Anthony Calvillo

Last updated
Anthony Calvillo
Montreal Carabins
Anthony Calvillo 2017.jpg
Calvillo at the 2017 CFLAA Legends Luncheon in Ottawa.
Born: (1972-08-23) August 23, 1972 (age 48)
Los Angeles, California
Career information
CFL status American
Position(s) QB
Height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight200 lb (91 kg)
College Utah State
High school La Puente
Hand Right
Career history
As coach
20152017 Montreal Alouettes
–Receivers coach (2015)
–Offensive coordinator (2015–2016)
–Quarterbacks coach (2016–2017)
2018 Toronto Argonauts
–Quarterbacks coach
2019–present Montreal Carabins
–Assistant head coach
As player
1994 Las Vegas Posse
19951997 Hamilton Tiger-Cats
19982013 Montreal Alouettes
Career highlights and awards
CFL All-Star 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2012
CFL East All-Star 2000, 20022004, 2006, 20082012
  • CFLPA Pro Player All Star Team (2002, 2003, 2008, 2010) [1]
RecordsMost career touchdown passes (455)
Most career pass completions (5892)
Most career pass attempts (9437)
Most career passing yards in Grey Cup games (2470 yards)
Career stats
  • Playing stats at (archive)

Anthony Calvillo (born August 23, 1972) is the assistant head coach for the Montreal Carabins football team in U Sports and is a former Canadian Football League (CFL) quarterback. He was professional football's all-time passing yards leader from 2011 to 2020, and first in all-time CFL passing yards. In his career, he passed for 79,816 yards and is one of nine professional quarterbacks to have completed over 400 touchdown passes (the others being Brett Favre, Warren Moon, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Philip Rivers and Aaron Rodgers). His reign ended in 2020 when Brees surpassed him. [2]


Calvillo won three Grey Cup championships in 2002, 2009, and 2010, and named Grey Cup Most Valuable Player in 2002. He also won the CFL's Most Outstanding Player Award three times, in 2003, 2008, and 2009, which ties him for second all-time behind Doug Flutie. Calvillo announced his retirement on January 21, 2014. [3] Calvillo was an assistant coach for the Alouettes from 2015 to 2017 and with the Toronto Argonauts in 2018. [4]

Early life, high school career, and family

Calvillo was born in Los Angeles, California. While attending La Puente High School, he was a two-sport standout in football and basketball. He is of Mexican-American descent. Anthony grew up with an alcoholic and abusive father. Sports were his escape.

College career

Calvillo spent two seasons at Mt. San Antonio College before transferring to Utah State University in 1992. After a solid junior year as starting quarterback, he had a terrific senior season in 1993. He set a school record with 3,260 yards of total offense in the regular season, and he also set a school record with five touchdown passes in a single game (he did it twice). With Calvillo leading the offense, USU won the Big West Conference championship for the first time since 1979. The Aggies finished the year with a 4233 win over Ball State in the Las Vegas Bowl; Calvillo passed for 386 yards and three touchdowns to win MVP honors. [5] It was Utah State's first-ever bowl victory. Calvillo wore number 13 and played under former NFL Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Jim Zorn. It wasn't until his last year of university when he began to believe that he could be a professional football player, even though he was not invited to attend the NFL evaluation day at his University.

College career statistics

NCAA Collegiate Career statistics
Utah State Aggies
NCAA Career Totals448829564235191541968

Professional career

Las Vegas Posse

After not being drafted by an NFL team, Calvillo started his Canadian Football League career in 1994 with the US expansion Las Vegas Posse. [5] Calvillo beat out 13 other Quarterbacks who were trying to make the team. Again, he wore # 13.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats

After the Posse folded a year later in the CFL U.S. expansion experiment, Calvillo was selected first overall by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the dispersal draft. While in Hamilton, Calvillo served as a backup quarterback to players such as Steve Taylor and Matt Dunigan.

Montreal Alouettes

In 1998, Calvillo signed as a free agent with the Montreal Alouettes, where he became one of the most outstanding quarterbacks in history. He led the Alouettes to the 2002 Grey Cup, their first in 25 years, where he was named the most valuable player in the game.

Anthony Calvillo game action, 93rd Grey Cup Anthony Calvillo game action, 93rd Grey Cup.jpg
Anthony Calvillo game action, 93rd Grey Cup

During the 2003 CFL season, Calvillo broke numerous Montreal Alouette passing records, completing 408 of 675 passing attempts for 5,891 yards and 37 touchdowns. In 2004, with 6,041 passing yards, Calvillo became the fourth quarterback in CFL history to pass for more than 6,000 yards in a single season (Doug Flutie, David Archer, and Kent Austin being the other three), earning him the East Division nomination for Most Outstanding Player for the third consecutive year. [6] With Calvillo quarterbacking the Alouettes' offence, the 2004 Alouettes became the first team in CFL history to have four players with over 1,000 yards receiving in the same season: Ben Cahoon (1183 yards), Jeremaine Copeland (1154 yards), Thyron Anderson (1147 yards), and Kwame Cavil (1090 yards). In 2005, Calvillo and the Alouettes repeated the feat of four receivers over 1,000 yards: Kerry Watkins (1364 yards), Terry Vaughn (1113 yards), Ben Cahoon (1067 yards), and Dave Stala (1037 yards).

