
1949 OTT 11
1950 OTT 12
1951 OTT 12
1952 OTT 4
1954 CAL 13


Don Loney

Don Loney

Don Loney