Jake Gaudaur

Last updated
Jake Gaudaur
Born:(1920-10-05)October 5, 1920
Orillia, Ontario
Died:December 4, 2007(2007-12-04) (aged 87)
Burlington, Ontario
Career information
CFL status National
Position(s) C/LB
Height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight240 lb (110 kg)
Career history
As administrator
19541955 Hamilton Tiger-Cats (President)
19561967 Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Pres. & GM)
19681984 CFL Commissioner
As player
1940 Hamilton Tigers
1941 Toronto Argonauts
1942 Toronto RCAF Hurricanes
1943 Ottawa Combines
1944 Camp Borden RCAF Hurricanes
1945–1946 Toronto Indians
1947 Montreal Alouettes
1948–1949Hamilton Tigers
19501953 Hamilton Tiger-Cats
Career highlights and awards
HonorsGrey Cup champion - 1942 & 1953
Career stats

Jacob Gill "Jake" Gaudaur, Jr., OC (October 5, 1920 – December 4, 2007) was a Canadian Football League (CFL) player, executive, and commissioner. His 45-year career in Canadian football, including 16 years as the league's fourth commissioner (and its longest-serving commissioner), oversaw the start of the modern era of professional Canadian football. [1] As an amateur artist, Gauduar made two important contributions, designing both the Hamilton Tiger-Cats "Leaping Tiger" logo, [2] as well as an early version of the CFL logo.


Early life

Jake Gaudaur, Jr. was born in Orillia, Ontario on October 5, 1920, and was an all-around athlete at Orillia Collegiate Institute. Like his father, Jake Gaudaur Snr., he was a national rowing champion as well as an excellent lacrosse player. [3] [4] [5]

Gaudaur was based at Uplands Air Force Base and served as a RCAF pilot during the Second World War spending the war training more pilots.

Football career

In 1940, aged 19, he began playing football and joined the Hamilton Tigers. [6] The following year he played for the Toronto Argonauts. Gaudaur served as a pilot in the Second World War [7] and won the 30th Grey Cup with the Toronto RCAF Hurricanes in the 1942 season.

Following the war, Gaudaur played for, and was part owner of, the Toronto Indians of the Ontario Rugby Football Union (19451946) and then played for the Montreal Alouettes during the 1947 season. [6]

Gaudaur returned to Hamilton to stay in 1948. When the Tigers merged with the Hamilton Flying Wildcats in 1950, Gaudaur became team captain of the resulting Hamilton Tiger-Cats and played through the 1951 season. In 1952, he left the playing field to become director of the team but returned to play a final year in the 1953 season winning the Tiger-Cats first Grey Cup playing centre. [5] [6]

From 1954, Gaudaur was President of the Tiger-Cats and was President & General Manager from the 1956 season to 1967. [6] The Ti-Cats appeared in 9 Grey Cups over his term as general manager and won in 1957, 1963, 1965, and 1967. [8]

CFL Commissioner

Jake was the 4th Commissioner of the CFL serving from 1968 through 1984. During Jake's first year as Commissioner, CFL adopted a new Constitution. In 1980, Jake negotiated and signed on behalf of CFL a record television contract with Carling-O'Keefe Breweries for $15.6 million which covered a 3-year period (1981–83). By 1983, CFL signed a record television agreement with Carling-O'Keefe Breweries for $33 million over a 3-year period (1984-1986). When met with a crisis when Nelson Skalbania briefly acquired the Montreal Alouettes, Gaudaur arranged for the league to seize the franchise, rebrand it as the Montreal Concordes, and sell the franchise to a new owner, Charles Bronfman. This, along with the continued television sponsorship, kept the Montreal franchise alive for another five seasons.

"During his 16-year tenure as commissioner, Gaudaur did wonders for the league. By 1983, new television contracts had increased revenue six-fold, while game attendance had nearly doubled. Gaudaur was also instrumental in establishing a Player Pension Plan and aided greatly in the founding of the Canadian Football Hall of Fame and Museum. Above all, he kept the CFL strictly Canadian. Gaudaur was appointed Governor to Canada's Sports Hall of Fame in 1981 and took on the duties of chairman of the board in 1984. His fundraising efforts resulted in a $1.25 million renovation programme for the Hall to make it one of the most advanced institutions of its kind at the time." [9]

In his last season as CFL commissioner, in 1983, Jake took a personal interest developing a close bond between the CFL and The War Amps kicking off a special tradition – the annual CFL PLAYSAFE Award, saluting the League's support of the PLAYSAFE Program which continues today. [10]


Personal life

Jake had three daughters.

He died in Burlington, Ontario at the age of 87 in 2007 following a long battle with prostate cancer.

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  1. 1 2 Order of Canada citation
  2. http://www.thespec.com/news-story/2130209-gaudaur-ensured-cfl-thrived/
  3. Moro, Teviah (2007-12-04). "An athlete and a gentleman". Orillia Packet. Retrieved 2007-12-05.[ permanent dead link ]
  4. 1 2 "Jake Gaudaur, Jr". Canada's Sports Hall of Fame. Archived from the original on 2014-12-20. Retrieved 2014-11-15.
  5. 1 2 Frank Cosentino. "Jake Gaudaur". The Canadian Encyclopedia . Retrieved 2007-12-04.
  6. 1 2 3 4 5 "J. G. (Jake) Gaudaur". Canadian Football Hall of Fame & Museum. Retrieved 2010-03-05.
  7. The Canadian Press. "Ex-CFL commissioner Gaudaur passes". TSN. Retrieved 2007-12-05.[ dead link ]
  8. "HISTORY - Grey Cup". Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
  9. "Canada's Sports Hall of Fame". Archived from the original on 2018-01-13. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
  10. "1983: The War Amps and CFL begin an annual tradition".
  11. "J.G. 'Jake' Gaudaur - Inducted in 1984". Argonauts Hall of Famers. Toronto Argonauts Football Club. Archived from the original on 2007-12-07. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
  12. McCormick, Murray (2010-11-25)."McCullough wins inaugural award" [ permanent dead link ]. Regina Leader Post. https://leaderpost.com/sports/McCullough+wins+inaugural+award/3880691/story.html%5B%5D. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
  13. "J.G. 'Jake' Gaudaur - Inducted in 2012". The Hamilton Spectator.