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Toronto Argonauts
AmericanFootball current event.svg 2012 Toronto Argonauts

Toronto Argonauts logo

Founded 1873
Based in Toronto, Ontario
Home field Rogers Centre
League Canadian Football League
Division East Division
Colours Oxford blue, Cambridge blue, White
              
Nickname(s) Argos, Boatmen, Double Blue, Scullers
Head coach Scott Milanovich
General manager Jim Barker
Owner(s) David Braley[1]
Grey Cup wins 1914, 1921, 1933, 1937,
1938, 1945, 1946, 1947,
1950, 1952, 1983, 1991,
1996, 1997, 2004, 2012
Mascot(s) Jason
Website www.argonauts.ca
Uniform CFL TOR Jersey
File:Argos v Rough Riders 1924.jpg
File:George Mira.jpg

The Toronto Argonauts are a professional Canadian football team based in Toronto, Ontario representing the Toronto Metropolitan area. The Argonauts are currently members of the East Division of the Canadian Football League. The franchise was founded in 1873, and is the oldest existing professional sports teams in North America, under its current name. [2] The Chicago Cubs (1870) and the Atlanta Braves (1871) of Major League Baseball are older, but both teams have changed their name more than once. They have played their home games at Rogers Centre since the stadium opened in 1989 and prior to that, played in Exhibition Stadium from 1959 to 1988.

During their history, the Argonauts have featured 39 Hall of Fame players, including CFL Most Outstanding Player (MOP) award winners Condredge Holloway, and Michael "Pinball" Clemons. The team has also gained several nicknames, including "Argos", "Boatmen", "Double Blue", and "Scullers." The team's heated rivalry with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats is one of the oldest CFL East rivalries.

The Argonauts have won the Grey Cup championship a record fifteen times, most recently in 2012. Having appeared in the Grey Cup 21 times, the Argonauts also hold the record for the best winning percentage in the championship game at 71.4%.[3] Additionally, the franchise has the longest current winning streak in the Grey Cup, having won their last five appearances in the Grey Cup game (1991, 1996, 1997, 2004 and 2012).

Team facts Edit

The Toronto Argonauts are notable for being the oldest professional football team in North America, and they are also the oldest professional sports franchise in North America to still retain its original name. They have the most Grey Cup wins with 16 in the league; they have the second most Grey Cup appearances with 22, tied with Edmonton (22) and behind Winnipeg (23). The last time the Argonauts won a championship was in 2012.

The Argonauts are one of six professional football teams to feature multiple Heisman Trophy winners on their roster. The 1997 team featured Doug Flutie and Andre Ware, the first time a team has had two Heisman winners at the quarterback position. The 2006 team featured Ricky Williams and Eric Crouch. The five other teams are the Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions and Los Angeles Raiders of the National Football League, and the Jacksonville Bulls and New Jersey Generals of the defunct United States Football League.

Helmet design: Oxford Blue background; Oxford Blue and Cambridge Blue round shield inscribed with a white, capital letter "A".
Uniform colours: Oxford Blue (dark), Cambridge Blue (light), and White.
Stadium: Rogers Centre (formerly known as SkyDome) (1989–present).
Former Stadiums: Rosedale Field (1874–1897, 1908–1915), Original Varsity Stadium (1898–1907, 1916–1923), Varsity Stadium (1924–1958), Exhibition Stadium (1959–1988).
Grey Cup Wins: 15—(1914, 1921, 1933, 1937, 1938, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1950, 1952, 1983, 1991, 1996, 1997, 2004, 2012).
Eastern regular season championships: 20—1911, 1912, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1936, 1937, 1945, 1960, 1971, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1991, 1996, 1997, 2005, 2007.
Main Rivals: Montreal Alouettes, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Further information: Labour Day Classic
2012 Regular Season Record: 9 wins, 9 losses, 0 ties.

Ownership Edit

The Toronto Argonauts Football Club is owned by business man David Braley, who purchased the club in February 2010.[4][5] Mr. Braley a Hamilton native is also a member of the Canadian senate. He is currently the only owner in North America to own two professional football franchises.