The 2008 CFL season saw Calvillo hit a number of career milestones. On June 26, in a game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Calvillo surpassed Danny McManus to become the second-all-time leading passer in the CFL. On July 31, in another game against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Calvillo became the fourth quarterback in league history to reach 300 career touchdown passes. On August 15, 2008, in a game against the Toronto Argonauts, Calvillo became the second quarterback in CFL history after Damon Allen to reach 4,000 career pass completions. With 5,633 passing yards and 43 touchdown passes, Calvillo won the 2008 Most Outstanding Player award. [7] Calvillo led the Montreal Alouettes to the 2008 Grey Cup final, which the Alouettes lost 22-14 to the Calgary Stampeders.

In 2009, Calvillo added to his club records while reaching more CFL milestones. On July 23, 2009, he surpassed Canadian Football Hall of Famer Ron Lancaster's 334 career touchdown passes to move into second place all time. He sat out two games during the regular season, but still accumulated 4639 yards while posting a remarkable 72.0% completion rate, the second best single-season completion rate in CFL history behind Dave Dickenson's 73.98% mark set in 2005. Calvillo led Montreal to a 16-point fourth quarter comeback victory in the 97th Grey Cup on Nov. 29, when the Alouettes defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders 28-27 on a last-second field goal known as the "13th Man" finish.

Anthony Calvillo (13) in the 96th Grey Cup. Montreal Grey Cup.jpg
Anthony Calvillo (13) in the 96th Grey Cup.

Calvillo won his third Grey Cup on November 28, 2010, at 98th Grey Cup in Edmonton, Alberta where he defeated the Saskatchewan Roughriders 21-18 for the second year in a row. He added to his record total of passing yards in Grey Cup games with 2470 yards, as well as setting the record for Grey Cup starts with eight. As of the 2010 CFL season, Calvillo is 3-5 in Grey Cup Championship Games.

In a post-game interview, he revealed that he would be undergoing off-season surgery to remove a lesion on his thyroid that was discovered after he injured his sternum during the season. [8] On December 21, 2010, it was reported that Calvillo had successful thyroidectomy surgery to remove a cancerous lesion. [9]

On July 15, 2011, in a game against the Toronto Argonauts, Calvillo completed his CFL record 395th career touchdown pass to Éric Deslauriers. [10] On August 4 of that same season, and again against the Argonauts, Calvillo completed his 5159th pass completion to Brandon London to move past Damon Allen to become the leader in that category as well. [11] Then, on October 10, 2011, Calvillo completed a touchdown pass to Jamel Richardson to become professional football's all-time leading passer, in the Alouettes' third and final game against the Toronto Argonauts that year. [12] In 2012, Calvillo became the only player in football history to pass 5,000 yards seven times in his career. [13] He reached 4,000 yards passing eleven times in his career (a CFL record); only Peyton Manning of the NFL has reached the 4,000 mark more times in his career with fourteen 4,000 yard seasons. He also set another CFL record having 8 consecutive 300+ passing yards games in a single season, breaking the record he shared with Doug Flutie.

Calvillo signed a 2-year contract on December 13, 2012, with the deal keeping him with the Als through the 2014 season. In Week 8 of the 2013 CFL season Calvillo left the game after taking a hit from Saskatchewan's Ricky Foley. Three days after the game it was announced that he had suffered a concussion, and missed the Week 9 game against the BC Lions and the Week 10 game against the Toronto Argonauts. [14] On September 4, 2013, the Als placed Calvillo on the 9-game injury list. [15] On October 18, 2013, the Montreal Alouettes general manager and head coach Jim Popp announced that Calvillo would not be returning to play for the remainder of the 2013 season. [16]

On January 21, 2014, Calvillo announced his retirement from professional football. Before his retirement, he was offered the offensive coordinator position with the Alouettes but declined. [17] On October 13, 2014, Calvillo's jersey number, #13, was retired in a halftime ceremony at McGill Stadium. Upon his retirement, he was the last active player that played for an American-based CFL team during its expansion to the US in the mid-1990s.

Career statistics

 Passing Rushing
1994 LV 171434815444.32,582131564.4421954.62129
1995 HAM 18938521154.82,831192172.124512.11325
1996 HAM 13726515759.22,571131387.8403117.85312
1997 HAM 121027816057.62,177121180.6532424.629212
1998 MTL 1851729857.01,52661074.0311213.91111
1999 MTL 18924916666.72,592136108.4562113.82733
2000 MTL 181743527262.54,277275111.1582304.02626
2001 MTL 181541225060.73,67116993.6402536.32912
2002 MTL 181756933859.45,013271096.8453277.32435
2003 MTL 181867540860.45,891371498.4451693.846112
2004 MTL 181869043162.56,041311596.6442375.41812
2005 MTL 181766143766.15,556341997.4351895.41564
2006 MTL 181864040262.84,714201585.8281856.62123
2007 MTL 131345930867.13,60817895.8211376.51703
2008 MTL 171768247269.25,6334313107.2261897.32921
2009 MTL 181655039672.04,639266108.4321986.23023
2010 MTL 161556238067.64,839327108.1161076.71606
2011 MTL 181865440461.85,25132898.2211557.42019
2012 MTL 181755533360.05,082311498.3191558.22223
2013 MTL 7719611558.71,3226578.76264.3902
CFL totals3292779,4375,89262.479,81645522495.56823,6885.4533493

