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HUDDLE: This Day in Ottawa Football History - April 20

Jim McAuley

May 25, 2024

HUDDLE: This Day in Ottawa Football History - April 20

1970   (54 years ago)

Former Ottawa Rough Riders’ defensive back, Bob O’Billovich, was introduced as the new full-time Head Coach of the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees.  O’Billovich left his post with the athletic department of Algonquin College to take the job.


Note: -This was Obie’s 1st football job after his 5-year playing career with the Ottawa Rough Riders. This led to a remarkable 50 plus years in Canadian Football which culminated with his induction into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2015. His 1970 Gee Gees team was also coached by former Rough Rider teammates and friends Jim Conroy and Jim Cain. The team went all the way to the Vanier Cup where they lost the National Championship to the Univ. of Manitoba.  The 1970 Gee-Gees team is in the Gee-Gees Football Hall of Fame.


1987   (37 years ago)

Ottawa Rough Riders’ Head Coach, Fred Glick, announced that the club had acquired nine-year CFL quarterback, Joe Paopao, from the Saskatchewan Roughriders for quarterback Tom Burgess.  Burgess spent one season with the Riders (1986) primarily as a back up to Todd Dillon and Gilbert Renfroe.


1995   (29 years ago)

Horn Chen, the new owner of the Ottawa Rough Riders, can now field his team at Frank Clair Stadium after covering a $73,000 debt to the City of Ottawa left over by the club’s former owner, Bruce Firestone.  A certified cheque for the money, owed for arrears in stadium rent, municipal surcharges on game tickets and police service in 1994 was given to the city when club officials signed a new lease for the park.


1994   (30 years today)

Ottawa Rough Riders signed former Syracuse Orangemen quarterback Don McPherson and re-signed linebacker Brian Bonner).


2003   (21 years today)

Ottawa Renegades received a second-round draft pick (17th overall), which was used to selected defensive lineman Israel Idonije from Edmonton Eskimos, for receiver Brock Ralph.  Idonije never played with the Renegades but went on to play in the National Football League.



1929   (95 years today)

Alex Saunders, Ottawa Rough Riders’ lineman in 1949, born at Stratford, Ontario.

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