Executive Committee Edit

As of 2011 the Toronto Argonauts Executive Committee consited of four people: David Braley, Owner, Toronto Argonauts Football Club - Governor, CFL; Chris Rudge, Chairman, Toronto Argonauts & 100 Grey Cup Festival; Bob Nicholson, President & CEO; Michael 'Pinball' Clemons, Vice-Chair.

Franchise history Edit

The Toronto Argonauts were founded in 1873 by the Toronto Argonaut Rowing Club. This also makes them one of the oldest professional sports teams in North America and the oldest to continue under the same name and in the same city. Aside from a few college teams, they are the oldest continuously existing football club of any type in North America.

In the 19th century, the most renowned rowers in the world were the teams from Oxford University and Cambridge University in England, and the Toronto rowers adopted uniforms incorporating the two shades of blue used by the English schools. When the Argonauts expanded into football, the "double blue" uniform was used by the football team as well, starting a tradition of top-level Toronto teams wearing blue (e.g. Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Blue Jays). Because of their roots in the rowing club (which still exists today), the team is often nicknamed the "Boatmen."

In Canadian football's early years, the Argonauts were the dominant team. They put together a number of Grey Cup dynasties in the 1930s and 1940s. At some time during this period, the phrase "Argo Bounce" came into being. It referred to the Argonauts' propensity to receive a lucky bounce of the football. However, after the 1952 season the Argos entered a funk that was to last for over 30 years. The team struggled throughout much of the '50s, '60s and '70s despite the presence of greats such as Joe Theismann, Tobin Rote, Jim Corrigall, Bill Symons, Jim Stillwagon and Granville "Granny" Liggins.

Notable Seasons Edit

Record 16 Grey Cup championshipsEdit

League annals show 16 Grey Cup Championships,[6] the most in the CFL overall. The first ten were won before the official founding of the league.

Frank Clair Era 1950-1954Edit

In 1950 the Argonauts finished second in the Interprovincial Rugby Football Union (IRFU) with a record of 6-5-1, and won their ninth Grey Cup championship against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

In 1951 the Argos finished third in the IRFU with a record of 7-5 and lost in the semi-finals.

In 1952 the Argos finished second in the IRFU with a record of 7-4-1, and won their 10th Grey Cup Championship against the Edmonton Eskimos.

In 1953 the Argos had their first losing season under Frank Clair and they also missed the playoffs for the first time. They finished a dismal 5-9 that year.

The Argos finsed third in the IRFU in 1954 with a record of 6-8, and they also missed the playoffs in what would be Frank Clair's last season as the Head Coach of the Argonauts.

The Leo Cahill Era: 1967-1972Edit

In the spring of 1967, the Toronto Argonauts were in a terrible state of affairs, having not made the playoffs since 1961 and becoming the laughing stock of the Canadian Football League. Their last Grey Cup appearance had been a victory way back in 1952. The Argonauts named Leo Cahill as the head coach. He put together a quality coaching staff; adding Steve Sucic who had coached with the team in the early 1960s and kept Gord Akerman and Frank "Blackie Johnston" from former coach Bob Shaw's staff. In 1967 the team finished with a record of 5-8-1 (including the most lopsided win in Argo history...a 53-0 crushing of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and making the playoffs for the first time in six years. They lost a 38-22 decision to the powerful Russ Jackson-led, Ottawa Rough Riders.

In 1968 Bill Symons turned in a monstrous season...rushing for 1107 yards, averaging almost 7 yards per carry and being named CFL Most Valuable Player. Wally Gabler led the Eastern conference in passing, Bobby Taylor led the East in receiving, Mel Profit became the best tight-end in the East and the defense designed by Cahill and Rountree developed into one of the most aggressive and at times - violent units in pro football. The Toronto defense made their opponents pay a fearful price for attempting to score. Led by all of these factors, Toronto finished with their first winning season in seven years with an excellent record of 9-5. The Argos hosted the defending Grey Cup champion, Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Eastern Semi-Final and quickly fell behind 14-0, but came roaring back to eventually win 33-21. The Argos then took on the Ottawa Rough Riders in the Eastern Final and won 13-11 and hopes were high among Argo fans that they might appear in the Grey Cup for the first time since 1952. But it didn't happen...Ottawa beat Toronto 36-14, winning 47-27 in combined total points.