Coaching career

Montreal Alouettes

On December 15, 2014, the Montreal Alouettes announced that Calvillo would be joining the team as an offensive coach in 2015. [18] On January 29, 2015, Calvillo was appointed as the receivers coach. [19] After the firing of Alouettes Head Coach Tom Higgins, Calvillo was named the Quarterbacks coach for the Alouettes on August 22, 2015. [20] After a few weeks, the team's offensive coordinator, Turk Schonert, was fired and Calvillo was named co-offensive coordinator along with Ryan Dinwiddie. [21] Going into the 2016 season, Calvillo was named offensive coordinator with Jacques Chapdelaine as his special advisor as he grew into the role. [22] After head coach Jim Popp resigned and Chapdelaine was promoted to that position, Chapdelaine also took over play-calling duties from Calvillo. [23] For the 2017 season, Calvillo was announced as the quarterbacks coach. [4]

Toronto Argonauts

On March 19, 2018, the Argos announced the hiring of Calvillo as their quarterback coach. [24] The hire reunited Calvillo with his former general manager Jim Popp, and head coach Marc Trestman.

Montreal Carabins

On December 19, 2018, Calvillo was named as the assistant head coach for the Montreal Carabins football team in U Sports. [25] The move reunited Calvillo with Danny Maciocia, who was an offensive coach with the Alouettes from 1996 to 2001.


In 2012 in honour of the 100th Grey Cup, Canada Post used his image on a series of commemorative postage stamps. The image was also used on presentation posters and other materials to promote the Grey Cup game and other celebrations associated with the centennial.

On October 13, 2014, the Alouettes organization retired Calvillo's number 13 in a half-time ceremony. [26]

He was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame in 2017. [27]

Personal life

Calvillo and his wife Alexia have two daughters and reside year-round in Montreal, Quebec. [28]

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  2. "CFL quarterback Anthony Calvillo passes by milestone". August 16, 2011. Archived from the original on December 21, 2013. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  3. "Alouettes' Calvillo announces retirement from football". January 21, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  4. 1 2 "Alouettes unveil coaching staff for the 2017 season". January 31, 2017. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  5. 1 2 Naylor, David (July 17, 2009). "AC a long way from Vegas". Globe and Mail. Toronto. Retrieved 2009-07-17.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-04-22. Retrieved 2011-05-15.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  7. "Als' Calvillo, Argonauts' Dorsey take CFL honours". Toronto Star. 2008-11-20. Retrieved 2008-11-21.
  8. Archived 2015-09-26 at the Wayback Machine Calvillo reveals he needs surgery
  9. Archived 2011-12-20 at the Wayback Machine Calvillo to return in 2011 despite cancer diagnosis
  10. "New Touchdown King: Calvillo throws TD 395". Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
  11. "Calvillo sets completions record against Argos". Archived from the original on 2015-09-23. Retrieved 2017-08-24.
  12. Anthony Calvillo sets record as Als topple Argos Archived October 16, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  13. "Anthony Calvillo signs for 2 years with Alouettes". CBC News.
  14. Concussion in Week 8, 2013 Season
  15. Placed on 9-game injury list for second half of 2013 season
  16. Will not return for 2013 season
  17. Buccholtz, Andrew (January 20, 2014). "What's next for Anthony Calvillo?". Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  18. "Calvillo to resume Als career as an offensive coach". December 15, 2014. Archived from the original on December 15, 2014. Retrieved December 15, 2014.
  19. "Calvillo entraîneur des receveurs de passes". January 29, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2015.
  20. Beacon, Bill (August 22, 2015). "Anthony Calvillo named quarterbacks coach for Alouettes". Retrieved August 23, 2015.
  21. "Anthony Calvillo and Ryan Dinwiddie promoted co-offensive coordinators". September 5, 2015. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  22. "Calvillo, Als ready to get offence back on track". March 21, 2016. Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  23. Zurkowsky, Herb (September 28, 2016). "Calvillo unhappy with demotion, but committed to Alouettes' success". Retrieved January 31, 2017.
  24. "Argos hire Als great Calvillo as QB coach - Article - TSN". TSN. 2018-03-19. Retrieved 2018-03-19.
  25. "Carabins hire Calvillo as assistant coach". December 19, 2018.
  26. "Calvillo to be honoured". Retrieved 13 October 2014.
  27. "Canadian Football Hall of Fame Class of 2017 features All-Time Leaders, Big-Time Builders". March 23, 2017. Retrieved February 25, 2018.
  28. Kerr, Peter (January 15, 2013). "Anthony and Alexia Calvillo - surviving cancer and making a difference". Retrieved January 21, 2014.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Damon Allen
Most career touchdown passes (CFL)
Succeeded by
Current record holder