In 1969, Cahill added Winnipeg's super-star running back Dave Raimey in a trade that sent Wally Gabler to the Blue Bombers. Toronto had the highest scoring offense in the CFL that season and a volatile defense. Tricky Dick Thornton turned in perhaps the finest individual performance in CFL history and one that was among the best in all of pro football. Thornton intercepted 7 passes, returning 2 for touchdowns, replaced the injured Raimey at running back and rushed for 114 yards and 1 touchdown and also took over the teams' punting duties for half the season due to an injury to kicker Dave Mann. The Argos finished in second place in the East with a record of 10-4. Toronto beat Hamilton 15-9 in the Eastern Semi-Final and then took on Ottawa again in the Final. In the Eastern Final the Argos whipped Ottawa 22-14 in a game that was not as close as the score would indicate. Ottawa crushed Toronto 32-3 and won the two game series 46-25, leaving Leo and the Argos red-faced with embarrassment.

Going into the 1970 season, the Argos were strong favorites to win the Grey Cup and Leo Cahill was one of the biggest personalities in Toronto. More top talent was added to the "Boatmen" for 1970, signing quarterback Don Jonas... the number one ranked pivot in the Continental League and defensive end Jim Corrigall from Kent State University. Corrigall, a native of Barrie, Ontario, was a 2nd round draft pick of the NFL St. Louis Cardinals, however Leo convinced Jim to play his pro ball back home. Despite the additions of Jonas and Corrigall and yet another outstanding year along the ground from Bill Symons, the 1970 Argos were a major disappointment, finishing with a record of 8-6, only good for 2nd place. They then dropped a 16-7 decision to Montreal in the Eastern Semi-Final. Defensively, the team had played solid all year but the offense was often erratic and failed miserably in the playoff loss to Montreal.

In 1971 Argonaut owner John Bassett, and Leo Cahill were able to recruit Joe Theismann away from the Miami Dolphins. The diminutive Theismann was highly touted coming out of Notre Dame in 1970 having led the Irish to a Cotton Bowl championship. Drafted in the fourth round by Don Shula and the Miami Dolphins, Theismann became frustrated with contract negotiations, Leo Cahil saw an opportunity and pounced to lure Joe north. While Theismann lasted just 3 seasons with Toronto; he did lead the team to the Grey Cup game in 1971 and brought a great deal of attention to not only the Argos but the entire Canadian Football League. Along with Joe Theismann and Jim Stillwagon in the Argonauts recruiting spree of 1971 came the talented and enigmatic Leon McQuay. His unrivaled talent on the football field was matched by his unpredictable temperament off the field.[7] With these new additions playing superbly and aided by tremendous seasons of veterans Dick Thornton, Peter Martin, Dick Aldridge, Mel Profit, and Marv Luster among others, the Argos rolled to a record of 10-4 and a first place finish in the East. In the two game Eastern Final - Toronto advanced past Hamilton winning the first game 23-8 and tying game two 17-17 for a total point victory of 40-25.

The Argos had not won the big game since 1952 and Calgary hadn't won since 1948. The Boatmen's best chance to end their Grey Cup drought was in 1971, when they faced the Calgary Stampeders in the 59th Grey Cup, the first to be played on artificial turf. In a defensive struggle at Vancouver's soggy Empire Stadium, a late fumble by Leon "X-Ray" McQuay sealed a 14–11 Stampeder victory. While the play was ruled a fumble, head coach Leo Cahill suggested that the ground cannot cause a fumble and the ball should have been ruled a dead ball. The Argonaut touchdown or field goal that could have ensued may well have altered the game's outcome.[8]

Despite that heartbreaking loss, the future still looked bright for Leo Cahill and the Toronto Argonauts going into 1972. They had perhaps the finest young team in all professional football and there had not been an unsold seat at C.N.E. Stadium in years for an Argo home game. They had a huge season ticket base with hundreds of people on a waiting list to buy them. The Argos and Leo were regular front- page news in all the papers across Canada. Clearly this was the team of the future! In 1972, Leo Cahill followed up his recruiting exploits of 1971 by signing college superstar Eric “The Flea” Allen away from the NFL Baltimore Colts who had drafted Allen. Allen, a 5’7” 170 lb dynamo was an explosive offensive weapon for the Michigan State Spartans setting a number of school records. Converted from a running back in college to a ‘wingback’ style with the Argonauts, Allen put his blazing speed to use and was an instant success in 1972 with over 1,000 yards receiving as a rookie. It was another feather in Cahill’s recruiting cap much to the chagrin of the National Football League.

The Argos ended the 1972 season with a record of 3-11...missing the playoffs for the first time in Leo Cahill's tenure and less than a week later, Bassett announced Leo Cahill was fired.

1981-1989Edit

The Argos reached an all-time low in 1981 when they finished 2–14; this despite having such talented players as Condredge Holloway, Cedric Minter, David Newman and Terry Greer. However, with the 1982 season came the hiring of Bob O'Billovich as head coach and Mouse Davis as offensive co-ordinator. Davis implemented the Run & Shoot offence for that season. The Argos enjoyed an unprecedented turnaround, going 9–6–1 that year. Condredge Holloway was the CFL's most outstanding player and receivers Terry Greer and Emanuel Tolbert were among the class of the CFL. But the team ultimately fell short in their quest for a Grey Cup, losing 32–16 to the mighty Edmonton Eskimos in front of a disappointed crowd at Exhibition Stadium.

The 1983 season brought renewed success. The Argos finished 12–4 and Terry Greer set a CFL record with 2,003 receiving yards. Joe Barnes and Condredge Holloway were a potent duo at quarterback. The Double Blue returned to the Grey Cup, this time facing the BC Lions at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver. Despite the hostile crowd, Toronto defeated B.C. 18–17 to win their first Grey Cup since 1952.

The Argos enjoyed success through much of the '80s (though 1985 and 1989 were notable exceptions), thanks in large part to talented players such as Gil "The Thrill" Fenerty and Darrell K. Smith. However, a return the glory of 1983 proved elusive.

1990–1995Edit

Bob O'Billovich left following the 1989 season. Don Matthews took over the head coaching reins, and the new Vice-President and General Manager, Mike McCarthy, rebuilt the franchise around star pivot Matt Dunigan. The Argos put up a record 689 points during the regular season, but had trouble handling the Winnipeg Blue Bombers all season long, and ended up losing the Eastern Final to Winnipeg 20–17 on a last-minute field goal. Michael "Pinball" Clemons set a pro football record with 3,300 all-purpose yards, and became the third Argo to win the CFL's Outstanding Player award.

Harry Ornest sold the Toronto Argonauts to a group spearheaded by Los Angeles Kings owner Bruce McNall, NHL great Wayne Gretzky and comedian/actor John Candy. Their acquisition of the team spawned immediate success. The team snatched Heisman Trophy runner-up Raghib “Rocket” Ismail from the NFL draft, signing him to the richest contract in North American gridiron football history at the time. Coach Don Matthews was replaced by Adam Rita. The 1991 Argo squad was one of the most electrifying teams that Toronto had ever seen. A 13–5–0 regular season record earned the Argos a home playoff game at SkyDome. In front of a club record crowd of over 50,000, the Argos thumped the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 42–3 en route to a Grey Cup berth. Led by a thrilling 87-yard kickoff return by Rocket Ismail, the Argos captured the 79th Grey Cup by defeating Calgary 36–21 in the coldest championship game on record at Winnipeg. Adam Rita would be named the CFL’s Coach of the Year.

The Cinderella story of 1991 would unfortunately only last one year as 1992 was the beginning of a rough couple of years for the Argos. Popular head coach Adam Rita was dismissed in September as the team struggled to find its way, Matt Dunigan left for Winnipeg as his replacement, Rickey Foggie struggled as the starting QB. Eventually, they finished last in the East with a 6–12–0 record. Assistant Coach Dennis Meyer took over from Rita after 11 games and finished the season 3–4–0 and out of the playoffs. The City of Toronto hosted the Grey Cup for the 45th time.

The CFL made its first venture into the United States with the addition of the Sacramento Gold Miners. Argonauts GM Mike McCarthy pulled off the biggest trade in CFL history that saw Tracy Ham come to Toronto in a blockbuster 16-player deal with the Edmonton Eskimos. However Ham's presence and a great season by rookie receiver Manny Hazard did not stop the slide as the Argos dropped to 3–15–0, their worst record since 1981. Bob O'Billovich returned to the Boatmen and replaced Dennis Meyer as head Coach on September 10, 1993, and was later named GM.

McNall, Gretzky and John Candy sold the club to TSN Enterprises. Under GM Bob O’Billovich, the Argonauts doubled their win total from the year previous and qualified for the CFL playoffs for the first time in three seasons. The Argos new found success was short lived, however, losing to the eventual Grey Cup Finalist Baltimore Stallions.

1995 was a transition year for the Argos and change within the franchise was evident. Bob O’Billovich remained as the clubs GM, however handed over his coaching whistle to Mike Faragelli. Veteran QB Kent Austin was introduced to lead the club and the familiar “A” logo was replaced by a bold shielded warrior. The off-field transformations did little for the club. O’Billovich returned to finish the season on the sidelines and the Argos finished a woeful 4–14–0. O'Billovich was dismissed at season's end, and left as the club's all-time winningest coach with 89 victories, 79 losses and three ties in 11 seasons.

1996-1999Edit

Toronto Blue Jays Vice President Paul Beeston was named the Argonauts new team President. The Argos went from basement dwellers to the class of the CFL. Don Matthews returned as Head Coach and he surrounded himself with free agent talent that would eventually win him a Grey Cup. Free agents Doug Flutie, Mike O'Shea and Reggie Givens were perfect complements for Michael Clemons, Robert Drummond and the electrifying Jimmy “The Jet” Cunningham. Flutie would lead the Argonauts to a 15–3–0 season and a berth in the 1996 Grey Cup Championship game. Flutie’s Argonauts defeated the Edmonton Eskimos 43–37 in a snowy Ivor Wynne Stadium.

In 1997 Paul Beeston continued his position as the Argos team President. Repeating as champions is one of the most difficult accomplishments in professional sports. The season saw the emergence of SB Derrell “Mookie” Mitchell. The speedy receiver helped lead the Argos to another 15–3–0 season. At the East Final in Toronto Michael “Pinball” Clemons was the hero catching the game-winning TD with just 40 seconds on the clock. The Argonauts easily defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders 47–23 in the Grey Cup. The team finished the year with 11 players named to the All-Star team and four CFL awards. Doug Flutie won the Most Outstanding Player award, Mike Kiselak as Most Outstanding Lineman, Derrell Mitchell as Most Outstanding Rookie and Don Matthews as Coach of the Year.

The Argos looked to “three-peat” in 1998, however, roster changes and numerous rookies entering camp, the task was going to be difficult. Star QB Doug Flutie and kicker Mike Vanderjagt left for the NFL and RB Robert Drummond became a member of the B.C. Lions. After starting the year slow, the Argonauts starting pivot Kerwin Bell returned to lead the club to an 8–3–0 mid-season run. The team fell to 9–9, crept into the playoffs and lost to Montreal East Semi-Final. Derrell Mitchell emerged as one of the best receivers in Argo history following his CFL record 160 reception season and all-star honour. Paul Masotti passed Darrell K. Smith as the team's all-time leading receiver after 11 seasons of play.

In 1999 Eric Tillman returned to the club as GM after spending a year in television. He hired Offensive Coordinator Jim Barker to replace Don Matthews as Head Coach. Injuries riddled the Argonauts early, but the league’s best defence helped the club fight to another 9–9 record. The team would qualify for the playoffs but lost to the eventual champions Hamilton Tiger-Cats 27–6. Linebacker Mike O'Shea became the first Argo player to win the CFL's Most Outstanding Canadian Award. On December 20, 1999, New York businessman Sherwood Schwarz was named the ninth owner in the history of the Argonauts franchise. Schwarz named J.I. Albrecht as the managing director and John Huard as the 37th head coach in Argonauts history. This season also saw the retirement of two Argo all-time greats as receiver Paul Masotti retired in May as the team's all-time leading receiver, and on September 15, Michael Clemons went straight from cleats to the coaching ranks as he retired to take over the coaching reins from a fired Huard after a 1–6–1 start. The team responded to their former teammate and the Argos battled to a 6–4 record the rest of the way, just missing out on a playoff berth after finishing the season with a 7–10–1 record.

The New Millennium: 2000 and beyondEdit

Michael Clemons entered his first full season as a head coach in 2001, after 13 seasons as an Argo player and 12 team records to his credit, the Argos went about the business of getting the team back into the post-season. After a difficult 2–7 start to the season, which was not helped with injuries to starting quarterback Kerwin Bell, the Argos, led by veteran players Derrell Mitchell, Mike O'Shea and Adrion Smith, won 4 of the last 6 games to narrowly miss out on the playoffs again, finishing with a 7–11 mark.

In 2002 with the addition of new head coach Gary Etcheverry, a renowned defensive strategist, and newcomers like former defensive player of the year Joe Montford and quarterback Michael Bishop, hopes were high for 2002. After a disappointing 4–8 start, Etcheverry was relieved of the coaching duties, and Michael Clemons, who was serving as the club's president, took over his now-familiar place on the sidelines to put his team back on the playoff track. Clemons' impact was immediate, and the Argos won 4 of the remaining 6 games, including a dramatic 33–32 win over the Calgary Stampeders in the last game of the season, to push the Boatmen into the CFL playoffs for the first time in three years. The Argos proved in the Eastern semi-final that they were not content on just making the post-season and handed the Saskatchewan Roughriders a 24–14 loss at SkyDome in a "cross-over" CFL playoff matchup. The Argos then headed down the 401 to face the league-leading Montreal Alouettes in the Eastern Final, losing to the eventual Grey Cup champions 35–18 in front of a boisterous sell-out crowd at Olympic Stadium.

The 2003 season began under head coach Mike Clemons and a host of faces both old and new. Noel Prefontaine and Bashir Levingston returned as well as Michael Jenkins, who came back to the CFL after a short absence. With the acquisition of players such as Tony Miles and future hall-of-famer Damon Allen, and the emergence of Marcus Brady as the quarterback to watch, the Toronto Argonauts provided an exciting combination of offence and defence on the field. Finishing the season with a 9–9 record, the team advanced to the playoffs defeating the BC Lions in the Eastern Semi-Final, only to lose by a close margin in the Eastern Finals to the defending Grey Cup Champion Montreal Alouettes. The winning touchdown in the Eastern Finals was a controversial one, as quarterback Anthony Calvillo appeared to fumble the ball before crossing the goal line. Instant replay was not available at the time, so the play stood. The 2003 season was also one which saw many CFL records broken by Toronto Argonauts players. Most notably were the records broken by Damon Allen. Moving past Dan Marino into 2nd place in all-time professional football passing yards, Allen also broke records in rushing touchdowns, rushing yards, passing touchdowns and total games played. The season ended with 6 Toronto Argonauts (Adrion Smith, Noel Prefontaine, Tony Miles, Eric England, Clifford Ivory, Orlando Steinauer) being named to the CFL All-Star Team—the most of any CFL team. Furthermore, the CFL named Bashir Levingston the Outstanding Special Teams Player for 2003 at the annual CFL Player Awards. In October 2003, Toronto businessmen David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski became the new owners of the Toronto Argonauts, marking the first time in over 30 years that the team has had local ownership.

In 2004 local businessmen and avid CFL fans David Cynamon and Howard Sokolowski purchased the Argonauts and provided financial stability and a passionate, new attitude to the club. Keith Pelley was hired as president and former Argonaut QB Kent Austin was brought aboard as the offensive coordinator. In addition, star running back John Avery, back from the NFL, signed as a free agent. The new enthusiasm spilled over from the front office and onto the football field. The team posted its best record since 1997 (10–7–1) and earned yet another home playoff game. The Argonauts went on to defeat the Hamilton Tiger Cats 30–7 in front of more than 37,000 fans in the East Semi-Final at Rogers Centre. They then headed to Montreal to face the Alouettes for the third consecutive year. The Argos walked into a sold-out Olympic Stadium and stole the East Championship from the Als, 26–18. The ageless wonder, Damon Allen, played his best game as an Argonaut in the 2004 Grey Cup Game in Ottawa. Allen won game MVP honour, but more importantly helped the Argos capture their 15th Grey Cup in a 27–19 win over the BC Lions. The Argonauts realized 10-year attendance highs during the regular-season, and a resurgence occurred within the city of Toronto as Boatmen returned to glory, becoming the city-wide leader in per-game attendance.

Despite not returning to the Grey Cup game to defend their title, 2005 saw the Argos post their best season of football since 1997 with an 11–7 record and first place in the East, earning the right to host the East Championship. Quarterback Damon Allen recorded his best numbers in 21 years as a CFL quarterback, passing for 5,082 yards, rushing for 461 more and totalling 37 touchdowns (both passing and rushing). His efforts were rewarded as he was named the CFL’s Most Outstanding Player and was voted as the Rogers CFL Fans’ Choice Award winner. For the first time since 1997, three Argo receivers caught for more than 1000 yards on the season. Receivers Arland Bruce III, Tony Miles and Robert Baker all recorded career highs in yards, receptions and touchdowns. Defensively, the Argonauts led the league in numerous categories. Kevin Eiben and Michael Fletcher both shattered career numbers generating a combined 200 defensive tackles and received East Player of the Year awards for Outstanding Canadian and Defensive Player respectively. The Special Teams continued to prove that it was among the elite units in football. Bashir Levingston captured his unprecedented 10th Special Teams Player of the Week Award in August and Noel Prefontaine won the East Division Special Teams Player of the Year award. The awards continued to amass as the 2005 season came to a close with a league-high 12 Argos being named to the East Division All-Star team and five players being named CFL All-Stars including Damon Allen, Jonathan Brown, Kevin Eiben, Michael Fletcher and Jordan Younger. However, the biggest highlight of the season may have occurred off the field as regular season attendance in 2005 averaged 30,196 fans per game, an increase of 17% over the 2004 average of 25,813.

In 2006 the Argos made a splash just before training camp when they lured high-profile RB Ricky Williams to Canada. Quarterback Damon Allen became professional football's all-time leading passer, moving ahead of Warren Moon on Labour Day in Hamilton. The team, however, was decimated by injuries at almost every position and the Argonauts stumbled out of the gate to a 2–5 record. Mid-season health bred new promise as the team gained the majority of its starters back including Allen and Williams, who both fell to injury early in the year. Upon his return, Williams joined forces with fellow RB John Avery to deliver a late-season one-two punch out of the backfield. Combined with the stellar play of their dominant defence, the Double Blue was able to turn the season around and win 8 of their remaining 11 regular season games to finish in a first-place tie with the Montreal Alouettes. The CFL tie-break rule landed the Argos in second place, hosting the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a thrilling East Semi-Final at Rogers Centre. With the season on the line, QB Michael Bishop and LB Chuck Winters teamed up to lead the Boatmen to one of the greatest come-from-behind victories in recent Argo memory. The Argos fell to Montreal in the East Championship. Despite their early exit from the playoffs, the Boatmen finished the season with 11 East Division All-Stars and three CFL All-Stars. Kicker/Punter Noel Prefontaine was once again named the East's Most Outstanding Special Teams Player and elusive receiver Arland Bruce III finished with a division leading 1,370 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns. A bright star on defence came in the form of CB Byron Parker. The speedy defender re-joined the Boatmen mid-season and made his mark in both the Argos and the CFL record books in only nine regular season contests. By season's end, the Tulane product had accumulated 8 interceptions for a CFL record 348 return yards and 4 touchdowns. Linebacker Mike O'Shea became just the third player, and first Canadian, in CFL history to record 1,000 or more defensive tackles in a career. Ricky Williams would leave the team after the end of the season.

2007Edit

For detailed information on the 2007 season, see 2007 Toronto Argonauts.

The Argonauts finished the regular season 11–7 and finished in first place in the CFL's Eastern Division. The Argos lost the East Final on November, 18 to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at the Rogers Centre 19–9. 33,467 people were in attendance.

2008Edit

For detailed information on the 2008 season, see 2008 Toronto Argonauts.

Toronto started the season off well, winning against the Blue Bombers 23–16, but after that they compiled a 2–5 record the next 7 games. After the Bye week, everything went downhill, they won only one game and lost 9 start to finsh the season 4–14 and missed the playoffs. On September 9, Rich Stubler was released as head coach of the Argonauts after posting a 4–6 record. There was the belief he could not get along with those he worked with.[9] The Argos hired Don Matthews, the head coach with the most wins in CFL history and head coach during Toronto's back-to-back Grey Cup victories in 1996 and 1997, to return to the club as head coach for the third time in his coaching career.[10] Matthews resigned from the Argonauts a day after the conclusion of the Argonauts 2008 regular season, which saw the Argos fail to win a game in the eight games under his leadership and finishing out of the playoffs for the first time since the 2001 CFL season.[11]

2009Edit

For detailed information on the 2009 season, see 2009 Toronto Argonauts.

2010Edit

For detailed information on the 2010 season, see 2010 Toronto Argonauts.

Entering the 2010 season under new ownership, many around the league expected the Argos to once again be a non-factor, because the team had an inexperienced roster and a rookie quarterback in Cleo Lemon. However, under the leadership of new head coach Jim Barker and the stellar running game of Cory Boyd, the Argonauts would shock many and finish with a 9–9 record, good enough for third place in the Eastern Division. The Argonauts would begin the post season by defeating the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the Eastern Semi-finals before losing to eventual Grey Cup champion Montreal Alouettes. The season was viewed as a success on multiple levels, as coach Jim Barker would go on to win the CFL Coach of the Year award, and kick returning standout Chad Owens would bring home the CFL's Most Outstanding Special Teams Player award. Many Argonauts fans, players and media credit coach Barker for the team's impressive turnaround and for his efforts he would be name the new General Manager of the team, taking over for Adam Rita whose contract was not renewed by the team.

2011Edit

2011, was a very dismal year for the Argo faithful as the team took a step back and missed the playoffs while going 6-12 in the regular season. The only bright spots were running back Cory Boyd who had 187 carries for 1,141 rushing yards, and a 6.1 yards per carry average, and 6 rushing touchdowns; and kick returner Chad Owens. Because of their disappointing 2011 season and the fact that they will be hosting the 100th Grey Cup the Argos have begun an arduous rebuilding plan for 2012. On December 1, 2011 Head Coach and General Manager Jim Barker relinquished his head coaching duties to concentrate on his duties as General Manager. At a media conference held in downtown Toronto, the Toronto Argonauts Football Club named Scott Milanovich the team’s new Head Coach on December 1, 2011. With the announcement, Milanovich becomes the franchise’s 42nd head coach as the team begins to prepare for the 139th season of Argos football in 2012.[12]

Season-by-season records Edit

From 1958 to 2010, the Argos have a 395–459–12 regular season record (.463 winning percentage). The Argos are 23–25 (.478) in the playoffs since 1958.

Current Roster Edit

Template:Toronto Argonauts roster

Front office and Coaching staff Edit

Template:Toronto Argonauts staff

Players and builders of note Edit

All-Time Argos Edit

As Honoured by the team. Name banners hang on rafters at Rogers Centre.


Facilities Edit

Management Edit

Head coaches Edit

General managers Edit

Team presidents Edit

Owners Edit

References Edit

  1. Toronto Argonauts Football Club Toronto Argonauts press release
  2. 2009 Canadian Football League Facts, Figures & Records, Canadian Football League Properties/Publications, Toronto, Ontario, ISBN 978-0-9739425-4-5, p.23
  3. By the numbers Grey Cup glory
  4. B.C. Lions owner David Braley acquires Argos; replaces Cynamon and Sokolowski http://www.trurodaily.com/Sports/Football/2010-02-10/article-821362/B.C.-Lions-owner-David-Braley-acquires-Argos%3B-replaces-Cynamon-and-Sokolowski/1
  5. Argos move forward under new ownership http://www.esks.com/article/argos-move-forward-under-new-ownership
  6. http://www.argonauts.ca/
  7. http://cfl-scrapbook.no-ip.org/TorontoArgonauts.php
  8. http://cfl-scrapbook.no-ip.org/TorontoArgonauts.php
  9. Simmons, Steve. "Stubler just didn't fit", Toronto Sun, 2008-09-10. Retrieved on 2008-09-10. 
  10. "Argos fire Stubler, bring back Matthews", CBC Sports, 2008-09-09. Retrieved on 2008-09-09. 
  11. "Matthews quits as Argos coach", CBC Sports, 2008-10-31. Retrieved on 2008-10-31. 
  12. http://argonauts.ca/video/index/id/22645
  13. Argos to honour Ed Harrington

External links Edit

Template:Toronto Argonauts Template:Toronto Argonauts seasons

Template:CFL Template:Toronto Sports Template:Ontario Sports

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